This is one of the longest running events on the Formula One circuit and has been held continuously since the World Championship was introduced back in 1950. With the exception of one year it has been held in Monza, IT just outside Milan since 1922 when the Grand Prix was established.
When you arrive the Fan Zone is a place to have fun while waiting for the events to begin including music, old cars and games and of course: FOOD and DRINKS!
They had some of the original race cars on display. How far technology has come but these cars are gorgeous! So fun to look back as we enjoy today!
This year Kimi Raikkonen held the pole position but sadly Ferrari couldn’t close the deal and Lewis Hamilton on the Mercedes team took the prize. That did not make the crowd (Tifosi – pronounced [ti’fo:zi] the Italian word used to describe a group of supporters in sports) happy or my husband who was rooting for Ferrari and Kimi! The Ferrari team has actually won the most times: 19 to be exact but Michael Schumacher is credited with the most individual wins and widely considered one of the greatest Formula One drivers ever.
Italians are fanatic about their Ferrari team and the crowd (Tifosi) enthusiasm is infectious from the flag waving to the chants!
I highly suggest you do not ask your spouse or significant other what is the one thing they would love for their birthday (a big one!) anywhere in the world. My husband said the Italian Grand Prix as he has been a car racer himself and a major racing enthusiast his whole life. So off we went — of course, with some negotiation I got to stay in Italy fo 2 weeks!!
The race starts with a fly over by the Italian Air Force showing the Italian colors in the airstream. Sadly it was over the roof in the stands where we were sitting.
The race, for those who have never been to a Grand Prix, is crazy fast!!! I mean up to 210 mph!!!!! The circuit is 3.6 miles long. Luckily we had seats right between the start and the finish line.
Of course, getting there was an adventure in itself! First we had to catch a train from Milan to Monza, then a shuttle bus from the train to the park and then a crazy long walk to get into the arena and then do it all in reverse at the end of the race. Whew!!!
I will say it was quite a challenge getting tickets for Formula One as tickets are not actually printed until right before the race so we were going a little nuts trying to get them to the US before we left for Italy. Food there is a challenge as are the “facilities” but we had a great time in spite of the inclement, cold weather. Figures the only day in our 2 weeks that was not sunny and warm.
There were races all day thankfully since we got there first thing in the morning and there was even a Porsche Cup Event race in between the Formula Two and Three and Formula One events.
There is even a Ferrari store in Milan at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele where you can grab your Ferrari gear and look the part before the race! Of course, we were sporting our Ferrari shirts 🙂
All and all I would say a very happy hubby and a well deserved birthday present. If you get the chance to go to any major sporting event the crowd excitement is infectious and a ton of fun albeit very expensive!!