Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Monza was only the third purpose race track to be buit, after Brooklands and Indianapolis.
Built in the woodlands of the Royal Villa of Monza park, the circuit was really a tale of two halves. One half being an oval, the other a road course, and somehow those two parts have gone down different paths.
The road course is still very much recognisable from the earliest layouts, albeit with several added chicanes and reprofiled corners. The oval however had a more chequered history. Dropped in 1933, the oval returned in 1955 as a fabulous but fearsome banked part of the circuit which was used in the 1955, 56, 60, & 61 Grands Prix, but has not been used since 1969, and now lies crumbling amongst the forest.
Michael Schumacher and Lewis hamilton share the honour of being the most succesful driver at the Italian GP with five voctories apiece. Nelson Piquet has four wins, and a whole host follow him with three wins; Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Ronnie Peterson, Alain Prost, Rubens Barichello, Sebastian Vettel, Alberto Ascari (2 wins in the F1 era), and Tazio Nuvolari (all before F1).
Sadly, two of those drivers lost their lives at Monza. Ronnie Peterson died at the start of the 1978 Italian GP, and Alberto Ascari perished in testing just four days after being pulled out of the harbour at the 1955 Monaco GP.
Ferrari are by far the most succesful team at their home grand prix with 19 wins, all but one in F1. McLaren have 10 wins, Mercedes have 7 F1 victories and 9 altogether, Alfa Romeo have 8 wins, but only one in F1. Williams have 6 wins, and Lotus 5.
Amongst current F1 drivers, Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver with five wins, Vettel has three, and Alonso two.
Tifosi!!! Need I say more? Apparently yes, because in spite of the tifosi's undying loyalty to the prancing horse, and in spite of Ferrari's undoubted success over the years, attendances at the the Italian GP are only around 185,000. That's still great, but surprisingly falls below, not just the other main headline events, but also Hungary, USA, Mexico, and Abu Dhabi.