Not many places in the world are home to so much glory and death at the same time. Formula 1 world records, fatal crashes, socialites, rowdy fans, eager photographers, men in tears, and a lot of champagne.
2022 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the Monza Circuit, home of the Italian Grand Prix since 1949 (with the exception of the 1980 running) and one of the fastest race tracks there is. Built May to July 1922, the historic Formula 1 course near the city of Monza north of Milan is one of the oldest race tracks in the world being the third circuit after Brooklands and Indianapolis solely built for motor racing.
In 1950, after a troubled early history with lots of fatalities, Monza became host to the newly established Formula 1 World Championship of Drivers. The 1950 Italian Grand Prix was held on September 3, 1950 as race 7 of 7 in the Championship and was won by Italian F1 pilot Giuseppe “Nino” Farina. In 1961, after Wolfgang Count Berghe von Trips’s fatal crash, the famous high-speed banked section of Monza’s oval circuit was never used again and the organizers reverted to a shorter non-banked circuit. However, this did not detract from the fascination of ‘The Temple of Speed.’ In 2003, Michael Schumacher set the record for the highest average speed in a Formula One Grand Prix which still stands today.
The Alfa Romeo team before the start: (L-R) Juan Manuel Fangio, Giuseppe Farina, Felice Bonetto and Emmanuel “Toulo” de Graffenried. Giuseppe Farina became the first Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion.
Giuseppe Farina, leads Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio and Onofre Marimon through the cobblestone pavement of the famous Parabolica.
Wolfgang Count Berghe von Trips in his Ferrari 156. Von Trips and 15 spectators were killed in a horrific crash on the track. Although the accident took place approaching the Parabolica and not on the banking, the Formula One organizers opted never to race on the high-speed section again.
Race winner Jackie Stewart. The 1965 Italian Grand Prix was a classic duel between the best drivers of the day: Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Jim Clark and John Surtees traded the lead a record 40 times before Stewart overtook Hill on the last lap and secured his first Grand Prix victory.
Jochen Rindt in the pits with his wife Nina during his last practice session. A few hours later his Lotus crashed at Parabolica. Rindt died on the way to the hospital in Milan. He became Formula One’s only posthumous World Champion after winning five times earlier in the season.
Peter Gethin celebrates his victory on the podium. Next to him: BRM team boss Louis Stanley. The 1971 Italian GP was the first and only F1 victory for Peter Gethin, who beat home Ronnie Peterson by just one hundredth of a second. The closest finish in Formula 1 history saw the top five drivers separated by just 0.6 seconds on the finishing line.
A first lap multiple accident claimed the life of Ronnie Peterson at the start.
Race winner Jody Scheckter is being interviewed on the podium. It was Ferrari’s 300th start in the World Championship, and Scheckter won the 1979 Italian GP for the Scuderia.
Less than a month after the death of founder Enzo Ferrari, Gerhard Berger won the 1988 GP in Monza for the Scuderia and celebrated on the podium with team mate Michele Alboreto.
Michael Schumacher celebrates with members of the Ferrari team the first of his five victories at Monza.
Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari F2003-GA. He not not only won the race but also set the record for the highest average speed in a Formula One Grand Prix with an exceptional 247.586 km/h – a time that has not been beaten since.
Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello in the pit lane with his Ferrari F2004. Barrichello set the lap record at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and managed to round the circuit in only 1:21.046. He also won the Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel is showered with champagne after his pole position in Monza. Vettel became both the youngest Grand Prix pole position winner (a record he still owns) and the youngest race winner (a record since claimed by Max Verstappen).
Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid en route to his second of five victories at Monza in the turbo-hybrid era. Using a new specification of the Mercedes power unit, Hamilton took pole position, set the fastest lap and led every lap of the race.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly became the first French Formula One winner in 24 years. It was the first (and so far only) victory for the freshly rebranded Scuderi AlphaTauri, formerly known as Toro Rosso.
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Written by Nina Güntzel as part of our Formula 1 Series. Find this and more exclusive articles and archive photography in our Formula 1 Zine coming soon.