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Old 4 Sep 2020, 06:13 (Ref:3999955)   #1
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Italian Grand Prix 2020: Grand Prix Weekend Thread - Round 8

From one iconic circuit to the next, we pass to September at Monza, a Grand Prix tradition dating to 1922, a year after the first Italian Grand Prix was run once in Montichiari. With almost 100 years of the Italian Grand Prix, it is as an integral part of the sport as any, including the beloved home team Ferrari. The Prancing Horse is in the doldrums this year and with much to do to provide some cheer among the fervent and demanding supporters, known as the 'tifosi'. This is particularly the case given that Monza is the first of three Grands Prix in the country this season, with the Tuscan Grand Prix next weekend at Mugello and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on 1st November.

Monza is a high-speed blast on a pistol-shaped track through a park outside Milan, and although it is now punctuated by tight and tricky chicanes, it maintains its high average speeds due to some long straights and some key fast corners, many of which have been there since its inception. In the early days, it featured some high banking, which still stands as a relic of a bygone age, and which was recently restored. After Brooklands and Indianapolis, Monza is considered to be the third permanent racing circuit to be built.

In the Italian Grand Prix 1922, the Fiat 804s of Pietro Bordino and Felice Nazzaro came home 1st and 2nd, with the lead car completing the 80 laps in 5 hours 43 minutes and 13 seconds. Pierre de Vizcaya finished a further four laps back in a Bugatti Type 29. Nazzaro was 2nd again in 1923, this time to Carlo Salamano, both in Fiat 805s, while 3rd-placed Jimmy Murphy was the only other driver to finish on the lead lap in his Miller 122.

In 1924, Alfa Romeo P2 8C/2000s took the top four places, with Antonio Ascari winning from Louis Wagner. The next year, in a joint Grand Prix/ voiturette race, the Grand Prix Alfa Romeo P2s of Gastone Brilli-Peri and Giuseppe Campari and Giovanni Minozzi took 1st and 2nd from the Bugatti 39 voiturette of Meo Costantini.

In 1926, the Italian Grand Prix consisted of the 1.1-litre cyclecar class in addition to the 1.5-litre Grand Prix cars. The cyclecars completed 40 laps and the Grand Prix cars 60. André Morel won the cyclecar race in an Amilcar in just over 3 hours, while the only 2 Grand Prix finishers were the Bugatti 39As of Jean Sabipa and Meo Costantini in a little over 4 hours 20 minutes. Costantini had dominated up to Lap 58, but had to finish on 3 out of 8 cylinders.

Robert Benoist completed the 50 laps (500km) of 1927 in almost 3 hours 27 minutes in his Delage 15 S 8. In 1928, it was 60 laps to be conquered, and Louis Chiron was first in just over 3 hours 45 minutes in a Bugatti T37A. Achille Varzi and Giuseppe Campari were next up in an Alfa Romeo P2, while Tazio Nuvolari came 3rd in a Bugatti T35C. A terrible accident involving Emilio Materassi entering a grandstand killed over 20 spectators and the Italian Grand Prix was not held again until 1931 (although a Monza Grand Prix took place). When the national race returned, it was run in June and the Alfa Romeo team took 1st and 2nd, with Campari and Nuvolari driving the lead 8C-2300. Nuvolari won again a year later in May in the Alfa Romeo Tipo B.

Luigi Fagioli, in an Alfa Romeo B finished ahead of Nuvolari, in a Maserati 8CM in 1933, when the Monza Grand Prix was also run on the banked circuit, on which several drivers, including Baconin Borzacchini and Giuseppe Campari, lost their lives. Subsequently, a new layout was incorporated into the 1934 race, featuring two double chicanes, the southern part of the oval and the main straight going both ways, connected by a hairpin. Mercedes-Benz (Rudolf Caracciola and Luigi Fagioli) won from Auto Union (Hans Stuck and Hermann zu Leiningen).

There were five chicanes used in the 1935 edition, with the Scuderia Ferrari team 2nd with René Dreyfus and Nuvolari in an Alfa Romeo 8C-35 in an Auto Union B sandwich, Hans Stuck being the winning driver. Bernd Rosemeyer delivered another win for Auto Union in the C car 1936, with Nuvolari runner-up again in an Alfa Romeo 12C-36. In 1937, the race was run at the Livorno circuit, where Caracciola fought Daimler-Benz team-mate Hermann Lang hard to take the win in the Mercedes-Benz W125, while coming back to Monza, Nuvolari won in an Auto Union D in 1938.

The Italian Grand Prix returned after World War 2 with a street circuit in Milan and a track in a Turin park, before finding its home at Monza again in 1949, an event that Alberto Ascari won for Ferrari. Since then, the Italian Grand Prix, along with the British, has featured in every Formula 1 season.

It has gone through some overhauls, including the addition of the Parabolica curve and the abandonment of the banked track. The circuit now has three chicanes to avoid fumbling over. The Lesmos, two fast right-handers (Turns 6 and 7) are great fun for the drivers, and can reward the successful and punish those who fail, while the third and final chicane is a very fast one and propels the drivers and cars towards Parabolica. A long, long right-hander, apexing this just on point hangs on a fine thread of grip. The corner tempts drivers to barrel in there, later and later on the brakes, but they also have to get the start-finish straight right.

Monza usually features the shortest race time of the season. Michael Schumacher completed the race in 2003 in a record of 1 hour 14 minutes 19.838 seconds, and he did it a record average speed of 247km/h (153mph). In 2018, Kimi Räikkönen also set the fastest ever lap for average speed here in qualifying, at 263.587km/h (163.785 mph).

Among its dramatic records, Monza also hosted the closest race finish in history; in 1971, Peter Gethin led a six-car train across the line that was covered by a 0.61 seconds. Gethin’s margin over Sweden’s Ronnie Peterson in second was a mere 0.01 seconds.



Circuit length: 5.793 km
Number of laps: 53
Race distance: 306.72 km
Race Lap Record: 1:21.046 (2004 - Rubens Barrichello - Ferrari)
Dry weather tyre compounds: C2, C3 and C4

First Italian Grand Prix: 1921
First Grand Prix at this circuit: 1922
First World Championship Grand Prix: 1950



Join the fun in the Predictions Contest and Fantasy F1:

https://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=155000

https://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=155006
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 07:04 (Ref:3999963)   #2
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Thanks BR for the intro.... I love reading the history of the tracks that you always give us. As always, much appreciated.

Be interesting to see what effect the Qualy 'Party Mode' ban which comes in this weekend has..... will it help the ailing reds and others and how much will it affect the Mercs.
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 08:40 (Ref:3999980)   #3
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The party mode ban will certainly alleviate a bit of the Ferrari embarrassment in front of those seething empty stands.

Personally I hope Mercedes dominate more now. They worked hard overcoming that dodgy Ferrari engine last year and should reap the rewards. I can't stand mid-season rule changes like this so now I say sod competitiveness.
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 08:40 (Ref:3999981)   #4
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Thanks again for an excellent intro BR. Will be so different this weekend without the Tifosi, although there will be doctors and nurses in the grandstands, so hope there is some atmosphere from that. We'll see what party mode does.
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 09:22 (Ref:3999995)   #5
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Many thanks BR
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 10:18 (Ref:4000015)   #6
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Verstappen went off bringing out red flag
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 10:39 (Ref:4000017)   #7
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ascarracinguk should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridascarracinguk should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridascarracinguk should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridascarracinguk should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Bottas looks fast but really scrappy. that must be about 7 offs for him in this session?
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 10:56 (Ref:4000020)   #8
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Thanks for the intro BR!

Interesting how the really fast circuits show up lack of precision.
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 11:22 (Ref:4000025)   #9
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tux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I feel like a broken record at this point but yet again another F2 car has a blown engine. Every weekend this is happening. Now i accept that they've changed to the V6 & they arent going back to the old V8 BUT why are the teams accepting this? Budgets are very high as it is without constant mechanical problems.

Two years on and its still happening. https://www.motorsport.com/fia-f2/ne...47413/3128420/
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 12:13 (Ref:4000033)   #10
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I remember them having clutch problems in the series inaugural season in 05, but they got sorted in good time. Just a shame they can’t sort out the engine problem
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 12:17 (Ref:4000035)   #11
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Another good into, thanks for doing that BR.
Will be interesting race for Ferrari surely that can't be bad as some are predicting but the new williams owners must be hoping that they have a good race, perhaps even beating the Ferrari's
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 13:04 (Ref:4000041)   #12
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Excellent intro as ever.

I always look forward to Monza, which usually produces a good race, last year's was no exception. Though this year, I think it will be more Hamilton/Mercedes domination.
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 13:31 (Ref:4000047)   #13
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Great intro BR, thanks. I'm looking forward to this one, especially as there's almost always someone gets the first corner wrong off the start...
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 14:39 (Ref:4000062)   #14
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tux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Mercedes 0.8 seconds a lap faster than anyone else 😩
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Old 4 Sep 2020, 14:49 (Ref:4000065)   #15
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Vettel off at Lesmo 1 during FP2
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