The 6 Hours of Monza
This week, the FIA WEC will travel to Italy for the 6 Hours of Monza: on July 18, in its third race of the 2021 season, the FIA World Endurance Championship arrives at this mythical circuit. In total, there will be 38 vehicles that will be part of the starting grid: five Hypercar, twelve LMP2, four GTE in the LMGTE-Pro category and seventeen in the LMGTE-Am category.
So far, five drivers have achieved their first victory in the WEC this 2021. Four of them are Italian: Rovera, Lacorte, Sernagiotto and Fuoco, all with Ferrari teams except for Scherer, who won the LMP2 with United Autosports USA.
Italian-flagged teams have risen to 34 WEC victories, ranking third for the most of all nations, behind only Germany and the UK. span>
Toyota Gazoo Racing's two factory teams are the dominant teams in the Hypercar category. United Autosports, the 2019-20 season champion, is witnessing the tough fight put up by the JOTA teams. So much so, that the car driven by Anthony Davis, Roberto González and Antonio Felix Da Costa has been crowned at the top after its victory in the 8 Hours of Portimao.
The Temple of Speed
For motorsport enthusiasts, Monza is synonymous with speed, risk and “Ferrari”, more specifically, the home of the Tifosi. The iconic Italian racetrack is the oldest and fastest circuit in Formula 1 history: at 5.793 km and 11 corners, Monza is also the catalyst for multiple deaths of more than 52 drivers and 35 spectators since its debut in 1922. Over the years, the circuit has evolved into 10 different variations, including the addition of the high-speed banked oval built in 1955. When it was run strictly in the form of an oval, the Monza autodrome carried out the merger of two worlds, combining IndyCar and Formula 1 cars.
The 1955 Formula 1 championship introduced the combined road and oval circuit to the world of motorsports. That version was run a total of 4 times with 1961 being the last year due to the von Trips tragedy. Since sports cars around the world were considered slightly safer at the time, they continued to run in that version until 1969.
The Italian Grand Prix has always been held at Monza and, together with Silverstone, it is the only circuit that has been present on the Formula 1 calendar in every season from 1950 to the present. The only exception was 1980, the year he moved to Imola.
The Monza racetrack is also known as "the temple of speed", and it is not for less, since its long straights allow drivers to step on the accelerator until they reach speeds that exceed the 360 km/h. The speed record on this circuit is held by Colombian Pablo Montoya in a McLaren-Mercedes, with 372.6 km/h reached during the 2005 Italian Grand Prix.
Currently, in terms of elevation, the course feels completely flat. However, it has slight changes: it retains a minimum of 140.4 m and a maximum of 153.2 m. As many of us know, the true charm of Monza lies in its long straight and chicanes.
The average speed on this circuit is 245 km/h and one of the main reasons why it is so fast is its few braking zones, more precisely three in total that are considered key to give rise to overshoots.
In addition, Monza witnessed the closest finish in history: in 1971, Briton Peter Gethin won the race beating Ronnie Peterson by just 0.01 seconds. As if that were not enough, the first five drivers crossed the finish line with a total difference of only 0.6 seconds.
Monza has given us epic battles throughout its history such as Schumacher-Hamilton, Vettel-Alonso, Gasly-Sainz, Raikkonen-Hamilton and many others.< /p>
The stands that are currently on the left side of the racetrack are relatively new, and there is still part of the old cobblestone pits where the cars used to intervene. Today, they are part of the paddock club.
If you go you can still see some of those cobblestones and if you stand at the circuit on a Thursday afternoon you can smell years and years of motoring history. Today Monza continues to be one of the most beloved circuits in the sport.
Author: Florencia Andersen
Verschueren, G., 2021. Italian F1 Grand Prix 2019 Results: Charles Leclerc Wins Ferrari's Home Race. [online] Bleacher Report. Available at: <https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2852859> [Accessed 15 July 2021].
Emparan, I., 2021. Monza Circuit (Italy) | Formula F1. [online] Formula F1. Available at: <https://www.formulaf1.es/circuito/monza-italia/> [Accessed 15 July 2021].
Harlo, V., 2021. Reader Photo: John Shingleton's Monza Pits 1981. [online] The Chicane. Available at: <https://www.thechicane.com/2013/02/06/reader-photo-john-shingletons-monza-pits-1981/> [Accessed 15 July 2021].