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Paddock Postcard from Monza 09 Sep 2007

Luca di Montezemolo (ITA) Ferrari Chairman.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007 (L to R): Niki Lauda (AUT) with Michael Schmidt (GER) Journalist and Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007 (R to L): Piero Ferrari (ITA) with Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) F1 Supremo.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007

Familiar racing faces in the Italian Grand Prix paddock - besides regulars such as Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Christian Danner, Hans Stuck and Marc Surer - included Jean Alesi and former Ferrari team manager Cesare Fiorio.

Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Piero Ferrari also made their annual appearance.

Football and rugby were also all the rage in the Monza pit lane, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made a visit ahead of the France v Italy football match in Milan’s San Siro stadium.

Giorgio Pantano repeated his success here last year when he won yesterday’s GP2 race for Campos Grand Prix, but it was a crash-bang affair with numerous interventions by the safety car. By finishing third behind Lucas di Grassi, Timo Glock held on to his series lead.

Elsewhere in the paddock, the good news was that while Mario and Laura Acquati have closed their main Libreria Autodromo, the bookshop in the paddock that they have owned and run since the mid-Sixties, they have after all kept on their smaller ‘office’ shop to service the needs of diehard book enthusiasts. Another little bit of Monza tradition has, against expectations, been saved.