Italian Grand Prix: Autodromo Nazionale Monza

The Start Line at Autodromo Nazionale Monza
The Start/Finish Line (Luca Ulk /

Monza is one of the oldest and most famous racetracks currently on the F1 calendar. The track is one of only two circuits (Silverstone the other) that have staged a Grand Prix every years since the inauguration of F1. 

The races usually take place around early September time, which means that the weather is fair and often provides a decent set up for drivers. Monza is also considered to be the home of Ferrari, which is more do with it being Italian than where they do a lot of their testing, which is at their Fiorano Circuit. 


Swap Start/End

Circuit Info

Location Length Corners Capacity Year Opened
Monza 5.793km 11 113,860 1922

Circuit Layout

F1 Monza Circuit Track Map

Monza is probably most famous for a having a flurry of straights and then heading immediately into tight chicanes. The track is 5.7km long and is thought to be one of the more brutal tracks for gearboxes, given the number of changes that are required throughout a single race. They state that cars are running on average 80% throttle throughout the entire race. 

The set up for cars at Monza is one of the most unique of the season, given they are set up with very minimal levels of drag. This is mainly down to the fact that there are so many straights, meaning that the reduction in downforce allows cars to get up to higher speeds and quicker. 

By the time a car hits the first corner, they are doing in excess of 200mph, before hitting the first chicane and pootling around at just 50mph. The dramatic drop in speeds mean this is often where the most overtaking on the track occurs, but also the most crashes and is a hot-bed for spectators to get prime seats. 

The kerbs are another aspect that drivers need to take into account of the track. They are much higher than most circuits so navigating at the right speed is imperative to ensure a quick exit. The exit speeds are something that need to be maintained as a mistake as early as the first corner can have a huge effect on momentum throughout the rest of the lap. 

Turns 8, 9 and 10 offer up another great overtaking section as cars come flying in from a long straight, have to navigate a tight chicane before then flying off for another straight. The gravel puts that surround these corners are another reason why judging these corners are crucial to a successful lap, given their unforgiving nature. 

Turn 11 is the final one of the circuit and will be taken around 135mph. Whilst it’s a sweeping right-hander for the driver, they must make sure that they get a good drive in and exit as it’s another popular spot for overtaking. Many drivers will look to slipstream here where possible, allowing a good run down the pit straight before the dive into turn 1. 

As one of the fastest circuits in F1 at the minute, Monza offers the drivers a chance to showcase how fast their cars are by almost hitting the limits. Speeds in excess of 220mph aren’t uncommon down the pit straight, with a G-Force of over 4.5 when they hit the first corner. The low speed to high speed transitions make it an exciting watch for many F1 fans, with more overtaking here than at most races. It’s also got one of the lowest number of corners of any of the tracks in rotation at the minute. 

Recent Winners

YearDriverCarFastest Lap
2017 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.23.488
2016 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.28.004
2015 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.26.672
2014 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.28.004
2013 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1.27.190

Other Races at Monza

GP3 Series Practice at Monza
GP3 Series Practice at Monza (shime /

There’s no doubt that Monza is best known for its work within Formula 1, but they have been able to host a number of other races throughout the years as well. These include the likes of the Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix, 1000km Monza, World Touring Car Championship, Superbike World Championship and the Race of Two Worlds. 


Race in 1925 at Monza
Race in 1925 at Monza (Bundesarchiv, Bild /

The first track was opened in 1922 and financed by the Milan Automobile Club. It took just 3 months to make it and with it came a 3.4 square km area of which they created a 10km circuit. But, it was decided pretty early on that the track needed to be flexible for shorter races as well, so the includes of a 4.5km loop track was also added. The first race of the Italian Grand Prix was held there on the 10th September 1922. 

Layout Issues

By 1928 the speed of the track was realised when a massive accident that killed 1 driver and 27 spectators took place. Several other deaths occurred over the next few years which prompted a change to the layout in order to reduce the speed of the cars. Two chicanes were added as a result and the longer straights were removed. 


By 1938 the track was starting to gain real recognition as one of the best and most exciting in the world. To accommodate this increase in popularity they needed to upgrade the facilities, which included new stands, entrances and a resurfacing of the track. A pause in racing throughout World War II saw the track reopen in 1948 hosting the Italian Grand Prix. 

Over the years, the track has since seen a number of changes, mainly in effort to slow down the ever-evolving race cars that were driving on it. In 1971 the Italian Grand Prix was deemed the fastest ever, which was mainly down to the fact that the track was a series of long, fast straights, with the odd chicane involved. It allowed drivers to constantly slip stream over drivers with dozens of overtakes occurring throughout the race.