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Monza meets 60 years of Ferrari magic 04 Sep 2007

The Tifosi celebrate a Ferrari 1-2 Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 13 September 1998. World © Sutton Race winner Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari (Right) and team mate Michael Schumacher (GER) celebrate another one-two finish. Italian Grand Prix Race, Monza, Italy, 15 September 2002. World © Bearne/Sutton The Tifosi came to pay homage to Ferrari at Monza. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 16 September 2001. World © Sutton Jean Alesi (FRA) Ferrari 412T1B who claimed his first pole but retired early in the race leads team mate Gerhard Berger (AUT) who finished second. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 11 September 1994. World © Sutton Race winner Phil Hill (USA) Ferrari 156 became the first American World Champion albeit in tragic circumstances. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 10 September 1961. World ©  Phipps/Sutton.

This season’s Italian Grand Prix will be a very special one for Ferrari, as this year marks the company's 60th birthday. The Italian sportscar maker has been celebrating throughout 2007 and the tifosi can be relied upon to turn out in force at Monza this weekend to join the party.

In honour of this anniversary, we delved into the past, not just of Ferrari, but also the team’s enviable record at Monza, to bring you a few fascinating facts - including some reminders of just how incredibly successful the Scuderia have been at their spiritual home…

- In 1947, the very first Ferrari, the 12-cylinder 125 Sport, made its racing debut. That same year in May the team enjoyed their first taste of victory at the Rome Grand Prix with Franco Cortese behind the wheel.

- Throughout 2007, Ferrari have been marking their 60th anniversary with a worldwide tour. Launched in Abu Dhabi back in January, the Italian company’s 148-day ‘relay race’ crossed five continents and encompassed 50 countries and 10,000 Ferrari owners. A specially commissioned baton, created to symbolize Ferrari’s 60-years of history was passed between individual rallies.

- Monza has hosted more Grands Prix than any other venue and 2007 will see it host its 57th Italian Grand Prix. Ferrari have won 17 victories at the legendary track since 1951 with eight different drivers behind the wheel, including Alberto Ascari (1951,1952) John Surtees (1964) and Gerhard Berger (1988). Closest rivals McLaren have won eight times, whilst Williams have triumphed there on six occasions.

- Alongside Ascari, Ludovico Scarfiotti remains the only other Italian driver to win for Ferrari at Monza. Scarfiotti clinched his first - and only - victory in 1966. Forty years later Italian fans are still waiting for a compatriot to match his achievement.

- In addition to their raft of race wins, Ferrari have scored a massive 57 podiums at Monza - 37 more than their closest rivals McLaren.

- Ferrari’s ‘prancing horse’ symbol was a gift to Enzo Ferrari from the parents of Francesco Baracca, a World War One pilot who had used it on his plane. Ferrari placed the prancing horse on a yellow shield in honour of his home town of Modena.

- Ferrari’s Phil Hill was one of seven drivers to score maiden victories at Monza. When Hill won in 1960 he became the first American to win a Grand Prix.

- Michael Schumacher has the most successful record at Monza, having won there five times. Schumacher took each victory behind the wheel of a Ferrari including his historic 1996 win, which represented Ferrari’s first home triumph in eight years.

- In February 2007, a huge Ferrari logo was projected onto the world’s highest skyscraper, the 508-metre 101 tower in Taipei, Taiwan to mark the company’s anniversary.

- Monza has been the setting for some of Ferrari’s most important anniversaries. In 1952, the squad celebrated their tenth pole position and win when Alberto Ascari crossed the line. Just four years later, in 1956, Juan Manuel Fangio scored the team’s 25th pole position. And in 2004, Rubens Barrichello took the team’s 175th pole.

- Monza was also the backdrop for one of Ferrari’s most tragic moments. In 1955, two-time Ferrari champion Alberto Ascari died testing one of the company’s sportscars.

- Monza remains the fastest circuit on the current Formula One calendar. In 2003 Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher averaged 247.585 km/h (almost 154 mph) over 53 laps. In total, Ferrari have scored 17 fastest laps at the track.

- Of all teams - past and present - Ferrari have led the most laps at Monza. The Italian team has led at the track for 1127 laps since 1951. Second-placed McLaren, meanwhile, have only led for 422 laps.