The Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Our home race! What better way to say farewell to the European part of the season than spending a weekend in the atmospheric Royal Park in Monza, surely one of the most iconic venues in motorsport. F1 in Monza means “the temple of speed.”
As the sun burns the early autumnal mist off the trees early on Sunday morning and the crowds take up their places in the grandstands, in the trees, on the advertising hoardings and anywhere that affords them a view of the track, this race really does feel special.
Monza on the outskirts of Milan is around 280 kilometres from our factory and therefore it provides the best opportunity for all our staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes in our factory in Faenza to come and see the results of their efforts at first hand.
Monza and F1 Grand Prix in Italy
Formula 1 Monza: three words that evoke the Italian GP, which has been held at this track since 1950, with the exception of one outing at Imola in 1980. In the past, there were actually two F1 races on Italian soil, where passion for racing has always had strong roots. Apart from Monza, there was also the San Marino Grand Prix run at Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit from 1981 to 2006.
But let’s get back to F1 at Monza: the Autodromo di Monza was built in 1922, featuring a two-track layout, the normal road circuit and a banked oval. In 1955, the Italian GP was run over both tracks, so that cars passed the start-finish line twice every lap, once when completing a circuit of the oval and once on the road section, giving a total lap distance of almost ten kilometres.
The banking, which can still be seen today in a sad state of disrepair, was last used in 1961, while the previous year, another F1 landmark was reached when Phil Hill, driving a Ferrari, scored the last ever win for a front-engined grand prix car.
BEHIND THE VISOR: EPISODE 12 “SPEED”
What better time to ask the drivers about the speed of an F1 car than before we head to Monza, the Temple of Speed!
Monza Temple of Speed
Monza is rightly known as the Temple of Speed, the 2003 Monza F1 GP holding the record for the fastest ever average race speed, at 247.585km/h, while the 1971 event boasted the closest ever finish in the history of Formula 1, when Peter Gethin beat Ronnie Peterson by just one hundredth of a second and the first five were covered by just 0.61 of a second.
Our team has the best possible memories of Monza as it was here that we took our two historic wins, first with Sebastian Vettel in 2008 under the Toro Rosso banner and then last year with Pierre Gasly, in our first year as Scuderia AlphaTauri, when he was first past the flag in the AT01, ahead of Sainz in the McLaren and Stroll in the Racing Point.