Grand Prix 2021 Italian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The Autodromo Nazionale Di Monza is the third oldest purpose built race track in the world. Constructed in 1922 after Brooklands and Indianapolis, its motorsport history is a long and, in many cases, tragic one.

Like Brooklands and Indianapolis, the circuit was famed for its high banked oval circuit which, when combined with the outer road circuit made up 10km of bumpy, fast, and often deadly racetrack.

The 1961 Italian Grand Prix should have been a joyous occasion for the Tifosi, the band of Ferrari fans who create a sea of scarlet around the track at every Italian GP, with either the American Phil Hill or the German Wolfgang (Taffy) Von Trips set to take the world drivers title. Neither Ferrari driver could be caught by anyone else and the title battle would be decided between them.

Going into the race Trips had 33 points with Hill behind on 29. This was a time when the scoring system was made more complicated by only the best 5 of 8 results counting. While Monza was the 7th of 8 races no other driver could catch Hill or Von Trips in the standings.

It’s incredible to think that 37 cars attempted to qualify for the race with 32 managing to come in under the 115% percent cut off time from the second fastest driver. This rule had been in place for the whole of the 1961 season, and there you all were thinking the 107 percent qualifying rule was a new thing? Von Trips qualified fastest ahead of the Ferrari’s of Rodriguez, Ginther and Hill. All 4 cars were separated by 0.9 of a second which in those days was incredibly close. Graham Hill qualified in fifth a distant 2.4 seconds from pole.

When the flag dropped on race day the four Ferrari’s raced off the line however, Jim Clark, his Lotus using shorter gearing than the Ferrari’s squeezed his way through and briefly held second. Von Trips didn’t get away well and as the cars completed lap one, Hill lead from Ginther, Rodriguez and Clark with Brabham, Von Trips and Baghetti chasing hard behind.

Part way through the second lap, Von Trips had managed to force his way through and ahead of Clark and was now running in 4th. On the approach to the Parabolica corner Clark made his move to try and retake the position. In Clark’s words:

“I was preparing to overtake him and my front wheels were almost level with his back wheel as he started to brake. Suddenly he began to pull over towards me and he ran right Into the side of me. I honestly don’t think Taffy realised I was there. I am sure that, when he passed me earlier, he had decided that his was the faster car and I would be left behind”

The contact between the cars forced Trips Ferrari left and towards the packed crowd. As the car span out of control it slid up the high banking beside the track, suddenly digging into the ground it flipped and slammed through the chain link fence and through the crowd. Flipping over again, the car the car slithered back onto the track. Von Trips had been thrown out of the car and, along with at least 11 other spectators, died at the scene. Several more would die of their injuries over the next few days and, while the official figure was listed as 15 spectators killed, the precise number is not known.

Remarkably, while some of the drivers became aware that an accident had occurred, most at the circuit, including the commentators were unaware of the true scale of the accident. The race was not stopped, and it has since been claimed that this was due to the race organisers not wishing to flood the area with spectators attempting to leave the track prohibiting the emergency services from accessing and helping the injured. Whether this is the case it’s hard to say.

Hill raced on, now aware that his teammate was out, he swapped the lead with Richie Ginther on a number of occasions over the first half of the race and then, one by one, the Ferrari’s pulled out. Baghetti, Rodriguez and then Ginther all pulled out with mechanical trouble until Hill lead alone to cross the line and take the world title.

After the race, Jack Brabham, who had witnessed the crash confirmed that neither Clark or Von Trips had been racing each other dangerously and Brabham defended Clark in the fullest saying that you could be quite confident that he wasn’t going to do something stupid when you raced hard against him.

Hill climbed out of the car to discover the tragic news and, despite this being the pinnacle of his motor racing career there would be no celebration. Ferrari withdrew from the final GP of the season and, while Phil Hill would remain with the team for the following season he would never win for the Scuderia again and he slowly drifted away from F1 and into a career in sports cars.

Incredibly, this would not be the last time that Monza would see tragedy decide the title. In 1970, world championship leader Jochen Rindt lost his life when he lost control of his Lotus 72. Team Lotus were attempting to run their cars without the normal front and rear wings. Rindt’s teammate, John Miles had already reported handling issues with the car in this format, frightening himself and telling Colin Chapman that the car wouldn’t run straight. Rindt however was happy with the set up and, on Saturday ran the car with longer gear ratios to increase the top speed even further. As with Von Trips, on the approach to the Parabolica corner the car suddenly snapped right, then left and right again before finally snapping to the left and through the poorly fitted guard rail. Rindt died on the way to hospital but by this point had already amassed enough world championship points that by the end of the season he would be crowned F1’s first and thankfully so far only, posthumous world champion.

Fate wasn’t done with Monza though and it had one last cruel hand to play in deciding a world championship. The circumstances surrounding the 1978 Italian Grand Prix are so tragically similar to the 1961 race it is remarkable.

Going into the 1978 race, Lotus and their “ground effect” Type 78 and Type 79 cars had dominated the season in the same way that Ferrari had with their 1961 car. Again, as in 1961, only two drivers could win the world title. The American Mario Andretti and his teammate Ronnie Peterson. On this occasion, Gianni Restelli, the man responsible for starting the race, did so before the cars at the back of the grid had come to a complete stop after their warm up lap. As a result, the cars towards the rear of the grid were up among the front runs almost instantly. Approaching the first corner, absolute carnage ensued. James Hunt, avoiding the fast starting Ricardo Patrese collided with Peterson sending his Lotus spinning into the barriers. Seven other drivers were involved in the collision, all coming to a halt. Peterson’s car caught fire on impact and he was trapped in the car. Vittorio Brambilla had been hit on the head by a detached wheel and knocked unconscious. Hunt, Clay Regazzoni and Patrick Depailler dragged Peterson from the wreckage before he could receive anything more than minor burns however, he’d suffered multiple fractures to his legs. Sadly, Peterson was using the older type 78 which was his spare care because his normal race car, the newer type 79 had suffered problems over the weekend and Lotus didn’t have enough type 79 chassis at that point. The 79 had a different front end and it’s possible that had Peterson gone off in that car his injuries may well have not been as severe. It took over 20 minutes for help to arrive and Brambilla and Peterson were transferred to hospital. Peterson, who had been fully conscious throughout looked as if he would soon make a full recovery. It was widely believed at the time that he’d a McLaren contract waiting to be signed for 1979. Unfortunately, he died in hospital the following morning when a fat embolism in his blood stream caused his organs to fail.

Andretti came home 6th taking his only world title. Like Phil Hill before him, he would never win another formula one race and, while remaining in F1 for a few more years would see his results slide backwards with each passing season until he eventually retired from F1 and continued his hugely successful career in Indy Racing.

As a final, and slightly more uplifting coda to his story, in what had been a tragic year for Ferrari in 1982 with the death of Gilles Villeneuve and the near fatal accident to Didier Pironi, Mario was drafted into the team to join Patrick Tambay to enable Ferrari to run two cars at their home GP. Mario gave the Tifosi the lift they needed by setting the final pole position of his career and bringing his car home in 3rd behind his teammate Tambay in second and between them, scoring enough points to secure Ferrari their first constructors title since 1979.

We have a lot to be thankful for when we look at how safe modern formula one has become but we should never be complacent. Monza is not a circuit to be taken lightly.

Lets hope we have a great race.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
He must think his car is a tank and will use it as such which must be deterred.

Its the fact he is prepared to shove you out the way

They try to put it in context what if there was a wall there...would Verstappen have continued to ram Hamilton or any other driver into a wall?
 

olegg

Race Winner
But many argued that Verstappen has already changed and has become reasonable...
What is striking is not even how he participated in this collision. But the way he behaved after the collision.
The pilot got out of the car and, not paying attention to the condition of the opponent,
walk away straight along the track...
Although maybe at that moment he was just ashamed and had nothing to say to his opponent
 
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F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
out of the 2 of course i want the british guy to succeed but i try to take emotion out of it, so on the incident i still think that they are both guilty as each other because verstappen On lap 1 should give more room as Lewis was entitled to more room than he got , but max squeezes hamilton & is lucky that they did it on the entry because on the exit you have the sausage kerb & it wouldve been hamilton taking off

temp 1.jpg


same with Lewis on Lap 27. he was cheeky out of the pits putting the frighteners on Max. all legal, as he was taking the racing line even if he knew who was beside him, but like max 26 laps prior, lewis didnt give his rival enough room it clear to see. only difference was sausage kerbs. yes Max shouldve pulled out & lived to fight another day but neither seem to know the meaning of that phrase so its probally 60/40. 3 place grid penalty probably a mute point with Max starting at the back anyway with engine change planned for sochi
temp 2.jpg


for me pressure has got to the drivers as Lap 1 & Lap 27 both reeked of desperation. youve got 1 drivers trying to rescue a weekend he expected to take pole & win. have 6 point lead. then other trying to take advantage of the misfortune then annoyed at slow pitstop & losing to riccardio off the line

but i finding it hard to be upset at any incident as i said above they both should be give each more room as i am throughly loving the season because watching the drama of Hamilton & Verstappen. 2 of greats going at it. is a rivalry or even just action that we've waited for 13 years for. because it we have to sit through utter 💩 , Vettel Domination, & then Mercedes/Hamilton domination & the only title decider between 2 teams was 2012 gulf between the two teams might as well have been Toyota LMP1 v LMP2. it was a miracle we got to Brazil.

the reward is 1 of greatest seasons & rivalries F1 has ever seen. people will talk Prost/Senna, Hakkinen/Schumacher & now Hamilton/Verstappen
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
most people i heard from in the media have said racing incident & wouldn't penalise all of them are in the british media. Martin Brundle, Paul di resta, Jack Nicholls, Jolyen palmer. all In 'the well these are 2 championship rivals refusing to give a inch' camp. only Damon Hill is on 100% Hamilton side. but then sunday probably brings back bad memories LOL
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
The argument is about whether enough room has been left...Max got a dose of his own medicine

He decided he needed to barge through given there was no room for him to make it at that speed so he could have braked it..I think if the lap 1 incident involved a Ferrari then he would have gotten a penalty for that.

The penalty is right he could have lifted but chose to keep going which was always going to end up like that
most people i heard from in the media have said racing incident & wouldn't penalise all of them are in the british media. Martin Brundle, Paul di resta, Jack Nicholls, Jolyen palmer. all In 'the well these are 2 championship rivals refusing to give a inch' camp. only Damon Hill is on 100% Hamilton side. but then sunday probably brings back bad memories LOL
None of those guys apart from Hill lost a championship because someone drove into them..I think it was more Verstappen 's conduct which they feel they have seen enough to say you've stepped over the mark
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Il_leone i dont get this conduct. we all saw what happens in imola when 2 drivers come together. i think it was responsible off Max to walk off & be on his own. because no good can come from seeing Lewis.

as how people said Russell shouldve walked away in imola & all memes of Schumacher v Coulthard in 1998

skysports-george-russell-valtteri_5347135.jpg
 

Titch

World Champion
Premium Contributor
I do think F1Brits_90 you are missing the point, when Verstappen walked away he had no idea if Hamilton was injured. He wasn’t out of the car. For all Max knew , he might have fried Hamilton’s brain when he sat on top of him and gunned his engine. It’s disgraceful behaviour.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Titch hamilton was trying to reverse it out of Gravel for some reason. Palmer on 5 live F1. seems to think its could be quirk of the differential.

but im again just realistic. i cant think of 2 drivers that would or have check on each other after crashing into each other. its horrible truth. because theyll think that what the Marshall are there for. & it normally ends in violence. Russell is a lovely man & look how he was towards bottas
 
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olegg

Race Winner
out of the 2 of course i want the british guy to succeed but i try to take emotion out of it, so on the incident i still think that they are both guilty as each other because verstappen On lap 1 should give more room as Lewis was entitled to more room than he got , but max squeezes hamilton & is lucky that they did it on the entry because on the exit you have the sausage kerb & it wouldve been hamilton taking off

View attachment 14860

same with Lewis on Lap 27. he was cheeky out of the pits putting the frighteners on Max. all legal, as he was taking the racing line even if he knew who was beside him, but like max 26 laps prior, lewis didnt give his rival enough room it clear to see. only difference was sausage kerbs. yes Max shouldve pulled out & lived to fight another day but neither seem to know the meaning of that phrase so its probally 60/40. 3 place grid penalty probably a mute point with Max starting at the back anyway with engine change planned for sochi
View attachment 14861

for me pressure has got to the drivers as Lap 1 & Lap 27 both reeked of desperation. youve got 1 drivers trying to rescue a weekend he expected to take pole & win. have 6 point lead. then other trying to take advantage of the misfortune then annoyed at slow pitstop & losing to riccardio off the line

but i finding it hard to be upset at any incident as i said above they both should be give each more room as i am throughly loving the season because watching the drama of Hamilton & Verstappen. 2 of greats going at it. is a rivalry or even just action that we've waited for 13 years for. because it we have to sit through utter 💩 , Vettel Domination, & then Mercedes/Hamilton domination & the only title decider between 2 teams was 2012 gulf between the two teams might as well have been Toyota LMP1 v LMP2. it was a miracle we got to Brazil.

the reward is 1 of greatest seasons & rivalries F1 has ever seen. people will talk Prost/Senna, Hakkinen/Schumacher & now Hamilton/Verstappen
Don't you seriously see any difference in the situations of the position of the cars on the apexes on the first and 25th lap?
Seriously?
Well, then of course your attitude to the incident is clear.
And as for how Verstappen left the scene of the accident, there is no need to talk about it.
That says a lot.
 

Andyoak

Champion Elect
Hamilton has almost always been more Prost. He has a very clean record and has consistently learnt to play the long game.

It may not seem it due to the lack of true competition over the last few years.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
So here is a guy who thought Hamilton was being disrespectful celebrating whilst he was in a hospital..so instead of whining be a better the person in the same situation then

The Russell situation slightly different given the speed differential of the accident

If Red Bull says Hamilton intentionally punted off Verstappen at Silverstone...I think this was far more blatant by Verstappen on Hamilton given he can obviously see the gap disappearing but chose to carry on

At what point do we think Verstappen is deluded and psychotic therefore too dangerous to be an F1 driver?
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I don't recall Hamilton even slowing down after pushing Verstappen into a (I read) 50g deceleration impact with the wall at Silverstone. There was a race to be won, so slowing to see if Verstappen survived the impact was not an option.

They are both self-centered, hyper-competitive indivduals who will do anything to achieve their goals, and woe unto anyone who gets in their way.
 

P1

Pole Sitter
I don't recall Hamilton even slowing down after pushing Verstappen into a (I read) 50g deceleration impact with the wall at Silverstone. There was a race to be won, so slowing to see if Verstappen survived the impact was not an option.

They are both self-centered, hyper-competitive indivduals who will do anything to achieve their goals, and woe unto anyone who gets in their way.
That's because he was still racing. But in this case, Verstappen was not racing, he was in fact the first on scene. There is no equivalency.
 

P1

Pole Sitter
So are you saying racing over-rides whether you have killed someone or not?
No. That is obviously not what i wrote. I suggest you take a class in reading comprehension.

I said the person first present on scene should check. Verstappen was there before the safety car. The British GP situation is not analogous.
 
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