Autodromo Nazionale Monza: Wikis


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Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Monza track map.svg
Location Monza, Italy[1]
Time zone GMT +1
Coordinates 45°37′14″N 9°17′22″E / 45.62056°N 9.28944°E / 45.62056; 9.28944Coordinates: 45°37′14″N 9°17′22″E / 45.62056°N 9.28944°E / 45.62056; 9.28944
Owner Comune di Monza & Milano[1]
Operator SIAS S.p.A.[1]
Major events F1, GP2, F3, 1000 km Monza, WTCC, SBK
Modern Grand Prix Circuit
Surface Asphalt
Length 5.793[2][3] km (3.600 mi)
Turns 10
Lap record 1:21.046 (Brazil Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004, F1)
Surface Concrete/Asphalt
Length 4.250[3] km (2.641 mi)
Turns 2
Banking ≈30°
Lap record 0:54.0 (United States Bob Veith, Bowes Seal Fast, 1958, IndyCar)
Junior Course
Surface Asphalt
Length 2.405[3] km (1.494 mi)
Combined Course
Surface Asphalt
Length 10.00 km (6.213 mi)
Turns 9
Lap record 2.41.4 (United States Phil Hill, Ferrari, 1960, F1)

Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a motorsport race track near the town of Monza, Italy, north of Milan. It is one of the most historic motor racing circuits in the world.[4]



Built in Villa Reale park north of Monza,[5] a woodland setting,[4] the site has three tracks – the 5.793 kilometres (3.600 mi) Grand Prix track,[2][3] the 2.405 kilometres (1.494 mi) Junior track,[3] and a decaying 4.250 kilometres (2.641 mi)[3][4] high speed track with steep bankings. Major features of the main track include the Curva di Lesmo, the Curva Parabolica, and the Variante Ascari. The high speed curve, Curva Grande, is located after a slow corner, but usually taken flat out by Grand Prix cars.[citation needed]

The circuit, better known for hosting the Formula One Italian Grand Prix,[4] is notable for the fact that drivers are on full throttle for a higher-than-average percentage of the lap[citation needed] due to its long straights, and is usually the scenario in which the open-wheeled F1 cars show the raw speed they are capable of (372 kilometres per hour (231 mph) during the V10 engined formula).[citation needed] It is mostly a flat circuit but has a notable, though gradual, gradient from the second Lesmos to the Variante Ascari. Due to the low aerodynamic profile needed, with its resulting low downforce,[6] the grip is very low; understeer, and the resulting slide can hurt overall speed - and are more serious issues than at other circuits, however, the opposite effect, oversteer, is also present in the second sector, requiring the use of a very distinctive opposite lock technique.[citation needed] It is said that drivers can set relatively decent lap times from the beginning without much effort,[citation needed] but in order to set competitive times, drivers must make use of all of their skill at every corner and chicane, since both precision and aggressiveness are required, especially during qualifying.[citation needed] Since both maximum power, and minimal drag is the key for speed on the straights,[6] only competitors with enough power at their disposal are able to challenge for the top places.[citation needed]

The Monza circuit has been the arena of some of the most tragic episodes in Formula One racing, especially in the early years of the world championship.[6] Since those times, modifications have been introduced to improve spectators safety and reduce curve speed,[4] but it is still criticised by the current drivers[6] for its lack of run-off areas, most notoriously at the chicane that cuts the Variante della Roggia.

The circuit is also known to be the spiritual home of the Scuderia Ferrari and their passionate supporters, the Tifosi.


The original circuit, as used from 1922 to 1933
Historic image from 1925
Historic image from 1925
The Florio circuit, used from 1935 to 1937.

The first track was built from May[5][7] to July 1922[4][5] by 3,500 workers,[5][7] financed by the Milan Automobile Club[5][7] – which created the Società Incremento Automobilismo e Sport (SIAS) (English: Automobile Sport and Encouragement Company)[5] to run the track. The initial form was a 3.4 square kilometres (1.31 sq mi)[5] site with 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)[5] of macadamised road – comprising a 4.5 kilometres (2.80 mi) loop track,[5][7] and a 5.5 kilometres (3.42 mi) road track.[5][7] The track was officially opened on 3 September 1922,[5] with the second Italian Grand Prix held on 10 September 1922.[5]

In 1928, the most serious Italian racing accident to date[5][6] ended in the death of driver Emilio Materassi[5][6] and 27 spectators[5][6] at that year's Grand Prix. Until 1932, further Grand Prix races were confined to the high-speed loop.[8] The 1933 race was marked by the deaths of three drivers[7][8][9] and the Grand Prix layout was changed, with two chicanes added and the longer straights removed.

There was major rebuilding in 1938–39,[7][8] constructing new stands and entrances, resurfacing the track, moving portions of the track and adding two new bends.[7][8] The resulting layout gave a Grand Prix lap of 6.300 kilometres (3.91 mi),[7][8] in use until 1954.[7][8][10] Because of World War II, racing at the track was suspended until 1948,[10] and much of the circuit degraded due to lack of attention.[4][10] It was renovated over a period of two months,[7][10] and a Grand Prix was held on 17 October 1948.[7][10]

Uncertainty grew over the fact that Monza would continue to host the race as Rome had signed a deal to host Formula One from 2012. On 18 March 2010 however, Bernie Ecclestone and the Monza track managers signed a deal which meant that the race will be held there until at least 2016.[11]

High speed oval

The Pista di Alta Velocità banking, photographed September 2003

In 1954, work began to entirely revamp the circuit,[4][7][12] resulting in a 5.750 kilometres (3.573 mi)[12] course, and a new 4.250 kilometres (2.641 mi)[12] high-speed oval with banked[4] sopraelevata curves. The two circuits could be combined to re-create the former 10 kilometres (6.214 mi)[4][7][12] long circuit, with cars running parallel on the main straight. The infrastructure was also improved.

The Automobile Club of Italy held 500-mile (805 km)[12] Race of Two Worlds exhibition competitions[4][12] at the end of June in 1957[13] and 1958,[12][13] on the oval, with three 63 lap[14][15] 267.67 kilometres (166.32 mi)[14] heat races each year,[13] races which colloquially became known as the Monzanapolis series.[16] The club's initial intention had been to pit United States Auto Club IndyCars[4][12] against European Formula One and sports cars. However, concerns were raised among the European drivers[17] that flat-out racing on the banking would be too dangerous, so ultimately only Ecurie Ecosse[14][18][19] and Maserati[14][18][19] represented European racing (although Maserati failed to start any of the heats)[14][18][19] at the first running. The American teams had brought special Firestone tyres with them, reinforced to withstand high-speed running on the bumpy Monza surface, but the Maseratis' steering was badly affected by the larger-than-usual tyre size, and so the Modena team withdrew.[14][18][19] Ecurie Ecosse's three Jaguar D-type sports cars used their Le Mans-specification tyres with no ill-effects, but were completely out paced. Two heats in 1957 were won by Jimmy Bryan[12][13][14][18] in his Kuzma-Offenhauser Dean Van Lines Special,[12][14][18] and the last by Troy Ruttman[13][19] in the Watson-Offy John Zink Special.[19] In 1958, works Jaguar,[15][20][21] Ferrari[12][15][20][21] and Maserati[12][15][20][21] teams appeared alongside the Indy roadsters, but once again the USA cars dominated and Jim Rathmann[12][15][20][21] swept all three races.[13]

Grand Prix returned to this high speed track in 1955,[4][12] 1956, 1960 and 1961.[7][12] This last race in 1961 had another fatal accident,[7][12] with Wolfgang von Trips[6][7][12] and fourteen spectators[12] dying near the Parabolica. Despite the fact that the bankings were not involved in that accident, the F1 never raced on the oval again (except in the film Grand Prix made in 1966).[4][12] New safety walls, rails and fences were quickly added, and the refuelling area was moved further from the track. Run-off areas were added to the curves in 1965 after a fatality in the 1000km Monza race, the track layout was not changed until Grand Prix returned in 1966, with new chicanes at the banked curves, and the track length extended by 100 metres (328 ft).[12] The 1000 km Monza staged the last event on the banking in 1969.[12] While the banking at the AVUS circuit in Berlin was already destroyed in 1967, the Pista di Alta Velocità is still there, but in a very bad state of repair. A petition can be signed to keep it from decay or even destruction.

Circuit changes

Both car and Grand Prix motorcycle racing were regular attractions at Monza from 1966,[12] but with increasing speeds the track was "slowed" in 1972, with two more chicanes[22] - the Curve Grande at the end of the start/finish straight,[22] and the Ascari.[7][22] This resulted in a new circuit length of 5.755 kilometres (3.576 mi).[22] Grand Prix motorcycles continued to use the un-slowed road track until two serious accidents[22] resulted in five deaths in 1973,[22] including Renzo Pasolini[22] and Jarno Saarinen.[22] Motorcycle racing did not return to Monza until 1981.[22]

The 1972 chicanes were soon seen to be ineffective at slowing cars; the Vialone was remade in 1974,[22] the other, Curve Grande in 1976,[7][22] and a third also added in 1976 before the Lesmo,[7][22] with extended run-off areas.[22] The Grand Prix lap was now 5.800 kilometres (3.604 mi) long.[22]

With technology still improving vehicle speeds, the track was again changed in 1979,[23] with added kerbs, run-off areas extended, and tyre-barriers improved.[23] The infrastructure was also upgraded.[23] These changes encouraged world championship motorcycling to return in 1981,[23] but further safety work was undertaken through the 1980s.[23] Also in the 1980s the podium, paddock and pits complex, stands,[7][23][24] and campsite were either rebuilt or improved.[citation needed]

In the safety conscious years following the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994[citation needed] (albeit at a different track), the three main long curves were "squeezed" in order to install larger gravel traps, shortening the lap to 5.770 kilometres (3.585 mi).[24] In 1997 the stands were reworked to expand capacity to 51,000.[24]

In 2000, the chicane on the main straight was altered, changing from a double left-right chicane to a single right-left chicane, in an attempt to reduce the frequent accidents at the starts due to the conformation of the braking area, although it is still deemed unsafe in terms of motorcycle racing.[citation needed] The second chicane was also reprofiled. In the Formula 1 Grand Prix of the same year, the first to use these new chicanes, a marshal, Paolo Gislimberti, was killed by flying debris after a big pileup in the second chicane.[6][citation needed]

In 2007, the run off area at the second chicane was changed from gravel to asphalt.[citation needed]

The length of the track in its current configuration is 5.793 kilometres (3.600 mi).[2]

On 12 May 2007, Noriyuki Haga made the new lap record for motorcycles 1’44.941 in Superpole on that day. He was riding a Yamaha.[citation needed]

A lap of the circuit in a Formula One car

The start/finish straight

Monza consists of very long straights and tight chicanes, putting a premium on good braking stability and traction.[citation needed] The circuit, of 5.793 kilometres (3.600 mi),[2] is very hard on gearboxes,[citation needed] with many gear changes per lap. Formula 1 engines are at full throttle for nearly 80% of the lap,[citation needed] with engine failures common,[citation needed] notably Fernando Alonso in the 2006 Italian Grand Prix.[citation needed]

Formula One cars are set up with mimimal wing angle, to ensure the lowest level of drag on the straights. There are only 3 proper corners at Monza, the two Lesmos and the Parabolica, so cars are set up with maximum performance on the straights.

Overtaking at Monza is extremely difficult,[citation needed] due to the poor behaviour of the cars under heavy braking. The long Parabolica corner is difficult for cars to follow closely.[citation needed]

Cars approach the first corner at 340 kilometres per hour (210 mph) in seventh gear,[2] and brake at about 120 metres (390 ft)[citation needed] before the first chicane - the Variante del Rettifilo, entering at 86 kilometres per hour (53 mph) in first gear, and exiting at 74 kilometres per hour (46 mph) in second gear.[2] This is the scene of many first lap accidents.[citation needed] Higher kerbs at the first two chicanes were installed in 2009 to prevent cutting.[25]

It is important[citation needed] to accelerate out of the first chicane as straight as possible and with mimimal wheelspin, as a lot of time will be lost through the Curva Grande down to the Variante della Roggia chicane in 7th gear, at 330 kilometres per hour (210 mph).[2] The braking point is just under the bridge.[citation needed] The kerbs are very vicious,[citation needed] and it is very easy for a car to spin as Kimi Räikkönen did in 2005.[citation needed] This chicane is probably the best overtaking chance on the lap,[citation needed] as it is the only one with the "slow corner, long straight, slow corner", one of the characteristics of the modern circuits.

Aerial photo of the Autodoromo of Monza, with the village of Villasanta in the upper part. City of Monza is southwards, off the right side of the photo.

The Curva di Lesmo are two corners that are not as fast as they used to be,[citation needed] but are still challenging corners.[citation needed] The first is blind, entered at 264 kilometres per hour (164 mph) 5th gear, and dropping to 4th gear at 193 kilometres per hour (120 mph),[2] and has a slight banking.[citation needed] The second is 5th gear entry at 260 kilometres per hour (160 mph), apexing in 3rd gear at 178 kilometres per hour (111 mph),[2] and very important and all the kerb is used. A mistake at one of these corners will either result in a spin into the gravel, or an overtaking move into the Variante Ascari chicane.[citation needed]

The downhill straight down to the Variante Ascari chicane is very bumpy under the bridge.[citation needed] The Variante Ascari chicane is a very tricky corner, and is key to the lap time.[citation needed]

The final challenge is the Curva Parabolica, approaching at 335 kilometres per hour (208 mph) in 7th gear,[2] cars quickly dance around the corner, apexing in fourth gear at 215 kilometres per hour (134 mph),[2], and exiting in 5th gear at 285 kilometres per hour (177 mph)[2] accelerating onto the main start/finish straight. A good exit and slipstream off a fellow driver along the main straight could produce an overtaking opportunity under heavy braking into the Variante del Rettifilio chicane.[citation needed]

Maximum speed achieved in a 2009 Formula One car is 340 kilometres per hour (210 mph), achieved at the end of the start/finish straight.[2] They achieve a maximum g-force of 3.80 through turn 7, the second Lesmo.[2]

Deaths from crashes


  1. ^ a b c "Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Company profile". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Formula 1 Gran Premio Santander D'Italia 2009 (Monza) - interactive circuit map". Formula One Administration Ltd. © 1999-2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Areas & Structures". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "The hidden history of the Monza banking". Formula One Administration Ltd. 30 August 2005. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "1922-1928: Construction and first races on the original tracks". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Fórmula 1: los pilotos tienen miedo por la seguridad en Monza [Formula 1: the drivers are afraid for safety at Monza]" (in Spanish). Clairí 05/09/2006. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Autodromo Nazionale di Monza - History". The Formula One DataBase. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "1929-1939: In consequence of the Materassi's accident, races are run on the alternative tracks". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "8W - When? - 1933 Monza GP, "Black Sunday"". May 2001. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "1940-1954: After the war interruption, the activity starts again in 1948". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Monza to keep Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix". BBC Sport (BBC). 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "1955-1971: Construction of the high speed track and other important works". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Autodromo Nazionale di Monza". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "1957 500 Miglia di Monza Heat 1". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "1958 500 Miglia di Monza Heat 1". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b c d e f "1957 500 Miglia di Monza Heat 2". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f "1957 500 Miglia di Monza Heat 3". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  20. ^ a b c d "1958 500 Miglia di Monza Heat 2". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  21. ^ a b c d "1958 500 Miglia di Monza Heat 3". © 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "1972-1978: Chicane and variants to reduce the high speed". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f "1979-1988: New works to update the circuit". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  24. ^ a b c "1989-1997: New pit complex and the interventions for the security". Autodromo Nazionale Monza. ©2007. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  25. ^ name=The Official Formula 1 Website>"Bigger kerbs installed for Monza chicanes". formula 08/09/2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  26. ^ Grand Prix death casts doubt over Monza circuit, story, Sept. 11, 2000, accessed Nov. 17, 2008

External links

Simple English

Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Location Monza, Italy
Time zone GMT +1
Major Events F1, GP2, F3, 1000 km Monza, WTCC, SBK
Modern Grand Prix Circuit
Circuit Length 5.793 km (3.60 mi)
Turns 10
Lap Record 1:21.046 ( Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)

Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a motorsport race track. It is near the town of Monza, Italy, north of Milan. It is one of the oldest motor racing tracks in the world.

File:Monza aerial
Aerial photo of the Autodoromo of Monza, with the village of Villasanta in the upper part. City of Monza is to the south, off the right side of the photo.

It was built in 1922, and has been used for the Italian Grand Prix almost every year since.

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