Italian Grand Prix this weekend


Think of the great race at Spa in Belgium two weeks ago, and now pray for the same at Monza in Italy.  This 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.

Monza Monza

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 kph lap.

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 Sebastian Vettel has his eye on, is not a 100 percent surety yet and is still quite open, with seven more GPs after this one (175 points up for grabs).  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 7 p.m., but join us around 6 p.m. for dinner (I do recommend the specials), and a beer and a chat before the race begins at 7 p.m.  We watch on the giant screen, with the BBC telecast which is of top value and there are no adverts!