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Facts and stats: Your guide to the Italian Grand Prix

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team is ready to head to Monza: the Temple of Speed and the home of the fastest lap in Formula One. Ahead of the race, we're bringing you the best facts and stats from the track.

Monza circuit

Monza is one of the most historic race tracks in not only Formula One, but also the world. Ahead of the race, we're bringing you the best facts and stats from the track.

A true cathedral to speed, Monza's Formula One history is rich in passion. The circuit was one of the first purpose-built race tracks, created in 1922 and following Brooklands' and Indianapolis's construction.

At the time, the Italian motor industry was growing, and authorities were looking to create a circuit to test cars.

Before Monza was suggested and chosen as the suitable location, the Automobile Club of Milan considered the cities of Gallarte and La Cagnola, which are also near Milan. 

The SIAS (Società Incremento Autodromo e Sport) was formed to develop the project. Plans were drawn up for a high-speed circuit, but construction was halted before it truly begun.

Several months of negotiations followed after conservationist groups raised issues, but eventually permission was granted, on the condition that the circuit used as many of the existing roads as possible to avoid excessive tree felling. 

While the track was used for military storage during World War II, the Milan Automobile Club returned to complete the track in 1948. Within two months, the track was ready to be used for its original purpose: racing.

The lowest winning grid position in Monza
The number of Italian drivers to have started an Italian GP
Farina is the only Italian to have won the title on home soil
Ferrari has the most wins at Monza

The racetrack was then used to host the maiden World Championship Italian Grand Prix in the first-ever campaign, held in 1950. Giussepe Farina went on to win the season finale, and became the first World Champion. He remains the only Italian driver to win the title in his home country.

By 1955, plans developed to turn Monza into a high-speed banked circuit. The introduction of a new short course arrived in 1959 for junior single-seater categories. It linked the grandstand straight and the opposing back straight with several curves.

In the 1961 Grand Prix, tragedy struck during the second lap when Wolfgang von Tripps and Jim Clark tangled in the braking area for the Parabolica, leading to the death of the former and several spectators.

Though the late 1990s until 2000, various changes were made to the track. This included the realignment of Curva Grande, enlarging the run-off area on the outside. The Della Roggia chicane was also brought forward by around 50 metres.

Today, Monza retains much of the same layout from those changes in the early millennium, and remains one of the most popular circuits on the calendar.

World championships have been settled at the Italian GP
Turn One is one of the best overtaking spots on the track
The Italian GP has been held at two different racetracks
Different winners of the Italian GP

Monza has also played host to some incredible on-track battles over the years.

The 1971 race featured the closest race finish of all time when Peter Gethin beat Ronnie Peterson to the win by just 0.01 seconds.

The 1988 Italian Grand Prix was fuelled by emotion. Following the death of Enzo Ferrari just a month before, the possibility for a Ferrari win seemed bleak because McLaren-Honda had won all 11 races so far that season.

But Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna both struggled, with Senna memorably clashing with stand-in Jean-Louis Schlesser, and the Ferraris were able to take home a one-two. 

In 2011, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton had an intense battle for third. Both drivers eventually lost out to Jenson Button as they fought for position. 

Schumacher had been defending against Hamilton, and things came to a head when the former cut off Hamilton at the Curva Grande, forcing him onto the grass. 

Their battle lasted 30 laps, and their duel allowed Button to pull off a superb overtake and take the last position on the podium. 

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Italian Grand Prix

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