Posted by: Kerry & Jim | 9 September 2013

The chequered flag at Monza

Being a petrol head from way back, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to one of the iconic races in Formula 1, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. This track dates back to 1922 and carries a lot of nostalgia in the motor racing fraternity – particularly those with Italian blood in their veins, they are fanatical.

The fanatics!

The fanatics!

I decided not to drive up to Monza as parking was going to be an issue and it seemed like the public transport might be a better option. I took the bus to Florence & then the train to Milan, which is only 15kms from Monza – and where most people, like me, stayed for the weekend. The train was one of the “fast trains”. We did over 300km per hour on some stretches and in this photo we were nearly at that speed.

I didn’t take any photos of the queues for the daily train/bus shuttles to the race track but they were huge. Melbourne is so much better organised in this department – after an hour or so of queuing you finally get the transport to the track, only you are not quite at the track! That is another 30 minutes walk, phew! Anyway, once there I was really pleased with my seat in the grandstand. It was covered, which was a blessing as it was really hot on Saturday & then there were a few light showers on Sunday. I was also directly opposite the pit lane with a clear view of the final corner, the finish line & the top shelf ‘Paddock Club’ and the podium. On top of that there was a big screen directly opposite to keep up to date with what was happening around the track. I was pretty happy.

The pace car was the usual top of the range Mercedes, a gull wing AMG SL – sounded fantastic.

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I was hoping our Aussie drivers would fair well and they did. Mark Webber started on the front line & ended up coming 3rd and our West Australian boy, Daniel Ricciardo, came in a credible 7th.

Australian Mark Webber at the start of the race.

Australian Mark Webber at the start of the race.

Red Bull, one & two approaching the starting grid.

Red Bull, one & two approaching the starting grid.

The starting line is pretty busy with 'tyre warmers' and oh so much techno gear.

The starting line is pretty busy with ‘tyre warmers’ and oh so much techno gear.

Off and racing.

Off and racing.

As I said, the Italians are fanatical & the Ferrari brand is everywhere – the place was a sea of red. Every Italian Grand Prix since 1950 has been held at this track so you can see why it means so much to them. After the race the crowds flocked onto the track with their flags & surged around the podium for the presentations – it was quite a sight and really fun to watch.

The first rush of fans onto the track after the race.

The first rush of fans onto the track after the race.

and still they come!

and still they come!

The winners on the podium.

The winners on the podium.

It was frustrating at times, expensive, hot, noisy, colourful, exciting, a once in a lifetime opportunity to be here & I was so glad I was.


Responses

  1. Lasting memories by the sound of it Jim!

    • Yes, it was something I had really looked forward to & was happy it all went so well.

  2. It sounds like you had a great time Jim. I’d love to get to a soccer game there one day , especially Milan vs Rome, I hear they are crazy. xx

    • The footy season has just started. Roma play Milan on 5th October, the day Felicity arrives – so we won’t get to that one. Will keep an eye on the fixtures & see how things pan out. XX

  3. Hi Jim did you leave Kerry home?

    • Hi Janet, yes Kerry stayed at home – she isn’t a big F1 freak like me.

  4. It sounds as though the effort was all worthwhile.

    • It was great Deb, I got my benzine fix.


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