Did you know that the Italian Grand Prix is the oldest of all Formula One races? Held since 1911, it’s a historic event that any racing fan should try to see at least once in their lifetime. But there’s more to this race than just its age – here are some other interesting facts about the Italian Grand Prix that might surprise you.
For instance, did you know that…
– The track is incredibly challenging, with lots of tight corners and elevation changes.
– Only two drivers have ever won the race three times?
– There have been quite a few accidents over the years, including one death in 1994.
If you’re interested in learning more about one of F1’s most iconic races you are just a sports essay writer who needs fresh ideas for your writing, keep reading. I’ll dive into all of these things and more, so you can come away with a better understanding of what makes the Italian Grand Prix so special.
1. The perfect nickname
The Monza track is largely made up of long straights and chicanes, with cars reaching speeds of up to 225mph – the quickest on the F1 schedule. So, it’s no surprise that the venue has been given the nickname “Temple of Speed”.
2. One of the originals
The home of the Italian Grand Prix is one of just four tracks remaining on the calendar that F1 raced on during the sport’s inaugural season in 1950. The others are the Circuit de Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps, and Silverstone.
3. Several changes
Several different layouts have been used for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. From 1950 to 1954, the circuit didn’t include any chicanes, with uninterrupted runs to Curva Grande and Curve di Lemos The final corner was then re-profiled and for several years it was combined with the banked oval circuit.
In 1972 a chicane was introduced on the pit straight and the Variante Ascari was turned into a left-right-left complex to slow the cars down. The first chicane was replaced by a new one in 1976, and another was added before the Curve di Lesmos and the Ascari section were tweaked. Finally, in 2000, the opening Variante Rettifilo chicane was changed into a two-part corner.
4. On the top step of the podium
Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the Italian Grand Prix with five wins to his name.
Nelson Piquet is second with four victories, while Sebastian Vettel has the most triumphs on the 2015 F1 grid with three wins, most recently in 2013.
Since the first F1 season, Ferrari has taken 18 victories – the most of any team in the sport’s history. McLaren is next up with 10 wins, while Williams has registered six first-place finishes.
5. Home crowd
Monza is not only famous for its speed and exciting racing but also its amazing atmosphere and fans – dominated by Ferrari’s Tifosi, who will be cheering on Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen this season.
6. A yearly visit
This year’s race is the 66th time that the Italian Grand Prix has featured on the F1 calendar, and the 65th to take place at Monza – in 1980 the Imola circuit was the host. However, the race’s future is currently in doubt due to a lack of funding.
7. Italian champions
There have been two F1 world champions from Italy – Giuseppe Farina took the maiden driver’s title in 1950, and Alberto Ascari won back-to-back championships in 1952 and 1953.
In total, 15 Italian drivers have won F1 races, with the most recent being Giancarlo Fisichella. He won the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix for Renault.
8. Hot lap
Juan Pablo Montoya’s 1:19.525 lap of Monza during practice for the 2004 Italian GP is widely regarded as the quickest ever in F1, with an average speed of 262.242kph (162.95mph). Michael Schumacher’s 2003 win is the shortest race time in F1 at 1 hour 14 minutes and 19 seconds, with an average speed of 247.585kph (153.842mph).
9. A quick exit
Marco Apicella’s F1 career is famous for being the shortest in the sport. He raced at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix for Jordan, qualifying in 23rd place. However, he retired after a collision at the first chicane on the opening lap, just 800m after the start line.
10. 110 days
Monza was first opened in September 1922 and hosted its first-ever race later that month. According to the circuit’s official website, it took just 110 days to complete the original road circuit and the banked overall, using 3,500 workers.
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