Monza – spectators’ experiences

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Tell us about your experiences of visiting the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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105 comments on Monza – spectators’ experiences

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  1. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th September 2008, 14:54

    I went to the Italian Grand Prix in 2007. Here are some of my pictures from the weekend:

    Italian Grand Prix 2007 pictures – Friday
    Italian Grand Prix 2007 pictures – Saturday
    Italian Grand Prix 2007 pictures – Sunday

    Monza park is a fabulous setting for the Grand Prix but it is a little bit tricky to get to. The signage around the circuit for those arriving by car was not very good. But once we reached one of the car parks there were buses provided to take us to the track. The train station is very close by and getting a train from nearby Milan is probably the easiest way of getting in.

    It’s a stunning place to watch F1 cars, though. They’re just stunningly fast down the straights. We had seats at turn one so we saw plenty of action during the race including Lewis Hamilton’s excellent pass on Kimi Raikkonen.

    A walk up to the second chicane is a must because you’ll pass under the daunting old oval on the way. At the chicane you’re very close to the track and you can see how hard the drivers attack the kerb. The Ascari chicane has a large grandstand on the outside and is also a good vantage point.

    Some people have asked me if the crowd was hostile to non-Ferrari fans. I didn’t have any team gear on when I went so I can’t comment, but the atmosphere seemed realyl friendly. That said, McLaren were ahead of Ferrari pretty much all weekend.

    The food is very good and not all that expensive.

    My only complaint was that the support races were just the usual fare: GP2 (very good) and Porsche Supercup (snore). As with most F1 events, the gaps between some sessions are very long.

    That aside, Monza is one of the very best places to watch Formula 1.

  2. Went to monza in 2008. The crowd atmosphere was good, but the facilities were very poor, toilets were in a disgraceful state, due to the rain (first wet race in 20 years) all the walkways were a quagmire and resembled glastonbury in a downpour….wasnt very impressed as this happend on saturday and by sunday the walkways were a mess and the italians completely aloof to it….not sure if we’ll go again as the facilities in general were poor compared to spa and silverstone which i had also visited in the same season previously.

    • With Silverstone and the British GP under constant threat, from Bernie, I went to Monza 2008. The weather was atrocious and it didn’t show Monza in its best light. The infrastructure and fabric of the autodrome was falling apart behind the image you see on tv. The track was cracked, cabling was lying all over the place and the marshalling of crowds and vehicles was non existent. The toilets were stomach turning and the tifosi were very anti Hamilton/McLaren. I thought what part of Silverstone is as bad as this. Has Bernie ever experienced this side of a GP. Perhaps he does from his helicopter as he arrives at the paddock?

      Having said all that Monza was fantastic. I was cold, wet, thirsty(!),muddy, uncomfortable and a little bit fearful at one point with the tifosi but it was GREAT. I’d go again without a second thought. The walk through the park to get to the circuit and hearing the engines roar up coupled with the natural passion and enthuasim of the Italian crowd.

      PS Watch out for the Police one of them grabbed my mates bottom.

  3. Philip Muscatello said on 11th April 2009, 2:37

    Hello all,

    my first post as this is my year of going to live grands prix after a lifetime of reading and TV watching.

    Went to Melbourne a couple of weeks ago and planning a trip to Monza in September. Any advice on locations and accomodation most appreciated from an Aussie returning to the mother country!

  4. Niko said on 15th April 2009, 17:56

    I am also planning on going to the Monza race this year in September, what do you guys suggest for seating? Is general admission worth it? And can you get a good seat?

    – Much appreciated Niko

    • Carlos said on 13th July 2009, 16:01

      Hi Philip, hi Niko.

      I’ve been 4 times at Monza, an also in many other circuits in Europe, and I can say Monza is one of the most beautiful and exciting places to watch a F1 race. This place is magic and sacred for those who love racing, you can breathe the history of motorsport here…

      I already been in the grandstands 6 (first corner), 5 (main straight) and 4 (main straight, start and pit lane). Obviously the most expensive (4) is the best one, here you can see the start right in front of you, the main straight from the exit of the “parabolica” until the exit of the pit lane, and all the action on the pits. The sector 6 is also great, the first corner is usually funny. The sector 5 is good, but not great comparing to others. You can see the cars passing at 300km/h, the pit lane exit, and that’s all.

      I really cannot say anything about general admission…never used this ticket. Anyway I think you can never find a place where you can see a lot of the track, because Monza is totally plain, no hills anywhere, and a lot of trees, so clearly you can see just a small part of the track if you are not in tribune….if anyone have a different experience, please let us know…

      The atmosphere at the “Parco di Monza” is superb, as long as this is one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. So don’t hurry and take your time to do a walk round the park when there’s no activity on the track. You can easily see the “walls” of the old oval circuit in the middle of the trees….awesome!

      So what else can I say? Highly recommended!

  5. Martin Rider said on 31st July 2009, 10:20

    Hi all, I have just booked up with General Admission tickets. As one of the chaps above said, i have spent al my years following F1 avidly, barely missed a race wherever i have been in the world but this will be my first time at Monza for F1 – I was in Maranello just 3 weeks ago and met Massa at the Ferrari store, just such a shame he won’t be racing. But, to see Schumi again will be fantastic – he should have got back into the groove by Monza! :)

    I’ve been to all sorts of tracks but just never thought it was worth spending the money when ITV/BBC have done such a good job of televising.

    This however just had to be done.

    Is there anywhere specific that we should look out for? Any special places to look for food? And for some reason i cannot find anything out about the support races this year so any know whats going on?

    And one final question, what kind of time should we really aim to be there for in the mornings? Queuing doesn’t bother me, but i’d like to know how long the wait is approx by car.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st July 2009, 13:53

      It’s Italy, the food is pretty good all round!

      Getting in on Friday was a hassle as the promised shuttle buses didn’t seem to be running. If you’re planning to use them, check very closely if they’re going to be available. If not, you might have to park near the circuit and walk. If practice starts at 9am I’d aim to be parking up at 7.30-8ish.

    • Martin,
      Get there early and go for the inside of Parabolica – entry or exit is your choice.
      Went there in 2004 and did a recce on Saturday of where to watch the race from and found this to be best for GA.
      Going this year as well, however, we’ll be the lads in kilts in Tribune 23 on the exit of Parabolica.
      Have a fantastic weekend! Monza IS one of THE places to watch F1 at – you’ll love it!

  6. Anthony said on 5th August 2009, 14:30

    I first went to Monza in 1998 and then went every year for 6 years so I guess that means that the last time I was there was 2003.
    Bad Points:
    1) It’s a very fast and non-technical track so often you are just seeing cars go past very quickly and not much happening.
    2) It’s very difficult to get a decent view using General Admission unless you get there at 5am on race day and find a spot and defend it!
    3) The nature of the circuit means that the cars can become spread out quite quickly so a processional race is not uncommon.

    Good Points:
    1) It’s Monza! The temple of speed. The history of the place oozes from every leaf in the park. The old banking is accessible and VERY steep!
    2) If you choose the right campsite and make friends with the right people you don’t need a race ticket. I had a couple of very enjoyable races watching from the roof of a camper van that was parked against the fence at the 1st chicane!
    3) The Tifosi. If you’re a Ferrari fan it’s great. I have been in the grandstand with the giant Scuderia flag and loved it.
    4) The track invasion and the podium ceremony at the end is brilliant – especially if it’s a Ferrari victory!

    I have heard some horror stories about problems getting to and from the track, but as I always camped there I wasn’t affected. I think if you go with the attitude that it’s a great party for all F1 fans, particularly (but not exclusively) Ferrari fans and there is also a race at some point in the weekend you’ll love it. If you go expecting to see half the track from General Admission you will be disappointed.

    My favourite year was 2002 when it was a Ferrari 1-2 and Eddie Irvine came 3rd, so it was really a Ferrari 1-2-3!!!

    • hi rab and everyone going to monza. we’re in inner parabolica 23b.will keep an eye open for the kilted boys. have a good one . go lewis!

  7. Cindi said on 7th August 2009, 22:25

    ah!

    We’re coming from the US to Monza for our first race. Very exciting. We’ll be taking the train in as we’re staying in Milan. We are likely only getting the general admission tickets as everything else is SO expensive. Getting the tickets directly from the Monza track website.

    Any must see/do besides the race itself? I know there’s a walk-about “preview” on Thursday afternoon correct?

  8. Cindi said on 9th August 2009, 3:35

    Another question,

    Can you bring your own food and drink [no glass bottles] in a sack or do they prohibit that?

    • Frode said on 5th February 2010, 20:08

      You can bring with you whatever you want. No one is checking anything.

      Monza is fantastic, says I whos a McLaren supporter :)

  9. jeff said on 9th August 2009, 12:07

    On f1.com ticket section it says the Thursday pit walk is:

    “Special deal:

    Enjoy a free pit walk on Thursday September 10 from 3-6 PM when you purchase a 3-day pass”

    That does NOT say 3-day GRANDSTAND pass, but yet I hear it is exclusive to Grandstand passes? This is really disappointing if I can’t get into the pit with my GA pass, as that’s probably the best view I will have the whole weekend of the cars and teams.

    Can anyone confirm or deny that GA is excluded from the pit walk in 2009?

  10. Anthony said on 18th August 2009, 10:29

    I don’t know about the pit-walks, but to answer Cindi’s second question I have certainly taken bottles of wine into the track without problems, although the last time I was there was 2003.

  11. Cindi said on 21st August 2009, 21:42

    Goodness this is the quiet site as everyone seems to be going to Spa instead! Where do most people stay – do they camp like at Spa or hotels?

    Is a signage to find your way around there in Italian only or also in English? Will be bringing my translation book! Can’t wait – we’re hoping the weather will be nice and not rain like we saw on TV last year!!!

    • Hi Cindi,

      Are you still going to Monza?
      Where in the US are you from? I’m in northern California.
      We have tickets for turn 24 Vedano but will not be able to attend Friday or Saturday.

    • Hi Cindi,

      I’m coming over from San Fran, used to live in Seattle myself. Anyway, I was wondering if you or anyone else has been able to find any useful info on the train service from Milan as I am staying there as well.

      I can’t wait! Ready to party in the sun, hopefully.

  12. cindi said on 29th August 2009, 3:40

    Hi Zane

    We’re from Seattle. We have general admission tickets for all 3 days. Hoping it doesn’t rain like last year – should be a great time. All us Americans will have to seek each other out :)

    I’m sure someone would take your Fri/Sat tickets on here – I just think everyone is focused on Spa at the moment!

    • I kind-of wish we would have waited to get tickets there. Even GAs would have been fine and money saved. Wasn’t sure, and didn’t want to risk not having a good seat in-case of rain.

      Spa was great! Not much of a fan of the “Ice Man” but happy to see Fisi do so well. Monz could be out-of-control if Fisi drives a Ferrari. And, clearly he can out-do Kimi.

  13. Curtis said on 29th August 2009, 11:42

    Hello All

    This is going to be my first European F1 race. I went to one of the F1 races at Indy. I saw the race where Michael S. lead the entire race and gave up the lead on the last lap as a courtesy to his then teammate Barrichello. I am from the US traveling to Italy from Barcelona. I have tickets in granstand 8 at turn 1. Seems like there should be some good action in that section. Looking forward to the whole experience at a track with such history.

    • Hi Curtis,

      Where-at in the US?

      I’m not a huge Ferrari fan but still would love to see them do well at home!

      Ambrose had his 60~laps of fame in the Canada race yesterday. Led the whole thing in the dry and wet then lost it in the last turn!
      We met Marcos at the Sonoma race last year and have been fans since. Bad luck or no luck.

    • Asa Williams said on 30th January 2011, 21:26

      Did you like grandstand 8? I’m trying to decide between 6C and 8, any thoughts about the pros and cons of each?

  14. cindi said on 5th September 2009, 3:24

    Ah yes about the train. Are you talking about going from the airport to Milan or from Milan to the track?

    I read on the Monza site that there’s a free train on Sunday only from the main station to Monza for the race. The track site is http://www.monzanet.it and they have an English option…

    Supposed to rain on Saturday per the 10day forecast so we shall see! Hope it’s as much fun as I’m imagining!

  15. cindi said on 5th September 2009, 3:27

    Forgot to add – the train is supposed to be the black line – no-stopto Biassono-Lesmo-Autodrome Station.

    • Thanks much for the train to track info.

      Nothing someone from Seattle can’t handle.

      Have a great time! GO FISI!!

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