The Italian Grand Prix is one of the oldest Formula One races on the calendar. This race has been held at Autodromo di Monza since 1921. There have been 81 editions of the Grand Prix, with only a few years in that time being without the Grand Prix due to financial or contractual reasons. The race has been held at Monza for most of the years since 1922, when the track was built. In fact, the Italian Grand Prix is now synonymous with this famous race circuit. The Monza race track is located near to the town of Monza which is north of Milan in northern Italy.
There are many things about the Italian Grand Prix that fans and racing drivers alike admire. The race runs for 53 laps on a circuit length of 5.793 km and at a total race distance of around 306 kilometers or 190 miles. The race is a lot more demanding on a car’s engine than some other venues. The reason for this is the relative heat when the race is held and the extremely long and fast straights. While certain tracks may not take a Formula One engine to its maximum, Monza is certainly capable of that.
In addition to being a great track, Monza is also the home of the Ferrari Formula One team. For many people, Ferrari is synonymous with Formula One. They are the oldest and most successful team, having won more drivers and constructors titles than anyone else. It is only fitting that the team that has won the most Italian Grand Prix races (19) is Ferrari. The driver with the most wins (5) is Michael Schumacher. Most of those wins came in a Ferrari.
The race track has changed slightly over the years, with corners being modified every few years. However, the basics of the track have always remained the same and it is a truly historical Formula One race. This season’s edition promises to be as entertaining as the ones in the past. It will be the 13th race of this Formula One season. It is also going to be a huge race for Alonso and Ferrari. He will be hoping to still be the championship leader entering the race and a race win for Fernando Alonso would be something that Ferrari’s tifosi will enjoy a great deal.
The Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso goes into the race as the leading driver on the leaderboard with 164 points. In second and third place are the Red Bull Racing-Renault team mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber on 140 and 132 points respectively. There is much speculation at present around British driver Lewis Hamilton with pundits tipping him to join the Mercedes team to replace the mighty Michael Schumacher for the 2013 season. But this weekend he and current team mate Jenson Button, who both drive for McLaren-Mercedes, go into the race in fifth and sixth position, with 117 and 101 points respectively. With just 8 races remaining the title is still wide open.
An odd fact about this race is that over the past 20 years, only THREE drivers have managed to win the Italian Grand Prix AND win the Formula One World Championship. These three drivers are Vettel, Schumacher, and Ayrton Senna. So chances are whoever wins this race will NOT be the driver who wins the title, at least if history is to be believed.
After Monza there are just 7 more races remaining in the 2012 F1 race calendar with the next three races; Singapore Grand Prix on 23 September, the Japanese Grand Prix on 7 October and the Korean Grand Prix on 14 October.
By Julie Bowman