How many Italian drivers have finished on the podium at their home event? What record does the 1969 Monza race hold? And what did Giuseppe Farina do for the only time at the 1950 Italian Grand Prix? Here’s Monza in numbers!
The 1971 Italian Grand Prix at Monza holds the record for the closest finish in Formula 1 history. Peter Gethin crossed the line just one hundredth of a second ahead of Ronnie Peterson. Meanwhile, the 1969 event holds the record for the closest finish for the top four cars, with only 0.19 seconds separating winner Jackie Stewart from fourth placed Bruce McLaren.
Giuseppe Farina won the very first Drivers’ World Championship in Formula 1 history at Monza in 1950. He’s also the only driver to have won the F1 title at his home event.
An Italian driver has been victorious at Monza on four occasions. All of the first three Italian Grands Prix to be held as a round of the Drivers’ Championship were won by Italians. Giuseppe Farina won in 1950, while Alberto Ascari won in 1951 and 1952. The last Italian driver to win on home turf was Ludovico Scarfiotti, driving for Ferrari in 1966.
No driver has more front row starts at Monza than Lewis Hamilton, who has started from the front row eight times so far at the Italian Grand Prix. Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher are next on the list, with six front row starts each.
John Surtees is tied with Andrea de Cesaris, Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese for most DNFs at the circuit, with ten. Surtees entered the Italian Grand Prix twelve times in his career, but only finished the race twice. Both times that he finished – in 1964 and 1967 – he was victorious. Johnny Herbert has a similar Monza record, having entered nine times but only finishing once, in 1995 when he won the event.
There have been eleven races at Monza which have resulted in at least one Italian driver standing on the podium. That figure includes the 1951 event, where Italians Felice Bonetto and Giuseppe Farina shared a drive on their way to third place, and the 1950 race where all the drivers on the podium were Italian! The last Italian driver to finish on the podium at the Italian Grand Prix was Giancarlo Fisichella in 2005.
Fifteenth is the only grid slot from the top sixteen places on the grid from which a driver has never finished on the podium at Monza. The best result for a driver starting fifteenth here is fourth place – for Arturo Merzario in 1974 and Karl Wendlinger in 1993.
From the seventeen Monza races between 1966 and 1983, Ronnie Peterson is the only driver to have won the event more than once. He was victorious in 1973, 1974 and 1976. The Swede lost his life following a crash on the opening lap of the 1978 Italian Grand Prix.
In total, 74 drivers have led a lap of an F1 race at Monza, including Lorenzo Bandini, Mika Salo and Harry Schell, who each only led one lap at the track in their respective careers.
Alberto Ascari led 220 laps of Monza in his F1 career – the most of any driver. It’s a record which has stood since 1954, but it could finally be beaten in 2019. Lewis Hamilton is two lead laps away from equalling the figure.
There is a distance of 206 kilometres from Monza to the Ferrari factory in Maranello.
In qualifying for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen set a new record for the fastest average lap speed in F1 history, lapping the Monza circuit at an average of 263.588km/h. That beat Juan Pablo Montoya’s previous record from 2004 by 1.346km/h.
Riccardo Patrese scored Alfa Romeo’s 26th and most recent podium finish at the 1984 Italian Grand Prix.