It seems almost unthinkable today, but for decades the only thing between Grand Prix pit workers and destiny was a white line painted on the ground. That was one of the facts that was brought home with the recent start of a $25 million, two-year reconstruction program on the facilities at Italy’s temple of motor racing, Monza.
Nestling uncomfortably (for vociferous environmentalists) in the heart of the leafy green Monza Park – a massive stretch of parkland that was once the back garden of the exiled Italian royals’ country home – the battlefield of all the greats since 1922, is to have its pits demolished and rebuilt. They will be widened to almost 71 ft from their present 42 ft and lengthened by over 158 ft: the pit lane will be broadened by more than 13 ft and there will be new offices, a press room for 650, race director’s accommodation, a podium, a wider underpass to the paddock, larger paddock, and new hospitality complex.
All this after Bernie Ecclestone gave his assurance that with these alterations, the track will be able to continue to host the Grand Prix of Italy for at least the next 10 years.
Racing at Monza will be a whole different experience starting next August.