THIS is my second blog today. I’ve only ever done this once, and that was when I was testing out how to write these things.
But this is extremely important.
MONZA WILL HOST THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX UNTIL 2016!
Speculation about the tracks future had been around ever since the possibilities of a Rome street race as of 2013. But one of the grand old circuits will carry on hosting a race it has held since before the war.
Monza first held the Italian Grand Prix in 1922 and was won by Italian Pietro Bordino. In 1933, the Monza Grand Prix (not the Italian GP) saw: Giuseppe Campari, Baconin Borzacchini and Count Czaikowski all die in one of the blackest grand prix events of all time. In 1953, Juan Manuel Fangio won after a race long fight with Giuseppe Farina and Alberto Ascari. Ascari was killed whilst testing a sports car at Monza in 1955.
1961 saw a Ferrari driver clinch the title in the hands of Phil Hill, but his team-mate Wolfgang von Trips died on lap two. John Surtees won in 1967 by just 0.2 seconds from Jack Brabham and Jim Clark who drove the race of his life in order to catch them, only to run low on fuel on the last lap. Two years later, Jackie Stewart held off: Jochen Rindt, Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Bruce McLaren on the line – 0.19 seconds covering all of them (see below). 1970 saw Jochen Rindt die in practice, but he still won the title that year. The next year Peter Gethin won his only race by the smallest winning margin in F1 history – just 0.01 seconds ahead of Ronnie Peterson. François Cevert, Mike Hailwood and Howden Ganley were just half a second behind them.
In 1978, the lighting quick Ronnie Peterson died unexpectedly from his injuries after a horrible crash at the start of the race. In 1988 it was the only track a McLaren didn’t win at. Ayrton Senna tripped over Jean-Louis Schlesser allowing the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto to finish 1-2 a month after Enzo Ferrari died.
Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2002 pole speed still holds the record for the fastest lap in history – 161.263mph. The 2003 Italian Grand Prix was the fastest race ever. Michael Schumacher won at a speed of 153.842mph. And finally, 2008 saw Sebastian Vettel in a Toro Rosso become the youngest pole sitter and race winner.
So as you can see Monza has a rich, if somewhat dark history. But it is part of the F1 family and is still loved by both fans and drivers. I personally hope we never leave.