Built in 1922 in only 100 days by the Automobile Club of Milan, Monza is Europe's oldest permanent circuit still in use. Originally comprising both a road course and a banked oval (sometimes combined for major races until the 1960's), only the road course is used today. The impressive banking still exists surrounding the central and south end of the track today. Along with Silverstone, this is one of the few remaining tracks from the original 1950 Formula 1 World Championship.
Set in a former Royal park on the outskirts of Milan, Italy's second major city, the contemporary circuit is still one of the fastest in Europe being a series of long, straight flat-out blasts and long high-speed corners, interrupted only by the inevitable chicanes. This leaves teams to prepare the lowest downforce set up possible, to ensure the maximum speed on the straights, whilst having the minimum level of grip in the corners.
Although it survives more or less in its original layout, the track was used as a military vehicle park during World War II and suffered extensive damage through bombing. The banking in particular required reconstruction before being used again in 1948. All manner of circuit combinations were used in the 1930's and curiously this included the early use of chicanes. Long considered a classic, the circuit is worth a visit just to experience the enthusiasm of the loyal and expressive Ferrari fanbase, "Tifosi"!
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