2014 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix
Nowhere do Formula One cars go faster than at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Other classic circuits have been shackled down the years but Monza remains unbound: the home of ultra-high speed racing and a unique challenge that requires teams to design a bespoke aerodynamic package.
The skinny-wing, low downforce cars brought to Monza ensure it holds all the speed records: fastest qualifying lap, highest average race speed, highest top speed. Recent history suggests the latter is the least important with winners at Monza often being near the bottom of the chart through the speed-trap: speed onto the straights in the metric that matters most, not speed at the end of them.
Given the pace of the cars, the Italian Grand Prix is naturally the shortest-duration race of the year. An hour and twenty minutes is a good benchmark with the record being less than an hour and a quarter. There’s no sense, however, that the fans swarming the circuit feel short-changed by this as Monza remains the most passionate and boisterous grand prix of the year – with the podium ceremony held out above the cheering, singing crowd a highlight in its own right.