Top 10 most memorable Monza moments caught on film
With the Formula 1 World Championship making its way to Circuit of Monza this weekend, it’s time to reflect on ten of the wildest moments the Italian venue has witnessed. Shocking, jaw-dropping, inspiring, terrifying, and at times sombre – these events are now part of the landscape that make up the iconic Monza Grand Prix.
1. Peter Gethin’s victory – 1971
The title says it all – Peter Gethin scores his first win in 1971 following the conclusion of an unforgettable slip streaming duel which saw the first five drivers finish within a whisker over a half-second spread.
2. McLaren clean sweep denied – 1988 – Schlesser and Senna collide
25 years later this may still be a sore point at McLaren, with Schlesser and Senna coming together in an incident which saw the GP victory slip through Ayrton’s hands, and a clean sweep of the 1988 World Championship denied from McLaren.
3. Second victory for Honda – 1967 – John Surtees
Excitable Japanese narration makes for the perfect soundtrack with which to watch John Surtees secure Hondas second all time win in 1967. The event marked the debut of the 3L, V12 Honda RA300, making Surtees’ victory all the more impressive.
4. Christian Fittipaldi flips ( and finishes 8th!) – 1993
In 1993 Monza played host to one of the most spectacular finishes in motor racing history, when Minardi-Ford team mates Christian Fittipaldi and Pierluigi Martini clipped corners and Fittipaldi ended up performing a perfect backflip before landing on all four wheels and sliding across the finish line before screeching to a halt. The incident saw no positions lost or gained for either driver, and (unsurprisingly) has never been repeated.
5. Derek Warwick – roll and restart – 1990
Three years earlier Derek Warwick wasn’t so lucky, spearing off the course and balancing his Lotus 102 up on its side at the Parabolica before rotating ceremoniously into the exit of the corner. The excitement didn’t end there, as the unhurt Warwick dismounted from the wreck and sprinted through the pits in order to get behind the wheel of a spare car in time for the race restart.
6. Ronnie Peterson crash and subsequent death – 1978
Memorable for all the wrong reasons, accidents such as this one involving Ronnie Peterson in 1978 are important to recognise – for it were the dangers of early motor sport that elevated competitors to heroic status. Peterson survived the accident itself, however lost his life to complications experienced in hospital shortly following. In total, 52 Formula 1 drivers have lost their lives at Monza.
7. Jochen Rindt crash and death – 1970
The inescapable silence of this clip gives it and almost unbearably eerie overtone, which is fitting given that it depicts the accident in practice in which Rindt lost his life.
8. The return of Niki Lauda following Nurburgring crash – 1976
Few videos capture the heroics of Niki Lauda in the same way that this clip from 1976 does. Following a fiery crash at Nurburgring in which Lauda suffered serious injuries, in this video we see him preparing to return to racing at Monza just six weeks later. If only you could cut tension with a knife…
9. Rubens sets Monza lap record – 2004
One of the great on-board F1 cams, and a fantastic way to familiarise yourself with the Monza circuit before the coming race weekend. Watch as Formula 1 legend Rubens Barrichello sets the lap record in 2004.
10. Moss wins for Vanwall – 1957
The final of our ten videos is also the oldest – drawn from the initial decade of the Formula 1 World Championship, the video depicts Sterling Moss taking the win on behalf of Vanwall. We can think of no better way to give this weekends festivities some context, than to view the Monza venue under racing conditions more than 55 years ago.