Although known as the Temple of Speed, and still the fastest track on the F1 calendar, over the years the Autodromo Nazionale Monza has seen numerous changes which in the eyes of many have totally emasculated it.
The legendary Italian track, with its infamous reputation in terms of the number of lives it has claimed over the years, is now pretty much a ‘point and squirt’ power track.
However, looking ahead to the circuit’s 100th anniversary in 2022, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian racing federation ACI, has unveiled a €100m upgrade aimed at restoring what was the world’s third purpose-built race track to its former glory.
“The money will be found in some way”, he told Gazzetto dello Sport. “This is a work that we can already do in 2019.”
The planned changes include reversing some of the changes made in the wake of Ayrton Senna’s death at Imola in 1994. This would mean the widening of the second Lesmo and the scrapping of the second chicane, scene of Sebastian Vettel‘s clash with Lewis Hamilton in this year’s Italian Grand Prix.
There is also talk of renovating the legendary banking – a cause close to our editor’s heart – thereby allowing the track to be expanded to almost 10 kilometres in length, though it is highly unlikely this configuration would be used for F1.
“We want to recover the ring in order to expand what we can offer,” said Damiani. “The road and the ring are a 10 km track, how many others can boast something similar? We can also think of a temporary structure that can be installed before the GP.”
Revealing that the upgrade would also include improvements to the facilities for fans and the media, Damiani admits that the big question is funding, with the government unlikely to help out.
“The positions are still very far away from where we would like,” he said, “and we have not yet talked about figures.”
Indeed, as it stands 2019 is the last race under the current contract, with the circuit and F1 bosses yet to agree a deal for 2020 onwards.