The Italians are huge fans of motorsports, including Formula One. The Italian Grand Prix is one of the longest standing fixtures in the Formula One racing calendar. Italy has been the location of some of the most exciting races in motorsport history. It has also been the setting for some of the greatest motor racing tragedies of all time.
The First Italian Grand Prix
The first Grand Prix race in Italy took place at a track close to Brescia. The race took place on 4th September 1921. This track was originally used for the Gordon Bennet races during the 1900s. The circuit of the track was 10.7 miles in length.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Completed in 1922, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza was the third permanent autodrome in the world. The others were in Indianapolis in the United States and Brooklands in England. The last two bricks of the structure were laid by Felice Nazzaro and Vincenzo Lancia, both pioneers of European motor racing.
Although Brescia was home to the first Italian Grand Prix, it is Monza that is connected with this event as more of the Italian Grand Prix have been held here than at any other location with a grand total of 66 Formula 1 Grand Prix races taking place.
There are three different Monza circuits; the Monza Road Circuit, the Monza Full Circuit, and the Monza Floria Circuit.
Although the Autodrome Nazionale Monza is home to the most Italian Grand Prix, there are many other locations that have been used over the years.
- Autodrome Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola- 1980 Italian Grand Prix and the San Marion Grand Prix 1981-2006
- Livorno Street Circuit, 1934-1937
- Milan, a fairground park, 1947
- Valentino Park, Turin, 1948
Years With No Event
It is worth noting that the Italian Grand Prix every year. Following a tragic accident, there was no Italian Grand Prix in 129 and 1930. Similarly, the event did not take place at all between 1939 and 1946. This was because of World War II. The first Italian Grand Prix that took place after the war was 1947.
Italian Grand Prix Tragedies
Unfortunately, the Italian Grand Prix is associated with many racing tragedies. In a racing battle between Foresti and Materassi in 1929, the pair made contact and Materassi left the track. Materassi and 27 spectators were killed in this tragedy and a further 26 spectators suffered injuries in the accident.
Tragedy struck again in 1933 when three top drivers were killed during the heats. Giuseppi Campari, Baconin Bozacchini and Stanislas Czaykowski all lost their lives at the event.
The 1947 event was held at a fairgrounds park in Milan. It was here that Giovanni Bracco came off the track and plowed into the crowd. Five spectators were killed in the incident.
- Main Image: 1975 Italian GP [Wikipedia]