Monza –Once again, the Monza podium produced some amazing scenes and emotions for the top three finishers in the Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia. A sea of people swarmed beneath it following the traditional post-race track invasion down the main straight, after Lewis Hamilton took victory, while his Mercedes team secured an important one-two finish, with Valtteri Bottas in the runner-up slot. Certainly the amazing post-race reception from the Italian fans will have given third placed Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Ferrari even more motivation to fight right down to the wire for the championship titles, even if they had hoped for a better result with which to celebrate the Maranello marque’s 70th anniversary.
An all-time record of 185,000 spectators came to the track over the four days of the event, an increase of 32.8% compared to last year. Previously, the best crowd figure had been 161,500 in 2000.
“During my racing career, I have been lucky enough to stand on the Monza podium to celebrate a win and I know just how much energy comes off all those people down below on track and it’s a really unforgettable feeling. The Monza circuit is known as the temple of speed, with this Grand Prix always giving off a special vibe and I’m sure Lewis, Valtteri and Sebastian all got a particular buzz from it.”
As at previous rounds, the show in Monza was not just about what happened on track, where the support races, the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the GP3 Series and the Porsche Carrera Supercup, all produced some spectacular action. This weekend’s record crowd enjoyed various initiatives aimed at them, both in the Fan Zone and in other areas, such as the exhibition of some very beautiful roadgoing Ferraris produced over the 70 years of the Italian manufacturer’s history, as well as other amazing classic cars which then took part in the parade that traditionally precedes the Formula 1 Grand Prix. The nearby city of Milan also played its part and on Thursday night, it was the scene of the “Milano Drivers Parade,” an event which saw tourists and locals rubbing shoulders with around a dozen drivers, in a clear example of Formula 1’s determination to get closer to the fans.
“It’s the first time I’ve attended the Italian Grand Prix and I was amazed by the incredible passion of the crowd, which had come to Monza from all corners of the globe. The record numbers confirm just how much Formula 1 captures people’s imagination. An increase of a third over the 2016 crowds and a 15.7% improvement over the previous record are incredible numbers. I would like to say a special thank you to everyone who sat out in the grandstands in the pouring rain on Saturday, waiting for the track conditions to improve enough for Formula 1 qualifying and the Formula 2 race to be run. This passion is a great incentive to work harder still to put on an even better show for the fans who follow this sport all over the world.
The race in Monza marks the end of the European leg of the Formula 1 season and now the sport is preparing to tackle the final part of the championship, consisting of seven more events that will take in Asia and North and South America. The next race takes place in from 15 to 17 September, in Singapore, which has been on the calendar since 2008, when it hosted the first ever Formula 1 night race. It promises to be another thrilling weekend as the two main title contenders, Hamilton and Vettel continue to battle it out point by point. Today was the first time that Lewis found himself the sole leader of the championship, but he has only a three point advantage over his rival Sebastian. We really look forward to Singapore!
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