Monza’s hopes of staying on the Formula 1 calendar have received a financial boost. Earlier, the future of the Italian grand prix looked in doubt, but Germany’s SID news agency claims that the Italian right-wing political party Lega brought a bill to parliament in Rome last Friday.
The bill called for Monza’s race to be protected as a “traditional grand prix”, and funded by to the state to the tune of EUR 10 million every year. The Senate, which is controlled by Lega, is now set to vote on the bill. Last year, the Italian grand prix at Monza recorded a EUR 12 million loss: “The cost of the grand prix at Monza is too high for us,” said Angelo Sticchi Damiani, boss of the Italian automobile club Aci.
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. Since then it has hosted 68 F1 races, making it the track where most Grands Prix took place, ahead of Monaco and Silverstone.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza Circuit
Following the defeat suffered by Fiat at the 1921 Italian Grand Prix, which took place at the Montichiari circuit, the Milan branch of the Italian automobile club, the ACI, decided to build a permanent track on which carmakers could try out their new models and test materials and components. For this purpose, the ACI set up the ‘Società per l’Incremento dell’Automobilismo Sportivo’ (Company for the Improvement of Motor Sports) or SIAS. In 1922, the SIAS leased the area of the park to the north of Viale Vedano. Work began on 3rd May 1922 and was completed in 100 days. The new ‘Autodromo Nazionale’ was officially inaugurated on 28th July of the same year by the racing drivers Nazzaro and Bordino in a Fiat 510: a 5.5-kilometre road track and a 4.5-kilometre high-speed ring with two raised curves that could be taken at speeds of up to 180 kph (112 mph). On 10th September, the Italian Grand prix was won by Pietro Bordino driving a Fiat 804 at an average speed of 140 kph (87 mph). Over the years, the circuit was restructured a number of times and was not used at all during the war years. It was rebuilt in 1948 and, in 1955, a new high-speed ring with two raised curves was planned. In 1957 and 1958, the circuit hosted the ‘500 Miglia’ (500 Miles) race, linked to the Monza lottery. Like the British circuits, Monza has hosted all the Formula 1 Grand Prix since the first edition in 1950. Monza was also the venue for one of the four races that were something of a prototype for the World Championship between Italy, France, Belgium and the United States, which first took place in 1925.
The Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix now takes place on the 5,770-metre road track on the second Sunday of September. The pits area is among the most modern and most functional in the world. The circuit can be reached by car through the Vedano al Lambro entrance; the Biassono Santa Maria delle Selve entrance is open on race days. Other extra racing activities animate the circuit all year.