The Monza Eni Circuit, universally known as the Temple of Speed, is a reference point for motorsports. Built in 1922, third in the world after those of Brooklands and Indianapolis, it was the scene of some of the greatest sporting and technological innovations. Its banking is unique in the world and on its curves were written not only important pages of world motoring, but also of scientific research. The telepass, the guard rails and draining asphalt have been developed at Monza.
Among the most important recurring events, we remember the Italian Grand Prix of Formula 1 that from its foundation onwards has always played at the Monza Eni Circuit, except for the years 1937 (Livorno), 1947 (Milan), 1948 (Turin) and 1980 (Imola).
1922-1928: CONSTRUCTION AND FIRST RACES ON THE ORIGINAL TRACKS
Construction of the Monza Autodrome was decided in January, 1922, by the Milan Automobile Club to mark the 25th anniversary of the club’s founding. The building of’ a permanent, independent installation to be used for motor sports and testing was suggested by the technical and commercial requirements of the various Italian car constructors who, even then, looked toward foreign markets. The need was also felt of having a permanent installation for carrying out tests and experiments on all kinds of motor vehicles. Segments of the layout were therefore included in the preliminary project which would allow continuous running at the highest speeds attainable at the time, together with segments with a more varied conformation capable of stressing all mechanical parts.
Another stimulus was provided by the good technical and sporting results of the first Italian Grand Prix for automobiles which had been run in 1921 on the fast but poorly equipped semipermanent circuit of Montichiari near Brescia. The French driver Goux in a Ballot had established the respectable average of almost 145 kilometres per hour (90 mph) over a distance of 519 kilometres (323 miles) on this track. The only problem was to find a location worthy of the Italian Grand Prix, which aimed at rivalling the already well-established Grand Prix of the French Automobile Club, founded at the beginning of the century.
The first stone was laid by Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazzaro at the end of February, 1922, but only a few days later it was ordered the suspension of work for reasons of “artistic and monumental value and landscape conservation”. As the intricate controversy developed the argument for the absolute necessity of the autodrome prevailed, and at the end the circuit was built with features comparable to those originally called for, although with a total length reduced to 10 kilometres.
Work began on May 15th with completion date set for August 15th: 3,500 workers, 200 waggons, 30 lorries, and a narrowgauge railway 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long with 2 locomotives and 80 cars were employed. The autodrome was completed in the record time of 110 days and the track was entirely covered for the first time on July 28th by Petro Bordino and Felice Nazzaro in a Fiat 570. The circuit included a road track of 5.5 kilometres and a high-speed loop with a total lenght of 4.5 kilometres featuring two banked curves that made possible a theoretical top speed of 180-190 km/h. They were linked by two straights, each 1,070 metres long. The road and speed tracks intersected on two levels with an underpass in the Serraglio zone.
The public was received in two separate areas. The stands enclosure included the central grandstand with 3,000 seats, and six side stands with 1,000 seats each. The park enclosure included bleachers on the outside of the high-speed curves, the small south curve, and near the confluence of the two tracks.
The track was officially opened on a rainy 3rd September 1922 with Premier Facta present, a race being run with Voiturettes and won by Pietro Bordino in a racing model Fiat 501.
This was followed on September 8th by the motorcycle Grand Prix of Nations with overall factory going to Amedeo Ruggeri on a Harley Davidson 1000 and Gnesa with a 2- stroke Garelli 350 in the 500 class. On September 10th the second Italian Grand Prix for automobiles was again won by Bordino in a 6-cylinder Fiat 804.
1929-1939: ALTERNATIVE TRACKS AFTER MATERASSI ACCIDENT
In the meantime the president of the Automobile Sports Commission Vincenzo Florio had studied a new course which leaft the structure of the circuit unchanged: on the so-called “Florio circuit” with a total lenght of 6,680 metres, were run the 1938 Grand Prix races both by cars and motorcycles.
The full circuit was used again in the 1932 and 1933 Grand Prix races. In the latter year Campari, Borzacchini and Czaykowski lost their lives on the southern banked curve due to oil on the track. This accident led to the adoption of a series of alternative layouts: one of these were two artificial chicanes. As a result of all this averages were very low, the winners Fagioli and Caracciola in a Mercedes making scarcely 105 km/h. For the following two years cars returned to the “Florio circuit”, then in 1937 the race was run on the Livorno circuit, and in 1938 there was a final exhibition on the Florio circuit, which was crowned by the splendid victory of Tazio Nuvolari in an Auto Union ahead of the powerful Mercedes team.
For political reason the motorcycle races were transferred in 1932, ’33 and ’34 to Rome, where they held their Grand Prix on the Littorio circuit. They reappeared at Monza in a critical year 1935, the year of the Ethiopian war and of econowic sanctions against Italy, taking part in a purely Italian race. In that race the twin cylinder Guzzi 500 set a general average of over 170 km/h while the Rondine 500 4-cylinder with supercharger did 172 km/h on its fastest lap.
Having regained its standing as an international classic in 1936 and 1937 the motorcycle Grand Prix made it clear that, on a fast track like Monza, Italian bikes were clearly superior to the finest German products. In both these events the moto Guzzi 250, with very high averages, higher than those established in the 350 class, easily beat the 2-stroke DKW with supercharger. In the 500 class the BMW supercharged twins were beaten in 1936 by Tenni on a Moto Guzzi twin, and in 1937 by Aldrighetti on a supercharged 4-cylinder Gilera, who averaged over 177 km/h (109 mph) on his fastest lap.
In 1938 an extensive programme of modifications to the racing facilities was put in effect including resurfacing of the road course, pulling down of the two banked curves on the speed track, construction of a new and more capacious central grandstand, new pits and service buildings, and renovation of the score board installations for the public. The new track measured 6,300 metres and was used through 1954.
1940-1954: AFTER THE WAR INTERRUPTION, THE ACTIVITY STARTS AGAIN IN 1948
The war interrupted all sports activity and while it lasted the autodrome was used for various purposes including that of refuge for the Public Automobile Registry archives, some of the Milan Automobile Club’s offices, and even the animals removed from the Milan zoo.
In April, 1945, the grandstand straight was host to a parade of Allied armoured vehicles, which broke up the track. A little later, large areas were used for storage of military vehicles and war surplus. At the beginning of 1948 the Milan Automobile Club decided on complete restoration of the autodrome. The major Italian events for cars and motorcycles in 1948 were held on the Valentino circuit in Turin for cars, and at Faenza for bikes.
In only two months, structures were put back in order and the modifications planned in 1938 and never put in effect were finally applied.
That same year the reborn Monza Autodrome held the autodrome Grand Prix on October 17th, a Formula 1 race which was won by the Frenchman Wimille with an Alfa Romeo 158. One week later the short autumn season ended with last race of the Italian motorcycle championship.
It is difficult to make a technical comparison between the new road course and the last “Florio” with its chicanes prepared for the 1938 Grand Prix. The period witnessed numerous formula changes for Grand Prix cars with the 1,500/4,500 cc Formula 1 up to 1951, the 2,000 cc Formula 2 in 1952 and 1953, and the new 2,500 cc Formula 1 in 1954. Contrarily, motorcycling results are a clear indication of the increased speed achieved, first by progressively increasing specific power, and second, mainly by having continuously more complete recourse to aerodynamic fairings. The 188 km/h (117 mph) fastest lap made by Sanesi with an Alfa Romeo in the automobile Grand Prix, and especially the lap averages made in the motorcycle Grand Prix – 177 km/h for the 125 cc, 144 km/h for the 250 cc, 160 km/h for the 500 cc – showed that the new road circuit had to be considered faster than the “Florio circuit” of 10 years before.
In the meantime the activies of the autodrome had been enriched by a number of events including the Inter Europe Cup for Touring cars introduced in 1949, the Autodrome Grand Prix reserved for Formula 2 single- seaters (except in 1953 when it was run with International Sports Cars).
In 1954the Supercortemaggiore Grand Prix was held, a 1,000 kilometre race sponsored by Italy’s major oil company and reserved for Sports category cars up to 5,000 cc. This race was won that year by Mike Hawthorn in a Ferrari and the second year by Jean Behra in a Maserati.
1955-1971: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE HIGH SPEED TRACK
In 1955 it was decided to undertake works which would transform the entire installation, making it more functional. A circuit with total lenght of 10 kilometres was put back in use including, like the original 1922 plan, a road section and a high-speed section meeting the new competition requirements and suitable for record attempts. A loop with two banked curves was built following the 1922 plan and there was an intersection with the road circuit similar to the original one. Concerning the road course, lenght was reduced by shortening the central straight and the grandstand straight and building on the south a curve with a single pitch and a slight cross slope. This curve had an increasing radius toward the exit and was called the “parabolic” for this reason. The lenght of this course was 5,750 metres .
The new high-speed track was 4,250 metres long and was built on reinforced concrete structures instead of an earth embankment as originally. The two big banked curves with radius of 320 metres and superelevation with slope increasing progressively to 80% in the top band were calculated for theoretical top speeds of approximately 285 km/h.
Other improvements to the facilities were:
– the construction of two large towers with luminous scoreboards set at the sides of the central grandstand and fourteen steel towers (seven along the road circuit and seven along the high speed track) to give the race positions along the track
– new race control offices
– 39 promotion stands
– a two-storey press pavilion
– removal of the stand that had stood outside the now obsolete “porphyry” curves.
The circuit was used for the Italian automobile Grand Prix races in 1955, 1956 1960 and 1961. The high-speed track, in addition to numerous record attempts by cars and motorcycles, was used in 1957 and 1958 for the Monza 500 Miles races open to Indianapolis Formula cars and counting for award of the Two Worlds Trophy offered as prize by the Monza City Administration.
Jimmy Brian with his Dean Van Lines Special won two heats out of three and won the competition with a general average of 257.594 km/h and fastest lap of 282.809 km/h. The following year Italian car constructors entered two Ferraris (a 4,000 cc and a 3,000 cc) driven respectively by Luigi Musso and Harry Shell, and a very special Maserati sponsored by the Eldorado icecream company and driven by Stirling Moss. Musso achieved the best time in practice with an average of 281 km/h and, with the collaboration of Mike Hawthorn and Phil Hill, the car placed third in the final classification, Moss with the Maserati-Eldorado taking seventh. Jim Rathmann won with his Zink Leader Gard Spl. at over 268 km/h average.
But developments were different for the Formula 1 single-seaters, new construction techniques imported from England such as rear engine, monocoque or in any case very light bodies, which were unable to resist the stresses of the banked curves, began to gain acceptance in those very years.
The tragic 1961 Italian Grand Prix that cost the life of Von Trips in a Ferrari and eleven spectators, marked the end of the use of the high speed track for Grand Prix single-seaters.
But it was used for the Monza 1,000 Kilometre, reserved for the Sports, Prototype and Grand Touring categories, from 1965 to 1969. The first of these races run on the track without chicanes was won by Parkes-Guichet in a Ferrari 330 P2.
Starting in 1966 there were two permanent chicanes at the entrance to the banked curves and the course was 100 metres longer. Winners of those races were Surtees-Parkes in a Ferrari 330 P2 in 1966, Bandini-Amon in a Ferrari 330 P4 in 1967, Hawkins-Hobbs in a Ford GT 40 in 1968, and Siffert-Redman in a Porsche 908 in 1969. In 1970 the 1,000 Kilometre was moved to the 5,750-metre road circuit and the first edition was won by Rodriguez at the wheel of the Porsche 917.
1972-1978: CHICANES AND VARIANTS TO REDUCE THE HIGH SPEED
In 1969, the Italian Grand Prix came to a close finish. In 1970, Regazzoni managed to break away from the group, taking the lead a few laps from the end. In 1971, there was again a close finish with five grouped cars in a space of a few yards. As already mentioned, these carousels took place at general averages near to 250 km/h.
Consequent to this development of cars and in concert with the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association), two chicanes were built in 1972 for the purpose of reducing speed at the entrance to the fastest curves on the track, the “Grande” curve at the end of the grandstand straight and the “Ascari” curve. On this 5,755 metre circuit, the lap speed achieved with the single-seaters fell to a little less than 216 km/h. The highest lap average obtained on this circuit (223,501 km/h) was that of Clay Regazzoni on a Ferrari in 1975.
The chicanes, however, proved to be a makeshift solution and were responsible for numerous accidents and collisione, although not serious.
And then, just as the cars had done, motorcycles too, at the end of the seventies, adopted large tyres with high adherence-coefficient compounds, and later with smooth-treads which, as they let riders lean over further, improved speed in the curves while considerably increasing the risk of falling and hence the number of accidents.
But the motorcycles continued to use the road track without chicanes and, in the first half of 1973, there were two serious accidents on the “Grande” curve. The first happened in the Grand Prix of Nations; shortly after the start of the 250 class Renzo Pasolini had a piston seizure which caused many to fall and in which Pasolini himself and the Finnish rider Jarno Saarinen lost their lives. Forty days later, in a juniores race the “gentlemen ” riders Chionio, Galtrucco and Colombini fell and were fatally injured at the samepoint.
From then until 1981, the motorcycle Grand Prix was transfered to another circuit and bikes raced at Monza only on the junior track for minor championships. In this sport, too, extremely high speeds were achieved with Pasolini exceeding a lap average of 200 km/h with a 350 cc.
Following the serious situation created for cars, which showed the ineffectiveness of the chicanes, in the three following years important work was undertaken to replace them with three layout changes or variants to slow down the track. In 1976, to replace the chicane located on the grandstand straight, a variant was created to reduce speed in that section to about 100 km/h at the inlet and 120 km/h at the end. Top speed on the approaching straight of the “Grande” curve was thus reduced from over 300 km/h to about 180 km/h. At the same time, another variant was built at approximately 300 metres from the entrance to the first Lesmo curve, forcing reduction of top speed in the following straight from 280 km/h to 180 km/h.
These variants, which brought the length of the road track to 5,800 metres, considerably reduced practicable speed.
Ronnie Peterson on a March won the Italian Grand Prix that year at 199.749 km/h and recorded a fastest lap of 206.120 km/h, a speed improved by Mario Andretti with a Lotus in 1977 (210.696 km/h) and 1978 (212.562 km/h).
1979-1988: NEW WORKS TO UPDATE THE CIRCUIT
Complying with the request of FOCA (Formula One Constructors’ Association), the pit area was restored:
– the number of pits was increased from thirty to fortysix
– a paddock and a scrutineering enclosure of over 9,000 square metres were created behind the pits
– the front pit corridor was broadened from 9 to 12 metres and divided in three lanes.
The buildings are of outstanding beauty and, despite their size, are in harmony with the surrounding park. In this regard, the then President of the FIA, Jean Marie Crossbows, said: “To protect the environment, an amazing building was made with intelligence, creativity and passion, a work that do justice to Italy, to the world championship, to motor sport “.
As regards safety measures:
– enlargement of the external verge in the approximately 300-metre section from the “Grande” curve to the Roggia curve, consequently shifting the existing Dunlop bridge (then Campari), and along the last 300 metres of the Parabolic curve, here again installing sand beds and tyre barriers.
– the kerbs on the inside of all the variants were replaced by new lower ones with a less sharp profile.
– improvements to the protections in the area of the second Lesmo curve, by moving the “guardrail”
– creation of a service road for emergency vehicles that arrives up to the curve of the Seraglio.
Meanwhile the press room was enlarged, it was built a terrace bar and the renewal of facilities continued in subsequent years.
– 1982 construction of a new podium
– 1983 enlarging of the paddock area by 350 m
– 1983-85 replacement of all the stands overlooking the central straight on both sides of the central grandstand capable of accommodating 8.943 people
– 1985 reinforcement of the crowd control system along the entire length of the circuit
– widening of the run-off areas at the entrance and exit of the junior track link
– construction of a new campsite building to be used as reception centre, offices and shop
– 1986 repaving of 20.000 sqm of paddock area, 3.500 sqm of which with ecological paving bricks
– 1987 rebuilding of the Lesmo stand roof, which had collapsed under the weight of an exceptional snowfall
– 1988 replacement of the stands overlooking the south curve with a new covered stand able to accommodate 2.500 people
– 1988-89 replacement of the catch fences with tyre barriers and trebling of about 3.000 m of guardrail to improve track protection.
The Italian Grand Prix was the greatest attraction for the public during this period, a race run on the road track of 5.800 km, unchanged since 1976.
In 1979, Ferrari got back to winning with Scheckter at an average speed of 212.185 km/h. With this success, he acquired the title of world champion in the Formula 1 drivers championship. In 1980, the Grand Prix was run on the Imola circuit, and won by Piquet on Brabham. In 1981, the Grand Prix, back at Monza, was won by Prost on Renault. The fans’ enthusiasm was steadily kindled by the struggle between Ferrari, Renault, Brabham, McLaren, Williams, and other famous teams, who, with their turbo charged engines, determined a notable increase in specific power output and, therefore, a considerable increase in average speeds. If, in fact, in 1982 Arnoux won the Grand Prix on Renault with an average speed of more than 219 km/h, in 1987, after a constant increase of speeds year after year, Piquet won on his Williams with an average speed of 232 km/h.
The last success of a supercharged engine in Monza belongs to Berger’s Ferrari, followed by his team mate Alboreto in 1988, a.few weeks after the death of Enzo Ferrari. To be mentioned the three victories by Piquet (in 1983 on Brabham, in 1986 and 1987 on Williams), by Lauda (1984 on McLaren) and by Prost (1985 on McLaren).
Other important sport events of this period were the classic “1.000 Km-Caracciolo Trophy” race which was dominated by Porsche from 1983 to 1986 and by Jaguar in 1987 and 1988. In 1988 a F3000 race was run in Monza for the first time, a genuine proving ground for those hoping to break into Formula One, and for four times (1981, 1983, 1986, 1987) the big motorbykes of the world championship were in Monza with the Grand Prix of Nations that saw the predominance of the Japanese constructors (Yamaha and Honda) in the bigger cilindrates, among which the half-litre, 4-cylindre ones went over 190 km/h in the fastest lap. The leaders of these races were the American riders Roberts, Spencer and Lawson and the Australian Gardner. The European flag was kept flying by Italy’s Garelli 12-5S, and during the 1988 Grand Prix Fausto Gresini set a la record of 168 km/h.
1989-1997: THE NEW PIT COMPLEX AND THE INTERVENTIONS FOR THE SECURITY
In 1989, work finally began on the new pits complex, as required by FISA and FOCA. The new pit complex has an area of 2,532 mq and measures 196.3 metres in length and about 12.9 metres in width. The first floor has a practicable terrace-roof. The basic principle of the design derives from a constructional system made up of a series of steel uprights set at 24-metre intervals and capped by recticular steel girders to which the horizontal structure elements are suspended. The image is therefore one of a high-tech construction whose appearance gives an impression of remarkable visual lightness. The slant of the glass-wall facing the track fulfils three important functions: it prevents the suns rays from dazzling the drivers, it helps reduce beat transmission towards the interior, and it affords a better view of the lane where cars stop.
The pit system is made up of 48 modular units, suitable for 16 Formula 1 two-car teams.
On the first floor, completed on the summer of 1990, there is a press room suitable to accomodate 370 journalists, with offices and roomsfor telephone and fax services. Moreover, there are offices for the organisation and other services and hospitality rooms. The roofterrace is reserved as a hospitality area and it also houses photograpbic laboratories.
In 1989 among other interventions to improve technological systems. Concerning services directly related to the sport events, a part of the central grandstand formerly occupied by the press stand is now equipped with 36 sound-proof booths for TV and radio commentators, which can be temporarily increased to 45 for major events. The medical centre has also been enlarged and is now equipped with 3 first-aid rooms and 2 intensive care units.
The renovation work was also extended to the new direction offices: offices for the Italian Sports Commission (CSAI) and other structures have been created. Renovation work also included improvement and/or extension of technological installations. Among these, the most outstanding is an integrated system for the gathering, processing and transmission of data as well as for the remote control of the closed-circuit television system and for the connection of track telephone sets, with the renewal of the related equipment. A cutting-edge system that, through a series of 31 detection points and two lines of cables adapted to transmit radio-frequency signals, runs to the left of the track and allows to instantly provide all the information related to the cars in the race (positions, velocities, analysis of the times lap by lap and for each section of the circuit). The integration of this system with closed circuit television allows to automatically follow the car from the pits over the entire development of the track. This service may be implemented for a maximum number of 48 cars that run simultaneously on the track.
These are the years of Prost, Senna, Mansell, Schumacher and Villeneuve. In particular, in ’97, Michael Schumacher was presented at Monza as leader of the world championship with Ferrari drivers and the same position among manufacturers, which had not happened since 1979, the year when Jody Scheckter won the Grand Prix of Italy and then the World Championship. A record number of spectators, about 180 thousand people attended the trials and the race was won by David Coulthard with McLaren Mercedes. As for the Formula 1, the track record belong to Jean Alesi, who in 1997 won the pole position at an average of 250.295 km/h, and Mika Hakkinen, who, also in 1997, made the fastest lap of the race the average of 244.929 km/h. The record belongs to David Coulthard on the distance with an average of 238.036 km/h.
As for the sports cars, the delay in the construction of new garages, due to difficulties in obtaining permissions, forced to cancel the 1989 Trophy Caracciolo, then resumed from ’90 to ’92.
In 1990 they returned to the F3000 and World Superbike motorcycles, which later became an annual event calendar Autodrome.
In this period races continued: F3 Grand Prix Lottery, touring cars and Superturismo of CIVT related to Carri Cup, Coppa Intereuropa with vintage cars, F Junior Trophy Cadets, and finally rally. In 1997 the Sport cars returned for a new edition of the Thousand Kilometers – Trophy Angiolini, while among the minor categories, after the series F Alfa Boxer and F2000 have finished in ’95, ‘Cup races were held at Monza: they involved the brand Renault, Ferrari and Porsche. Finally the Italian Prototypes Championship, slalom races and “club” of motorcycling.
Moreover the Autodromo still be a great center for leisure and other sports including the non-competitive foot race “Formula One”, the multi-sport festival, races for cars, bicycle races, auctions for cars, a fair featuring antiques and modern and a great exhibition of new car models, called Motormonza, with the possibility of track testing.
1998-TODAY: NEW HOSPITALITY BUILDINGS AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL MODERNIZATIONS
– Redefinition of the second Lesmo curve, with a new “elbow” configuration and with a tighter radius (36 meters) than the previous one. In this way, the speed of the curve was reduced considerably.
– The “Grande” curve was shifted to the inside of ten meters and this has resulted in the reduction of its two radii, up from 325 and 450 meters, respectively, to 290 and 395 meters.
– The “Roggia” variant has been moved up of about 50 meters so it has wider edges.
– The entire section of the two Lesmo curves, from the entrance of the first to the exit of the second (straight included) was set back towards the inside track of about fifteen meters to increase the space of escape.
– The first curve became narrower and its radius increased from 98 meters to 75, while the second, with a radius increased to 35 meters, has remained almost identical to that designed the year before.
After this improvements the total development of the circuit was 30 meters shorter than the previous 5,800 meter (now 5,770 meters).
Others work in the biennium 1994-1995:
– new medical center larger, modern and easier to reach from the pits
– heliport rescue
– the road surface was resurfaced and made more flat and smooth in the section which runs from the Ascari variant up to the proximity of the first variant
– new curbs on the track (in particular at the Ascari and Roggia variants)
– enlargement of the escape way of the first variant
– the wall of the pit lane was raised of 50 cm.
The works, as a whole, cost about 5 and a half billion pounds. For every tree cut was envisaged the planting of three trees in other areas of the Autodrome for a total of 555.
In summer 2000, the first variant has been redesigned from an “S” curves with a left-right-left, into a right-left double bend tighter and slower. The straight line between the entrance and the exit of the “Roggia” curve was extended of 10 meters. These two changes have brought the length of the track from 5,770 meters to 5,793 meters.
The works to renew and enlarge Autodromo’s structures continued between 2001 and 2003 and now the structures have improved from the point of view of sporting functionality and hospitality.
The pit complex has been extended with a 50 m bay which allowed to increase the team pits from 48 to 60 and to obtain new areas at the first floor for various services and the race control. Another big change was the renewal of the Press Room which is now equipped with 540 seats for journalists in addition to the areas for the press room, the telecommunication room and other service room. The press room is dedicated to the memory of Tazio Nuvolari, the great car and bike driver who died in 1953.
Then a completely new paddock was realized for the support races, behind the F1 paddocks, with access from the track on the central straight.
Among the various changes there is the 4 m enlargement of the pit lane and the change of location of the “village” with shops, bar, and the back counter in the former festival pavillon. The old area of the village is now part of the paddock, where there is still the restaurant building which is now used as room for photographer for the main events.
After two radical interventions in 1989-1990 and in 2001-2002 Autodromo changed completely its shape in the pit area, the one which characteristics the plant for the motor sport.
It is easy to define F1 world at the beginning of the century: a great series of success for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, who granted himself and the team five world titles for Drivers and Constructors. This resulted in Ferrari having won nine Constructors Titles since 1958 (year of foundation) and seven titles for Schumacher.
In the last years the Italian GP was conquered twice by Michael Schumacher (in 2000 and 2003), once by Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel of Williams BMW (in 2001) and twice by the other Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello (in 2002 and 2004).
In the meantime speed has increased. As a matter of fact in 2003 Michael Schumacher won with an average speed of 247.585 km/h while in 2004 Rubens Barrichello set the lap record during the race with 1’21’’046with an average speed of 257.320 km/h.
Therefore Monza confirmed itself again as the world’s fastest track, the authentic “temple of speed”.