Full guide to buying your 2013 Italian Grand Prix Tickets
- Autodromo Nazionale Monza
6 / 7 / 8 September 2013
- 109 Day(s) to go
The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is one of the proper “classics” left on the Grand Prix calendar. It’s home to the Tifosi, Ferrari’s adoring Italian supporters who are probably the most passionate set of Formula One fans in the world. Monza itself is set in a forest making it a real treat for spectators to explore and watch F1 cars at their maximum speeds of any circuit.
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The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is located in the large forested Royal Park just fifteen kilometres outside of Milan. The area is predominantly residential and the nearby town of Monza is a significant economic centre for the region. Most people commute to the racetrack from Milan, the largest city in Northern Italy. As well as being one of the fashion capitals of the world Milan is also known for its retail and contains the world's oldest shopping mall. The city has a large sporting presence thanks to its football club, AC Milan, who have won the European Championship seven times. The local Government is trying to make the city one of the most modern in Europe and there is currently a lot of new architecture under construction. The idea is to have the renovation finished by the 2015 Expo but there is some opposition to the move as some residents feel it is ruining the historic image of the town. Milan was very significant to the Roman Empire and it was the capital city of the area that now covers all of Western Europe. Interestingly, Milan has its own Catholic Rite in the same way that Rome does.
Monza has an enormous history that dates back to 1922, and it was just the third permanent racetrack built in the world. The layout consisted of the road course that remains in use today, as well as an oval that added four kilometres onto the circuit's total length. The Italian Grand Prix was run at Monza shortly after construction was finished and over the next thirty years used different configurations that incorporated the road and oval tracks. The circuit was upgraded and altered on various occasions but the biggest modification came in 1955 when the oval was rebuilt with steep banked corners, and combined with the road course to create one long ten kilometre racetrack. In order to celebrate the new layout, Monza hosted the 'Race of Two Worlds' in 1957 and 1958. These events put the Formula One cars up against the Indy racing teams from the USA, and the American cars dominated. The high speed banking was used in the Italian Grand Prix as well until 1961 when it was deemed too dangerous, and from then on the race has been held on the road course only. The banking was used for Sportscar racing for several years after the F1 cars abandoned it, but has since fallen into disrepair. The next big change to Monza came in 1972 when chicanes were added to slow the cars but these were significantly altered in 1976 as they had not been effective. Many of the corners have been reprofiled slightly since in the name of safety, especially since the death of Ayrton Senna, but much of the layout remains the same as it was in 1922.
Monza is by far the fastest formula one circuit on the calendar and consists almost entirely of long straights and tight chicanes. There are only three conventional corners on the circuit and they're fairly quick, so downforce is not a concern. The track screams through the forest in the Royal Park and runs fairly close to the trees that cannot be cut down because they are protected. The back straight and main straight are flanked by grandstands, but elsewhere the tall trees form a 'tunnel'. There are not a lot of runoff areas, due mainly to the woods, and drivers have regularly voiced concerns about safety. The place oozes history and the original banking first used fifty years ago still stands today, complete with old advertising hoardings. Unlike many other tracks the surrounds are untouched and you can get a feel for how it would have been in the 1920's. The close barriers give drivers and fans an awesome sensation of speed, and watching the cars belt through the forest is one of the most atmospheric sights in Formula one. The average speed around Monza is a staggering 240kph which is amazing considering how much the cars have to slow down for the three chicanes. The Italian fans are the most passionate in the world so if there is only one grand prix you get to visit, make this the one.
Traditionally, Ferrari has always done extremely well in Monza. For many years the team struggled with slow cars but would always come alive around the Italian circuit. This is partly because Monza is a real power track and that always suited the old Ferrari team who invested lots into engine power but little into anything else. Enzo Ferrari himself once said that aerodynamic efficiency was for people who built poor engines, so there is no surprise his cars always performed well at Monza. Times have changed and aerodynamics now plays a bigger role in the Italian Grand Prix since most of the engines are fairly similar. However, downforce is not the concern and because the ultimate factor is actually drag. All of the teams run skinny wings so there is nothing to be gained in that regard. There is an advantage to the team who can produce the slipperiest car, and this has usually been Adrian Newey's designs at Williams and McLaren. It is one of the few tracks where a one stop strategy can work because the teams lose a lot of time stationery in the pits whilst the cars whizz by at 300kph. Raikkonen is phenomenal around this circuit and took a commanding pole position in 2005 despite having enough fuel on board to last him until half distance. He would have won in 2008 as well had it not been wet as he was easily the quickest driver when the circuit was dry.
The biggest challenge for drivers at Monza is picking a point to brake at over 360 kph. At that speed a car can travel a hundred metres in under a second, so braking one tenth of a second too late can have serious consequences. The track requires an incredible amount of precision, and the drivers also need a good 'feel' for the car as they spend a lot of time riding the kerbs
Formula One is all about speed, and the Monza is the quickest race of them all. Cars reach 360kph which is just insane and the close racing can be great to watch. It is also a great race if you're a technical buff because all of the teams will be using special one-off low drag bodywork.
1956 : For many years Monza was the final round of the season, and in 1956 Peter Collins and Juan Manuel Fangio were battling each other to decide the championship. Fangio looked to have it covered until his car broke down, but rather than claim victory Collins pulled into the pits and handed his car to Fangio so the great Argentinean could win the title. Collins reasoned that Fangio deserved the championship more than he did, and his act of sportsmanship is unmatched in Formula One History
1967 : Jim Clark was forced to drop out of the lead on lap 13 with a deflating tyre, and rejoined the race a lap down on the leaders. What happened next was unbelievable. He unlapped himself and started setting times almost three seconds per lap quicker than everyone else. He gradually started overtaking the backmarkers for position and on lap 61 he regained the lead. He would have won the race and claimed the sport's greatest victory if not for an engine problem that robbed him of glory on the very last lap.
1971 : Due to the slipstreaming nature of Monza there were five drivers in contention for victory on the final lap. Each of them crossed the finish line within six tenths of each other and Peter Gethin took victory by just one hundredth of a second. It was the closest finish in Grand Prix history.
1976 : Niki Lauda took to the track wrapped in bandages, with blood still seeping from the wounds caused by the fiery accident that almost killed him six weeks previous. Lauda was not short on bravery.
1988 : Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto scored a sensational 1-2 victory for Ferrari in the only race of the year that McLaren did not win. A good result for the Scuderia seemed very unlikely until both McLaren's hit trouble and the result was made all the more special as it occurred just a few weeks after the death of Enzo Ferrari. It was one of the most emotional Grand Prix races of all time.
1998 : McLaren looked set for a commanding victory 1-2 victory until David Coulthard's engine blew and Mika Hakkinen ran wide on the resultant oil. Michael Schumacher took the win, and Eddie Irvine also squeezed past Hakkinen for second place giving Ferrari control of the podium.
Further Italian Grand Prix Ticket information
You can find all types of Italian Grand Prix tickets including Monza General Admission Tickets at the top of this page via the buttons on the left hand side. For those who are looking to book a hotel near Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, we have got a great guide to the top 3 hotels that are close to the circuit and all have great reviews for F1 fans. Well worth checking out!
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