In F1 today, the trend is towards new fancy circuits trying to woo fans with glamour and prestige, but classic Monza has defied all this to remain the top circuit. The course is not a rundown old track because it has incorporated the latest designs while still retaining that classic touch that defines true racing.
The Dominance of Italian GP
So, what makes Italy GP rule and will it always remain a force to reckon with amongst other new circuits? Here are some ideas:
- Rich heritage: The original autodrome dates back to the 1920s and is also one of the first in the world. Its rich history of wins by Fangio, Giuseppe, among other icons during its early years, makes Monza an integral part of motor GP. Schumacher made his retirement announcement here, while Vettel registered his first iconic win on this track too.
- The culture bug: There is no denying that fast cars and Italians are almost synonymous. From Alfa Romeo to Lancia to Ferraris, there is always something about Italian engineers that motivates them to make cars destined for racing glory. As such, Italian GP can be considered the home of Formula One just as Athens is considered the home of the Olympics.
- Fast boys: From Antonio Asacari to his son Alberto Ascari, there is no dearth of champions in Italy. This seems to be a confirmation that this is indeed the natural home of racing. Other icons from Italy include Fisichella, Giuseppe Farina, Riccardo Patrese and Andrea Cesaris, among others, who have featured prominently in F1 to grant Italian GP the respect it deserves.
- The Tifosi exhilarating passion: When you think of F1, which colour comes to mind? Put it another way, which car comes to mind? Of course the Ferrari. While McLaren might claim it rules in terms of the records, the passion shown by Ferrari Tifosi fans makes Monza an incredible place to be.
- The thrill in the danger: With speed comes danger and the fact that this is the fastest track makes it vulnerable to more risks. In the early years, over 20 drivers lost their lives here. In fact, the 1961 tragedy where Clark tangled with Von Trips led to the death of Trips and 15 spectators. Schumacher completed the race at an average speed of 153.842 mph, which highlights how thrilling it can get.
Indeed you have to sit and watch the action to appreciate why the super speeds at high gears are so risky. The cars simply fly and you will find yourself holding your breath even for a full lap. The action is so fast paced that if you are not keen it might be hard to follow your driver at Monza.
The best thing with the modern track is of course enhanced safety including the slowing down of the 2nd Lesmo curve. With 63 races run at Monza to date, and Ferrari still holding the record with 18 wins on this circuit, you can bet there will be more to expect with each coming year.