As laid-back and fun as this feature about the “behind-the-scenes” of travelling to the Grand Prix venues is supposed to be, for this Monza edition, we will have to avoid the usual clichés about Italy and Italians.
So, no mention of how good the food is, how much attention people tend to put into the way they look, or even how communicative their joie de vivre - or dolce vita for that matter, if you do it, better do it well and in the right language! - is when you actually have the time to walk around the city. Hum… should we make an exception about using clichés, just for this one?
Monza, located only 15 kilometres from Milan (the second largest city in Italy), in the Lombardy region, hosts a very dense and diversified industry, including carpets, textile, glass and plastic, amongst others. One of the first places to visit would be the Duomo of Monza, a cathedral famous for keeping the Iron Crown of Lombardy, a relic said to be beaten out of one of the nails used at the crucifixion and to have been used during Charlemagne’s coronation…
This area of Italy, and particularly Milan, is well-known for being one of the world’s most influential fashion centres. Brands like Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana all have their headquarters In Milan, making it the world’s fashion capital.
If you love football and think English supporters are devoted to their clubs, wait until you meet Italian tifosi! Two of Italy’s “big four” clubs come from Milan: AC Milan and Inter Milan. Both clubs frequently win the Scudetto (the Italian Premier League) and both play in Italy’s biggest stadium, San Siro.
When it comes to food, we won’t tell you where to start but let’s just say it is one of those races around the calendar where team personnel actually make an effort to find a good restaurant to enjoy either a nice pizza or pasta.
But in Milan, it is not all about pasta and the typical dishes include Risotto alla Milanese (yellow saffron rice), Ossobuco (veal shank) and Cotoletta alla Milanese (fried beef chop).
Before dinner, you could also indulge yourself with an aperitivo, the food equivalent of our “happy hour”. Focused around finger food, the typical aperitivo will take place between 7pm and 9pm in many bars and cafes… a good way to meet locals around a nice drink and nice food!
Coming back to Monza and the actual racing, the track is the fastest of the year with an average lap speed of 255 kph, the season average being 211 kph.
Last year, the team scored 12 points in Monza thanks to Nico’s 5th and Michael’s 9th place. Michael still holds the record of most wins in Monza with five victories in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
With the addition of the double DRS zone this year, we should be in for a fun - and fast - race… Allacciate le cinture !