Motorsport Live offers a helpful guide to race viewing at the Autodromo di Monza, and some hints on how to get there.
For ninety-seven years, the densely forested parklands of Villa Real, Monza; have screamed with the sound of high-power engines. Synonymous with Ferrari and the Tifosi, and set within the former grounds of the Royal Palace Monza it represents a temple for many a motorsport fan. A wealthy area, rich in history and culture, there is plenty to do for the wandering tourist. Additionally, the city of Milan is located only 15 miles from the circuit, making it ideal for a long weekend breaks or longer holiday excursions.
The circuit itself is one of the oldest on the calendar. Known as the "Temple of Speed", the long straights and sweeping corners through the park are low downforce which allows the cars to reach speeds of 340kph. The circuit is also known for the phenomenal atmosphere created by the Tifosi, Ferrari's loyal and excitable fan base. This is one track every fan should have on the bucket list.
For the start, finish, and all the pre-race prep the Centrale 1 grandstand located directly on the start line, with the front end of the grid to your right is a must. Your seats here allow you to watch the opening ceremony and national anthem, and the traditional air force flyby. Soon after, the drivers enter their cars and prepare for the race start. The Italian Grand Prix has been famous for track invasions since before they were allowed by the sport, and this is also a prime location to access the circuit and get to the podium. Prices start from £137.
Alternatively, Laterale Destra 26A has a view of the back end of the grid, and the unique Monza podium situated above the pit wall. This is another great area to make your way on to the track post-race. Prices start from £110.
For action and overtaking
The main overtaking spot on the track is the first chicane, and the Alta Velocita grandstands offers a view of the breaking zone and chicane. The stands follow the curve of the old oval, so Alta Velocita 6A offers more of the breaking zone, while Alta Velocita 6C shows more of the chicane. This was a prime viewing point in 2018, with Marcus Ericsson's spectacular practice accident on the Saturday, and Lewis Hamilton's race-winning move for the lead on Kimi Raikkonen. Prices start from £90
For the more dynamic views
As the circuit is fast paced, the main focus area for a dynamic view are the Ascari grandstands. These three fast-flowing corners come together as a triple apex chicane. Drivers brake into the first turn by Ascari 13, then fly across the kerbs as they turn left then right by Ascari 15 and Ascari 16 (offering a prime view of these turns), exiting the section via the third turn onto the back straight. Tickets in this section start from £110.
For the adventurous
Monza has a great range of viewing areas for the General Admission ticket holder. With the nature of the circuit being speed, it's very important to find a viewing area around a television screen so that you can see what is happening around the rest of the circuit. Some favourite areas include inside of the Lesmo corners, and the exit of Parabolica. Prices for General Admission are great value, starting at £46.
For the that something special
There are many hospitality options at the Monza circuit that really do offer great value for money. The Race Club Lounge is situated on the first and second floor of the hospitality building, over looking the start line and pit exit. This unique view is paired with a hospitality service offering pastries for breakfast, a buffet lunch, and your drinks for the day. Additionally, there will be a Q&A with Formula 1 insiders.
An alternative option offering a change of pace is the Garden Grandstand Lounge - an outdoor area on the main straight with an exclusive grandstand. With pastries for breakfast, a buffet lunch, and your drinks for the day covered as above. There will be a Q&A with Formula 1 insiders, and other music and entertainment.
As always, the Paddock Club is available at the circuit. Operated by Formula 1, this exclusive top-of-the-range hospitality. Located in the suites above the pit garages, you are in the centre of the action. Snacks are available all day, but the foodie highlight is the finest gourmet lunch with fine wines, don't forget the open bar, including Champagne. Entertainment continues in the suites between sessions, with live music, pit walks, and a guided paddock tour.
If you're looking for something a little more exclusive, there are several other Paddock Club options hosted by McLaren, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, and 1OAK. These options are curated by the teams or organisers, and whilst offering the same Paddock Club highlights, they also offer a more exclusive experience of the race, whether they include garage tours and meet and greets with drivers, or unique party packages.
Getting Around Autodromo di Monza
The main entrance of the circuit is 5km from the Monza Centrale train station, however we'd still advise that public transport is the best way to get to the circuit. The narrow streets and lack of parking at the circuit means that the special bus service set up each day of the race weekend is the best way to the track. For only €5, the buses drop you off in the park however, traffic is not allowed through the park itself, and there is approximately a 15/20 minute walk up to the entrances.
Alternatively, people viewing from the north of the circuit may consider the special train service running from Milano Centrale to Biassano-Lesmo station, situated just outside the circuit walls by the Lesmo corners.
Monza is an amazing experience for any racing fan. The history of the circuit and surroundings, complete with Ferrari and their Tifosi, make this a race experience like no other. The excitement and energy generated by the crowds really brings this race alive. Tickets can be purchased for the full three days, or alternatively for each individual day. Please note on Friday you will only require a General Admission ticket and can then visit any grandstand (other than Centrale, that has reserved seats for each day. Don't miss this opportunity to experience a truly down to earth race experience, and enjoy a glass of local wine under the stars during the warm late summer evenings.
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