The ties that bind the team from Maranello and the Monza circuit go back a long way. The Scuderia won its first race at Monza in 1933, with Luigi Fagioli in an Alfa Romeo P3. The Ferrari car company, established in 1947 made its debut there in 1949, winning in open and closed wheel categories. The very first race was the Coppa Inter-Europe on 29 May, with Bruno Sterzi winning at the wheel of a 166 S. That same year, Alberto Ascari won the Italian Grand Prix in a 125 S, lapping the entire field including second placed Frenchman Philippe Etancelin in a Talbot.
In Formula 1. The first win in an Italian Grand Prix that was part of the world championship came in 1951, when the team scored a one-two finish with Alberto Ascari and Jose Froilan Gonzalez in 375 F1s. The Milanese driver did it again the following year, after which there was a break until 1960, when Ferrari made a clean sweep of the podium places with Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and Willy Mairesse. It had been an easy win as the British teams boycotted the event, unhappy with the use of the high-speed oval, built in 1955, which they deemed too dangerous. The following year, a full field raced, but the event proved tragic after Von Trips collided with the Lotus of Jim Clark. The German driver and 14 spectators were killed. Hill won in the 156 F1, thus becoming the first ever American F1 world champion, but there were no celebrations, just tears.
Key win. In 1964, Scuderia Ferrari returned to winning ways with a dominant performance from John Surtees in the 158 F1, having first fended off Dan Gurney. The result put the Englishman back in the running for the title which he won in thrilling style at the final round in Mexico. Two years later came an equally important win, when Ludovico Scarfiotti led home team-mate Mike Parkes at the wheel of the 312 F1, which salvaged something from what had been a less than successful season.
The Seventies. After three barren years, the Maranello marque was back in the winner’s enclosure in 1970 with Clay Regazzoni who managed to get the better of Jackie Stewart and his March in the closing laps. Five years later, the Swiss driver did it again on a great day for the Scuderia, as a third place was enough for Niki Lauda to bring the Drivers’ crown back to Maranello, eleven years on from Surtees’ title. In 1979, it was Jody Scheckter who took the race win to secure the Drivers’ championship, with team-mate Gilles Villeneuve making it a one-two finish.
Looking down from above. Scheckter’s win would be the last for a long time for the Scuderia at Monza. For the 1988 Italian Grand Prix, the mood in the Ferrari camp was sombre, it being the first race since the death of its founder Enzo back in August. The McLarens that had dominated the season, monopolised the front row of the grid with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Prost retired with a mechanical problem, while Senna seemed set for an easy win. But with three laps remaining, the Brazilian ace came up to lap Jean-Louis Schlesser in a Williams. The Frenchman appeared to move over for the McLaren but actually drove into Senna, who had to retire. This handed a one-two finish to Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto. The following day, some of the Italian papers wrote that, watching from above, Enzo Ferrari had “inspired” Schlesser’s unfortunate move…
The Schumacher era. Another eighth years would pass before a Ferrari driver would stand on the top step of the Monza podium, when the great Michael Schumacher managed it in in 1996. He repeated that feat in 1998, with a brilliant overtaking move on Mika Hakkinen’s McLaren at the Variante della Roggia, in 2000 when he couldn’t hold back the tears as the victory saw him equal Ayrton Senna’s win total and in 2003 and 2006. Rubens Barrichello won in 2003 and 2004, when the Ferrari pair had to come through the field after the Brazilian recovered from a wrong tyre choice and Michael came back from a spin at Roggia.
The Alonso era. The penultimate Ferrari success at Monza came courtesy of Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who had already won at the track in 2007, did it again in 2010 following a long battle with Jenson Button’s McLaren. In the end, the Englishman had to give best to Fernando’s determination and the performance of the F10.
A win for Charles. The Scuderia’s most recent and unforgettable Monza win was down to Charles Leclerc and the SF90 in 2019. The Monegasque managed to keep Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at bay, after the Mercedes pair had tailed him from start to finish, taking turns to try and get past. The victory came just one week after Charles’ maiden Formula 1 triumph, which made him the youngest driver ever to take back-to-back wins.