Italian GP this weekend


The GP circus moves to Italy, the home of Ferrari and the Tifosi. Let us hope that Monza will give us some real racing as well, and hopefully the rest of the fields will be nearer to the Mercedes duo. And with a bit of luck Vettel (formerly known as The Finger) will have got over his paddy.

Monza is another driver’s circuit; however, like many other circuits, Monza has not been a single layout, but a series of more than a dozen layouts which have ranged in length from 2.4 km to 9 km.

The circuit was opened in the Monza Royal Park, near Milan, in 1922 and featured bankings, though these were demolished in 1939. The bankings which featured in some races, 1955-69, were new structures built on the format of the original. Bankings were used for the Italian GP in 1955, ‘56, ‘60 and ‘61, and were last used for racing of any form in 1969 when the concrete became in need of substantial resurfacing and rebuilding.

The 1971 Italian GP holds the record for the fastest-ever Formula One race but, emphatically, that is not the same as saying the fastest race for Grand Prix cars. That honor remains in the possession of the 1937 Avusrennen with Rosemeyer in the Auto Union recording a 276 km/h lap (that’s about 165 mph).

After 1971, the circuit underwent some revisions to discourage slipstreaming and to lower the average lap speed. Chicanes were added in 1976 and, in 1994, the second Lesmo Bend was tightened and the Curve Grande was re-profiled.

The World Championship which Vettel has his eye on, is not a 100 percent surety and is still quite open, with eight more GPs after this one. We can expect that the main protagonists will still be trying very hard, in particular Alonso, racing in front of the passionate Ferrari fans. We will be watching from our perches at Jameson’s Irish Pub (Soi AR, next to Nova Park) and the racing commences at 8.10 p.m., but join us around 7 p.m. for dinner and drinks (I do recommend the Sunday roast specials), and a chat before the race begins at 8.10 p.m. We watch on the giant screen, through an HD channel.