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The Italian Grand Prix - did you know? 04 Sep 2013

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 The field head around the notorious Monza banking - used for the last time in a Formula One event. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 10 September 1961. World © Phipps/Sutton Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 14 September 2008 Ferrari celebrate a win for Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 12 September 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2003-GA.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 12 September 2003 Winner Ludovico Scarfiotti(ITA) Ferrari 312 leads Jim Clark(GBR) Lotus 43, DNF. Ferrari scored a 1-2 finish Italian GP, Monza 4 September 1966. World ©  Phipps/Sutton. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault on the podium with the champagne. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Race Day, Monza, Italy, 4 September 2005 Juan Manuel Fangio (Maserati A6GCM) leads Giuseppe Farina (number 6), Alberto Ascari (both Ferrari 500) and Onofre Marimon (Maserati A6GCM) during their battle for the lead, 1953 Italian Grand Prix, Monza Clay Regazzoni leads team mate Jacky Ickx (both Ferrari 312Bs), Chris Amon (Matra Simca MS120B), Howden Ganley and Jo Siffert (both BRM P160s) and Francois Cevert (Tyrrell 003 Ford) at the start, 1971 Italian Grand Prix, Monza Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 12 September 2009 Jody Scheckter (left), winner of the race and World Champion, and 2nd placed Gilles Villeneuve, right Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 9 September 1979. World ©  PHIPPS/SUTTON. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2012 Clay Regazzoni (SUI) Ferrari 312B took his first GP victory in only his fifth race. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 6 September 1970. World ©  Phipps/Sutton. Michele Alboreto, Ferrari, 1987

Did you know that having hosted all but one Italian Grand Prix since 1950, Monza is the most visited circuit in Formula One history? Ahead of the Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia 2013, we present a compendium of other fascinating facts and figures about the race….

• The Italian Grand Prix has been run 63 times previously, all but once at Monza. The only exception was the 1980 race which was held at Imola, a track more commonly associated with the San Marino Grand Prix.

• Monza was one of seven tracks on the original world championship calendar in 1950. Three others are still on the calendar: Silverstone, Monaco and Spa-Francorchamps.

• The first world championship race at Monza, in 1950, was run on a circuit that was broadly similar in shape to today’s, minus the chicanes. However, on four occasions (1955, 1956, 1960, 1961) a 10-kilometre track incorporating both the road circuit and the banked oval track was used. Since 1962, the Grand Prix has been held exclusively on the road course. Chicanes were introduced in 1972 to slow the cars and have remained ever since, albeit with several revisions.

• Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most Italian Grand Prix wins - five. The German is just one ahead of Nelson Piquet who won the race twice for Brabham and twice for Williams.

• Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have the best records of any current driver on Italian soil, having both won at Monza twice. Vettel’s 2008 victory was the first victory of his Formula One career and saw him surpass Alonso as the youngest winner in F1 history at 21 years, 2 months and 11 days old. The day before he’d surpassed another Alonso record by becoming the youngest polesitter ever.

• Much to the tifosi’s joy, home favourites Ferrari are the most successful team in Italian Grand Prix history. Scarlet cars have accumulated 18 wins, 45 other podiums and 19 poles on home soil. The Scuderia’s last Italian Grand Prix win came with Fernando Alonso in 2010.

• In contrast to Ferrari’s dominance in Italy, Monza has been a bit of a bogey track for Red Bull. Surprisingly the triple world champions have only recorded one podium in Italy (Vettel’s victory in 2011) since their inception in 2005 - the same as sister team Toro Rosso (whose podium was also down to Vettel, in 2008). In the same period Ferrari have seven podiums and McLaren, eight.

• The 2005 Italian Grand Prix is notable for being one of only four world championship races in history in which there were no retirements. 20 cars started - and finished - the race.

• Everyone knows Monza is fast, in fact it was the scene of the fastest Grand Prix ever in 2003 when Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher completed the race at an average speed of 247.585 km/h (153.842 mph). The same race was also the shortest full-duration race in F1 history, lasting only 1 hour 14 minutes and 19.838 seconds.

• The fastest pole-position lap in F1 history was also recorded at Monza, also in a Ferrari. This time it was set by Schumacher’s team mate Rubens Barrichello, who completed his 2004 pole lap at an average of 260.395 km/h (161.802 mph).

• 82 Italian drivers have started at least one world championship Grand Prix.

• Two Italians have won the world championship - Nino Farina (winner of the inaugural title in 1950) and Alberto Ascari (in 1952 and 1953).

• Three Italians have won their home Grand Prix - Farina (who won the first world championship Italian Grand Prix in 1950), Ascari (‘51, ‘52) and Ludovico Scarfiotti (‘66).

• The last Italian driver to finish his home race on the podium was Giancarlo Fisichella in 2005.

• There have been no Italian drivers in F1 racing since Jarno Trulli parted company with Caterham before the 2012 season.

• Rubens Barrichello holds the lap record for Monza in its current configuration - 1m 21.046s, set in 2004 in a Ferrari.

• As well as being able to boast one of the oldest races on the calendar, Italy can also lay claim to the oldest Grand Prix winner of all time - Luigi Fagioli, who won the 1951 French Grand Prix aged 53 years and 22 days. The second-oldest winner also happens to be an Italian - Nino Farina, winner of the 1953 German Grand Prix aged 46 years nine months and three days.

• In the past ten races at Monza, the polesitter has been victorious eight times. However, historically Monza doesn’t favour the pole man. In fact, in the 62 previous world championship Grands Prix at the circuit, the pole sitter has been victorious on only 20 occasions. The longest period without a winner from pole in Italy was a 13-race stretch between 1974 and 1986.

• The lowest grid slot from which an Italian Grand Prix race winner has started is 11th - that was when BRM’s Peter Gethin recorded his only F1 win in 1971. You can read all about it here.

• Gethin was also involved in the closest finish in F1 history, an event that happened at Monza that same year - 1971. The British driver beat Ronnie Peterson across the line by just 0.01s and the first five cars were separated by just 0.61s.

• Force India’s Adrian Sutil made the only front-row start of his career to date in the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. He subsequently finished fourth in the race - his best F1 result to date.

• Of the last ten races at Monza, four have featured the safety car.

• The drivers’ championship has been clinched at Monza on 11 occasions, the most recent being by Ferrari’s Jody Scheckter in 1979. It’s mathematically impossible this year, of course…

• According to Mercedes, the drivers are on full throttle for an extremely high 77 percent of the lap distance. The longest time at full throttle is 16 seconds. Drivers make an average of 46 gear changes per lap, which equates to 2,438 gear changes over the 53-lap race.

• A number of milestones have been achieved at the Italian Grand Prix over the years:

- Two manufacturers and seven drivers secured their maiden F1 triumph on Italian soil: Maserati (with Juan Manuel Fangio in 1953), Toro Rosso (with Sebastian Vettel in 2008), Phil Hill (1960); Jackie Stewart (1965), Ludovico Scarfiotti (1966), Clay Regazzoni (1970), Peter Gethin (1971), Juan Pablo Montoya (2002) and Sebastian Vettel (2008).

- Italy has also witnessed numerous first-time polesitters: Phil Hill (1960), Wolfgang von Trips (1961), Mike Parkes (1966), Honda (1968), Jacques Laffite and Ligier (1976), Jean Alesi (1994), Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso (2008).

- A number of drivers have recorded race-start milestones at Monza: Graham Hill (1968), Jacky Ickx (1976), Elio de Angelis (1985), Michele Alboreto (1987) and Kimi Raikkonen (2006) all celebrated 100 race starts in Italy. Jacques Laffite (1984) and Thierry Boutsen (1992) both started their 150th races on Italian soil, whilst Nelson Piquet became the second member (after Riccardo Patrese) of F1 racing’s ‘200 club’ at Monza in 1991.

• And finally, whilst Kimi Raikkonen’s record point-scoring streak was halted at 27 with his DNF in Belgium, Ferrari can continue to edge ever closer to McLaren’s 64-race point-scoring record at Monza. They’re currently on 59 consecutive races with at least one car in the top ten…

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