Race Facts – Italian Grand Prix at Monza

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The oldest circuit on the current Formula 1 calendar, Monza’s history dates back to 1922, when it hosted the Italian Grand Prix for the first time. The 2019 race takes place on 5-8 September. 

The original circuit layout stretched to over 10km and included a 5.5km road section broadly similar to today’s layout plus a 4.5km loop, which was redeveloped into a high-speed banked oval in the 1950s. Monza is one of four current Formula 1 circuits which formed part of the inaugural Formula 1 World Championship in 1950 and since then, has only been absent once (in 1980, when the Italian Grand Prix was held at Imola). The 10km layout of the circuit including the banked oval was used for four races in the late 1950s before the organisers reverted to the shorter layout over safety concerns following several fatal accidents. Further circuit alterations have taken place over the years to reduce speeds at Monza , including the addition of the Variante del Rettifilo and Variante Ascari chicanes.

Set in the grounds of the largest city park in Europe, Monza has a special home in the hearts of F1 fans, not least the fanatical local ‘tifosi’, most of whom support Ferrari. The circuit has grandstand capacity for just over 50 000 fans and can accommodate well over 100 000 fans including general admission areas. A new 3-year deal to keep the Italian GP at Monza until 2019 was signed in 2016, but the long-term future of the race still remains in doubt.

Italian Grand Prix: Did You Know?

  • Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton share the record for the most wins at Monza with five apiece.
  • Ferrari are the most successful team at Monza, having won the race 19 times, the most recent of which was with Fernando Alonso in 2010.
  • Sebastian Vettel’s surprise win at Monza in 2008 for Toro Rosso made him the youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix (at the time), aged 21 years, 2 months and 11 days old.
  • At the Italian Grand Prix in 2018, Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest ever lap in a Formula 1 car, with an average speed on his pole lap of 163.785mph.
  • The circuit is unique on the current Formula 1 calendar for its mix of long straights and slow chicanes. The low downforce circuit puts strain on engines, which are on full power for 80% of the lap, and gearboxes, which are used heavily in the chicanes.
  • In the past 16 races here, the 2009 Italian Grand Prix is the only time that the polesitter has failed to finish in the top two. In 2009, Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the race on the final lap having started from pole.
  • Thanks to the fact that it used to be held at the end of the season, 12 World Championships have been settled at the Italian Grand Prix since 1950, most recently in 1979. Giuseppe Farina won the first ever Drivers’ Championship at the track in 1950.
  • The Italian Grand Prix is usually the shortest all season. The 2003 race at Monza holds the record for the shortest F1 race to reach full distance, with Michael Schumacher winning in a time of just over 74 minutes.
  • In all of the past six seasons, the winner of the Italian Grand Prix has gone on to win that year’s title.
  • With Antonio Giovinazzi on the 2019 grid at Sauber, Italian fans will have a home driver to cheer on this year for the first time since Jarno Trulli and Vitantonio Liuzzi competed in the 2011 Italian Grand Prix.
Circuit NameAutodromo Nazionale di Monza
Track Length5.793km (11 turns)
Race Distance53 laps (306.72 km)
Lap Record1:21.046, Rubens Barichello (Ferrari), 2004
2018 Result1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:16:54.484
2nd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +8.705s
3rd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +14.066s

What’s your favorite Italian GP moment? Leave a comment!

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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 (1)

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  1. andrew says:

    Hi there, Monza has been booked with a couple buddies, were heading from Canada, and we have GA tickets for the weekend. just wondering in your opinion which parts of the track we should head to, we also were thinking of trying to make it to Spa for race day seeing how the race is the prior weekend. Spa looks amazing, just unsure of all the leg work of traveling back and forth. There aren’t any direct flights to Belgium so we do a lot of back tracking to go.

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