Hitting the Apex: Autodromo Nazionale Monza

It’s Italian Race Week! Read on for everything you need to know about the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Written by Mees Drijgers

September 1, 2023

Autodromo Nazionale Monza, referred to as just Monza and nicknamed the Temple of Speed, is a motorsport circuit located near the town of Monza in the north of Italy. The circuit was built in 1922 in just 110 days, which made Monza the 3rd purpose-built race track in the world, after Brooklands and Indianapolis, and the oldest one in Europe. From 1922 onwards, Monza has hosted many different layouts. Between 1934 and 1939, a lot of experimentation with sharp corners and chicanes regarding the track layout happened.

Old layout of Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Photo via @alpinef1team on Instagram)

It wasn’t until after World War II the track as we know it began to take shape. Monza joined the F1 calendar in 1950, and ever since then it has hosted the Italian Grand Prix, with the exception of 1980, when the race was held at Imola due to Monza undergoing refurbishment. Some of the most famous corners in F1 can be found at Monza: Curva Grande, the Lesmos, Variante Ascari, and Varianti Alboreto (previously known as Curva Parabolica, and often still referred to as such).

Flyover with the Italian colors at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Photo via @mercedesagmf1 on Instagram)

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Track distance: 5.793 km / 3.6 miles

  • DRS zones: 2

  • Corners: 11

  • Elevation: 12.8 metres

  • Laps: 53

  • Race lap record: 1:21.046 Rubens Barrichello (2004)

  • Direction: clockwise

According to F1.com, Monza configuration for this year is as follows:

 

PREVIOUS TYRE COMPOUNDS

  • Selected compounds in 2022: C4 (soft) C3 (medium) C2 (hard)
  • Selected compounds in 2021: C4 (soft) C3 (medium) C2 (hard)

With 5 wins each, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton are the most successful drivers at Monza. Ferrari is the most successful constructor at the track with a total of 19 wins. Lewis Hamilton also holds the pole position record at Monza with a total of 7.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Photo via @alfaromeostake on Instagram)

The circuit is said to embody true Grand Prix racing. The track features many long straights, quick right-handers and a few short chicanes. As its nickname, “the Temple of Speed” suggests, Monza is considered to be one of the fastest tracks on the F1 calendar. One of Formula 1’s fastest ever laps was recorded at this very circuit by Williams’ Juan Pablo Montoya during a practice session for the 2004 Grand Prix. For 80% of a lap around Monza, cars are at full throttle.

 

PREVIOUS WINNERS

  • 2022 Max Verstappen

  • 2021 Daniel Ricciardo

  • 2020 Pierre Gasly

  • 2019 Charles Leclerc

  • 2018 Lewis Hamilton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mees was introduced to the world of F1 by one of her friends in July 2020 and hasn’t missed a race weekend since. Her favourite drivers are Alex Albon, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, and George Russell; outside of F1, she also actively supports Liam Lawson and Callum Ilott. She specialises in writing about F2, but is looking to specialise in FE and IndyCar as well, after starting to watch both series in 2022. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture, she is currently getting MA degrees in Translation and English Literature & Culture. When she’s not watching motorsport, she’s either watching football matches (preferably Real Madrid), reading a book, or watching streams on Twitch.

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