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Trackside – 2016 Italian Grand Prix at Monza

Filed in Italian F1 Travel Guide by on 2 Comments

Useful information to help you get the most out of the trackside experience at Monza for this year’s Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix on September 2-4, 2016.

The Monza circuit  is located within the 4th largest city park in Europe, which measures 688 hectares. Unless you are being whisked by private car to the Paddock Club, you’ll cover a lot of ground on foot over the weekend; the distances from the shuttle drop-off points to the entrance gates are long, and you’ll also have to walk to your seat inside the circuit. The experience for fans at Monza is a little disorganized and chaotic, but that’s the Italian way and it’s part of the historic circuit’s charm.

Don’t forget that Italy operates a ‘Free Friday’ policy, meaning you have open access to all the grandstands around the circuit (apart from the Main Grandstand on the pit straight), even with a General Admission ticket.

What to bring along

You are not supposed to bring in any glass bottles or alcohol to the circuit, but the security is pretty lax and bag searches are not common. Going General Admission? Bring along a fold-up chair and/or a picnic blanked to make your day a little more comfortable. Binoculars are a good idea, particularly if you are a long way from the big TV screen and want to stay up to date with lap charts and leaderboards. The weather is generally hot and sunny at Monza in the late Italian summer, and most grandstands are uncovered, so don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen and to wear light, comfortable clothing.

Access & Orientation

Read the Getting Around section of our guide for detailed information on how to get to Monza. Once you have arrived, seven gates (ingresso A-G) provide access for fans to the circuit. Download the circuit map in the box opposite.

> Gates A, G & F: on the eastern side of the circuit, closest to Parabolica. This is also the area where the shuttle buses drop fans off.

> Gates B & C: on the south side of the circuit, closest to the stands on the pit straight and the opening Variante del Rettifilo.

> Gate D: on the northwest corner of the circuit, close to the Lesmo corners and the Biassono train station. Not the greatest entry point if you are sitting in any of the grandstands, as the walk will be a long one.

>Gate E: on the north part of the circuit, this is the best entry point if you are sitting in any of the grandstands on the Ascari chicane.

Download a PDF with both the local road network and a detailed circuit map showing entrance gates, ticket booths and shuttle drop-off points. Map courtesy Monzanet.it

On-Track Schedule

The on-track schedule at Monza features action from F1’s two main feeder series, GP2 and GP3, both of which will feature two races at Monza – a longer feature race on Saturday afternoon and a shorter, sprint race on Sunday morning. There will also be Porsche Supercup racing at Monza this year.

Thursday, September 1

  • 16:00-18:00: Fan’s Pitlane walk for holders of 3-day tickets

Friday, September 2

  • 10:00-11:30: Formula 1 (Free Practice 1)
  • 12:00-12:45: GP2 (Practice)
  • 14:00-15:30: Formula 1 (Free Practice 2)
  • 15:55-16:25: GP2 (Qualifying)
  • 16:45-17:30: Porsche Supercup (Practice)
  • 17:50-18:35: GP3 (Practice)

Saturday, September 3

  • 09:45-10:15: GP3 (Qualifying)
  • 11:00-12:00: Formula 1 (Free Practice 3)
  • 12:25-12:55: Porsche Supercup (Qualifying)
  • 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 (Qualifying)
  • 15:40-16:45 GP2 Feature Race (30 laps or 60 mins)
  • 17:10-18:00 GP3 Feature Race (17 laps or 30 mins)

Sunday, September 4

  • 09:15-09:50: GP3 Sprint Race (17 laps or 30 mins)
  • 10:25-11:15: GP2 Sprint Race (21 laps or 45 mins)
  • 11:45-12:20: Porsche Supercup Race (14 laps or 30 mins)
  • 12:30: F1 Driver’s Parade
  • 12:45-13:15: F1 Grid Presentation
  • 14:00: Formula 1 Grand Prix of Italy (53 laps)
  • 16:00 (approx): Winner’s Podium Ceremony

Watching the podium celebrations after the race

A trip to Monza wouldn’t be complete without joining the tifosi on the track for the podium celebrations after the race is finished. The organisers open up the track just a few minutes after the winner has crossed the line. The best place to get access is in front of the main grandstand. Fans begin gathering at least 30 minutes before the end of the race, then make a sprint for it when the gates are opened. This was without a doubt our top highlight at last year’s race! Access is also provided from the grandstands directly opposite the podium and from other points around the track.

Facilities

Monza is a historic track and hasn’t received the investment it probably needs for upkeep. This means that the facilities are a little tired, but the picturesque park surroundings go a long way to making up for this. The toilets are mainly of the portable variety, but they are kept fairly clean and queues are infrequent, except at peak times on race day. There’s also a fan village behind the pit straight grandstands with live music, displays and merchandise on sale, check out the pictures below.

Food & Drink

If you are on a budget, visit a shop before you head to the circuit to stock up on food and drink, but to be on the safe side, don’t attempt to bring in any glass bottles to the circuit. Being Italy, the food and drink on offer at Monza is better than at other circuits, but still overpriced. Check our 2014 pictures for examples of the kind of food on offer and prices. Expect to pay 1 for bottled water, 4-6 for beer and softdrinks and 5-10 for meals. There are food and drink stalls located all around the circuit and prices vary. If you want to save a few Euros, there are also cheaper food and drink stalls just outside the circuit and passouts are available (near the Vedano gate, closest to Parabolica, for example).

The Old Banked Circuit

A trip to Monza wouldn’t be complete without checking out the historic banked circuit which still surrounds the current circuit. Access is supposed to be off-limits, but this is Italy and there are plenty of spots where you can sneak through the fence and take a look. The best time to do this is earlier in the weekend before the crowds descend and there is more security (e.g. on Thursday, when the fan’s pitlane walk is on). A good place to enter is on the section at the eastern end of the circuit, close to the Parabolica.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (2)

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  1. Tony Jimenez says:

    We have seats in 6c what gate is best to enter

  2. R says:

    Hi, great site! Appreciate the work that is done :)
    I am heading to Monza in 2017 and bought tickets for Ascari 12. On your website i read that the best entrance is E

    >Gate E: on the north part of the circuit, this is the best entry point if you are sitting in any of the grandstands on the Ascari chicane.<

    On the website of Monza or any of the maps i see that i need to get entrance A? What is the best entrance for Ascari 12, any tips for a good parking spot?

    Kr R

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