Ten things to know ahead of the 2019 Italian Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Italy, Autodromo Nazionale di Monzait

Just a few days after the Belgian Grand Prix, the Formula One field returned to action at Monza for Round 14 of the championship. Italy has a lot to celebrate this weekend as today’s Italian Grand Prix will be held for the 70th time.

A nice fixture on the calendar – The Italian Grand Prix is just as old as the sport itself. The race was first held in 1950, the year the sport was established. Apart from one single year, every Italian Grand Prix was held at Monza. In 1980, the event moved to Imola, meaning that today’s race will be the 69th Italian GP at Monza. It also makes this event the most frequently visited venue on the entire calendar, followed by Monaco with 66 races.

One of the longest – While Spa is the longest race track on the calendar with 7.004km Monza is also part of the club of the longer circuit. The fabled Italian Autodromo is 5.793km long where drivers have to complete a total of 53 laps to cover the entire race distance of 306.720km.

Double chance - There will be two DRS zones in Italy. The detection point for the first zone will be 95m before Turn 7, with the activation point 170m after Turn 7. The second detection point will be 20m before Turn 11, with the activation point 115m after the finish line.

Minor changes – Monza has undergone a few modifications for 2019. The Roggia chicane has been resurfaced with its exit kerb having also been replaced with one of similar specification. The guardrail barrier on the right-hand side of the pit exit road has been replaced with a concrete wall.

Schumacher and Hamilton – The German and the Briton share the record for most race wins at Monza. Both champions have five wins to their names followed by Nelson Piquet with four victories. Hamilton could become the most successful driver at the fabled Italian venue if he wins today’s race.

Home hero - Ferrari is the most successful constructor in Italy. The team has recorded a total of 18 wins on home soil so far. Second on this list is McLaren with 10 triumphs.

Seven – That is the number of drivers who have scored their first career victory at Monza. This elite group consists of Sebastian Vettel, Juan Pablo Montoya, Clay Regazzoni, Peter Gethin, Phil Hill, Jackie Stewart and Ludovico Scarfiotti.

Five nationalities – Interestingly, the grands prix in Italy have been dominated by only five different nations since 1990. In this period of time, only drivers from Brazil, Great-Britain, Germany, Columbia and Spain have won.

Finally – Despite to Italy’s outstanding record on the Grand Prix calendar, there has been no Italian driver on the grid in recent years. Today, Antionio Giovinazzi will break this negative trend by becoming the first Italian to start in a Formula One race after an eight-year-long hiatus.

Different lengths – The race track with the longest history on the calendar has undergone many changes since its debut year in 1950. The original layout used until 1954 was 6.3km. In 1955, 1956, 1960 and 1961, the combined circuit consisting of the road and the oval circuit was used. Between 1957 and 1959 and from 1962 until 1971, the 5.750km version of the circuit was in use. For the next year, the Variante Ascari was re-profiled, making the track 5.775km long. This layout was used between 1972 and 1975. For 1976, to improve the safety of the track, some changes were completed, elongating the track to 5.800km. 2000 saw the last major changes to the layout of the Autodromo.