Italian Grand Prix Betting

The Italian Grand Prix dates back to 1921, when three Italian drivers competed against three drivers from France at the Montichiari circuit in Brescia, Italy. After all three Italians retired without finishing, the French swept the podium with Jules Goux crowned the winner. However, in the 16 editions conducted before war caused suspension of all racing activities in 1939, Italians were triumphant on ten occasions, including back-to-back wins by Luigi Fagioli in 1933-34. It was also during this era that constructors Fiat and Alfa Romeo rose to prominence.

Following World War II, the distinguished “Gran Premio d’Italia” was soon resumed, with Piedmont native Carlo Felice Trossi winning at Milan in 1947. Since then, the Italian Grand Prix has become one of the few races featured in every Formula One season since the FIA World Championships were inaugurated in 1950. What’s more, of the 64 editions of the F1 Gran Premio d’Italia, all but one have been held at a single raceway—the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Located north of Milan near the city of Monza, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza first opened in 1922 and hosted Italy’s second national Grand Prix. It has gone through many renovations in its illustrious history, starting out with ten kilometres of macadamised road that included a 4.5-kilometre loop track and a 5.5-kilometre road track. For F1 racing, portions of the track were removed and two new bends were added for a total distance of 6.3 kilometres. The new “Monza Road Circuit” seemed to suit local drivers, as Giuseppe Farina was the winner in 1950, followed by back-to-back wins by Alberto Ascari in 1951-52.

In 1954, the raceway was entirely revamped to include a 4.250-kilometre high-speed oval with banked sopraelevata curves. When joined with the basic 5.750-kilometre course, the new “Monza Full Circuit” re-created the former 10-kilometre circuit, with cars running parallel on the main straight. Argentina`s Juan Manuel Fangio was the force to be reckoned with then, claiming a hat-trick of Italian Grand Prix victories in 1953-55. This was also when two other noted Italian auto makers began gaining attention—Maserati and Ferrari.

For fourteen years beginning in 1956, English was the primary languages spoken atop the podium at the Italian Grand Prix, led by Great Britain’s Stirling Moss with victories in 1956, 1957 and 1959 and followed by America’s Phil Hill winning consecutively in 1960-61. Other British drivers to finish first in that period were Tony Brooks (1958), Graham Hill (1962), Jim Clark (1963), John Surtees (1964, 1967) and Jackie Stewart (1965, 1969). In 1968, the winner was New Zealand’s Denny Hulme. Indeed, the only break in this monolingual hegemony was Italian Ludovico Scarfiotti’s success in 1966.

The configuration of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza has been modified five times since 1972, allowing many drivers to gather three or more victories over the years. Among them Sweden’s Ronnie Peterson took advantage of changes in the Monza Road Circuit to win in 1973, 1974 and 1976, while France’s Alain Prost could not be beat in 1981, 1985 and 1989. But before the turn of the new millennium, it was Brazil’s Nelson Piquet who gathered the most Italian Grand Prix victories, catching his first in 1980 at Imola’s “Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari”—the only time the event was held away from Monza—and then dominating on the 5.8-kilometre Monza Road Circuit in 1983, 1986 and 1987.

Monza has gradually established itself as the embodiment of Formula One racing—a track requiring speed with skill with a heart and soul all of its own. The Italians call it “La Pista Magica,” the magic track, a description most drivers would agree with. But along with some of the finest races of all time have come a number of the sport’s worst accidents. The circuit took the life of Alberto Ascari in 1955 and a chicane there now bears his name. Then, during the second lap of the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, when Count Wolfgang von Trips collided with Jim Clark, the German spun out into the crowd, killing himself and 14 spectators in one of F1 racing’s most tragic incidents. The track also claimed German Jochen Rindt during 1970 qualifying and the “Super Swede” Ronnie Peterson at the start of the 1978 race.

After 1999, the circuit was revised to its current 5.793-kilometre length and the Italian Grand Prix has been owned by a handful of drivers. German Michael Schumacher, who won on the slightly longer course in 1996 and 1998, got his third victory in 2000 followed by a pair of additional wins in 2003 and 2006. Colombia’s Juan Pablo Montoya was successful in 2001 and 2005, while Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello took the checkered flag in 2002, 2004 and 2009. Then, Spain’s Fernando Alonso led the way in 2007 and 2010, and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel beat all others in 2008, 2011 and 2013. The next installment is scheduled for 7 September 2014.

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