Prixview – Italian Grand Prix

Features Prixview

Round fourteen of the season sees Formula One round off the European season at the high speed low downforce Autodromo de Nazionale Monza, the home of Ferrari.

Monza took six months to build in the 1920’s and first held the Italian Grand Prix in 1923. Monza is the third oldest purpose-built circuits in the world, to this day it retains the high speed and flowing nature. Long straights broke up by chicanes the cars often reach speeds over 300kph.

The first race in 1922, combined both parts of the current circuit as well as the oval making the circuit the second longest on the calendar. The race won by Pietro Bordino, that race was more than double the current race distance 496 miles and eighty laps.

The second most deadliest crash in motorsports happened in 1928, battling for the lead Emilio Materassi and Giulio Foresti came off the banking onto the left side of the pit straight, one of the front wheels of Materassi’s overtaking Talbot touched one of the rear wheels of the Bugatti. Materassi lost control of the car.

The car then swerved left, cleared a 10-foot wide ditch and ploughed into the unprotected grandstand opposite the pits, killing Materassi and 27 spectators, and injuring another 26.

Since 1931, the race traditionally has been held in September and since the 1990’s has normally been the closing race of the European Season. Monza has been the home of F1 since 1950, holding all but one of the Italian Grand Prix’s. The race to this day remains as it was in 1923, high speed and downforce key to the circuit.

The 1956 race saw a three-way Italian powered shot out for the two Ferrari’s and Maserati’s Jean Bahra. Monza has seen many title scraps and drama throughout the past ninety years, but there is one name the Tifosi want to win Ferrari.

Monza’s road course which is currently used, requires drivers to push the cars still although in the interests of safety attempts have been made to slow cars down. But this doesn’t detract from the action, long straights and late-breaking make for drama. However the challenges the current regulations means following is very difficult.

Facts and figures

Race Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2018
Venue Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
Circuit Length 5.793km (3.600 mi)
Laps 53
Race Distance 306.720km (190.596 mi)
Lap Record 01:21.046 (Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)
Most wins drivers Michael Schumacher (5)
Most wins manufacture Ferrari (19)

Fast facts

  • Juan Pablo Montoya set the fastest lap in a Formula 1 car at Monza in 2004. His time of 1m19.525s was achieved at an average speed of 162.949 m/ph (262.241 km/h)
  • The closest ever Formula One finish was recorded at the 1971 race with Peter Gethin taking the chequered flag just 0.01 seconds ahead of Ronnie Peterson, Francois Cevert, Mike Hailwood and Howden Ganley. The top five were separated by just 0.61 seconds.
  • The shortest ever full distance Grand Prix was at Monza. Micheal Schumacher won the race in 01:14:19.838, he averaged a speed of 153.8MPH in the Ferrari in 2003.
  • Double world champion Alberto Ascari was killed during private testing in 1955 driving a Ferrari 750 Monza. In his honour, the Vialone chicane was re-named after him as the Ascari chicane.

Event timetable

Session Local BST
P1 11:00-12:30 10:00-11:30
P2 15:00-16:30 14:00-15:30
P3 12:00-13:00 11:00-12:00
Qualifying  15:00-16:00 14:00-15:00
Race 15:10 14:10

What happened in 2017?

Lewis Hamilton took another dominant victory after pulling away from his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Through out the race the Englishman continued to build the lead, while Lance Stroll’s Williams struggled to stay with the Mercedes. At there home race, Ferrari struggled to match the Mercedes and fell half a second behind.

It was a good recovery drive by the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo who started sixteenth to beat the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Monza was always going to be a tough race for McLaren, both cars appeared to be swamped by the midfield and fell away. That was before first Stoffel Vandoorne and then Fernando Alonso on the final lap of the race retired.

What to watch for?

Monza is a circuit which requires good downforce and speed, lap records and the fastest ever speed in a F1 car was recorded here in 2004. This race has been one of Mercedes strong holds in recent years, this year it is widely expected that Ferrari are going to put up a major challenge to Mercedes.

This weekend’s race you need to assume that it will be a fight once again between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. We saw at Spa how Vettel pulled that gap over Hamilton, Ferrari will be hungry for a home win. The win will be a huge boost to their title hopes. Mercedes will however want to stop them gaining points, and get a win in Ferrari’s back yard.

2017 vs 2018 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2017 01:21.537 01:21.406 01:40.660 01:36.009 01:34.660 01:35.554 01:15:32.312 01:23.361
Diff -1.422 -1.395 +18.652 +14.155 +13.162 +14.419 -02:04.378 -1.979
2016 01:22.959 01:22.801 01:22.008 01:21.854 01:21.498 01:21.135 01:17:28.089 01:25.340



Team     Supersofts Softs


L. Hamilton

Mercedes 8 3 2
V. Bottas 8 4


S. Vettel

Ferrari 10 1 2
K. Raikkonen 10 2


D. Ricciardo

Red Bull – Tag Heuer 8 3 2
M. Verstappen 7 5


S. Perez

Force India – Mercedes 10 2 1
E. Ocon 10 2


S. Sirotkin

Williams – Mercedes 9 2 2
L. Stroll 9 3


F. Alonso

McLaren – Renault 7 4 1
S. Vandoorne 7 4


P. Gasly

Toro Rosso –Honda 8 3 2

B. Hartley

8 4


R. Grosjean

Haas – Ferrari 9 3


K. Magnussen

9 2


N. Hulkenberg

Renault 8 3 2

C. Sainz

8 3


M. Ericsson

Sauber – Alfa Romeo 10 1 2

C. Leclerc

10 2 1


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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