Monza – spectators’ experiences

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Tell us about your experiences of visiting the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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105 comments on “Monza – spectators’ experiences”

  1. I went to the Italian Grand Prix in 2007. Here are some of my pictures from the weekend:

    Italian Grand Prix 2007 pictures – Friday
    Italian Grand Prix 2007 pictures – Saturday
    Italian Grand Prix 2007 pictures – Sunday

    Monza park is a fabulous setting for the Grand Prix but it is a little bit tricky to get to. The signage around the circuit for those arriving by car was not very good. But once we reached one of the car parks there were buses provided to take us to the track. The train station is very close by and getting a train from nearby Milan is probably the easiest way of getting in.

    It’s a stunning place to watch F1 cars, though. They’re just stunningly fast down the straights. We had seats at turn one so we saw plenty of action during the race including Lewis Hamilton’s excellent pass on Kimi Raikkonen.

    A walk up to the second chicane is a must because you’ll pass under the daunting old oval on the way. At the chicane you’re very close to the track and you can see how hard the drivers attack the kerb. The Ascari chicane has a large grandstand on the outside and is also a good vantage point.

    Some people have asked me if the crowd was hostile to non-Ferrari fans. I didn’t have any team gear on when I went so I can’t comment, but the atmosphere seemed realyl friendly. That said, McLaren were ahead of Ferrari pretty much all weekend.

    The food is very good and not all that expensive.

    My only complaint was that the support races were just the usual fare: GP2 (very good) and Porsche Supercup (snore). As with most F1 events, the gaps between some sessions are very long.

    That aside, Monza is one of the very best places to watch Formula 1.

  2. Went to monza in 2008. The crowd atmosphere was good, but the facilities were very poor, toilets were in a disgraceful state, due to the rain (first wet race in 20 years) all the walkways were a quagmire and resembled glastonbury in a downpour….wasnt very impressed as this happend on saturday and by sunday the walkways were a mess and the italians completely aloof to it….not sure if we’ll go again as the facilities in general were poor compared to spa and silverstone which i had also visited in the same season previously.

    1. With Silverstone and the British GP under constant threat, from Bernie, I went to Monza 2008. The weather was atrocious and it didn’t show Monza in its best light. The infrastructure and fabric of the autodrome was falling apart behind the image you see on tv. The track was cracked, cabling was lying all over the place and the marshalling of crowds and vehicles was non existent. The toilets were stomach turning and the tifosi were very anti Hamilton/McLaren. I thought what part of Silverstone is as bad as this. Has Bernie ever experienced this side of a GP. Perhaps he does from his helicopter as he arrives at the paddock?

      Having said all that Monza was fantastic. I was cold, wet, thirsty(!),muddy, uncomfortable and a little bit fearful at one point with the tifosi but it was GREAT. I’d go again without a second thought. The walk through the park to get to the circuit and hearing the engines roar up coupled with the natural passion and enthuasim of the Italian crowd.

      PS Watch out for the Police one of them grabbed my mates bottom.

  3. Philip Muscatello
    11th April 2009, 2:37

    Hello all,

    my first post as this is my year of going to live grands prix after a lifetime of reading and TV watching.

    Went to Melbourne a couple of weeks ago and planning a trip to Monza in September. Any advice on locations and accomodation most appreciated from an Aussie returning to the mother country!

  4. I am also planning on going to the Monza race this year in September, what do you guys suggest for seating? Is general admission worth it? And can you get a good seat?

    – Much appreciated Niko

    1. Hi Philip, hi Niko.

      I’ve been 4 times at Monza, an also in many other circuits in Europe, and I can say Monza is one of the most beautiful and exciting places to watch a F1 race. This place is magic and sacred for those who love racing, you can breathe the history of motorsport here…

      I already been in the grandstands 6 (first corner), 5 (main straight) and 4 (main straight, start and pit lane). Obviously the most expensive (4) is the best one, here you can see the start right in front of you, the main straight from the exit of the “parabolica” until the exit of the pit lane, and all the action on the pits. The sector 6 is also great, the first corner is usually funny. The sector 5 is good, but not great comparing to others. You can see the cars passing at 300km/h, the pit lane exit, and that’s all.

      I really cannot say anything about general admission…never used this ticket. Anyway I think you can never find a place where you can see a lot of the track, because Monza is totally plain, no hills anywhere, and a lot of trees, so clearly you can see just a small part of the track if you are not in tribune….if anyone have a different experience, please let us know…

      The atmosphere at the “Parco di Monza” is superb, as long as this is one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. So don’t hurry and take your time to do a walk round the park when there’s no activity on the track. You can easily see the “walls” of the old oval circuit in the middle of the trees….awesome!

      So what else can I say? Highly recommended!

  5. Martin Rider
    31st July 2009, 10:20

    Hi all, I have just booked up with General Admission tickets. As one of the chaps above said, i have spent al my years following F1 avidly, barely missed a race wherever i have been in the world but this will be my first time at Monza for F1 – I was in Maranello just 3 weeks ago and met Massa at the Ferrari store, just such a shame he won’t be racing. But, to see Schumi again will be fantastic – he should have got back into the groove by Monza! :)

    I’ve been to all sorts of tracks but just never thought it was worth spending the money when ITV/BBC have done such a good job of televising.

    This however just had to be done.

    Is there anywhere specific that we should look out for? Any special places to look for food? And for some reason i cannot find anything out about the support races this year so any know whats going on?

    And one final question, what kind of time should we really aim to be there for in the mornings? Queuing doesn’t bother me, but i’d like to know how long the wait is approx by car.

    1. It’s Italy, the food is pretty good all round!

      Getting in on Friday was a hassle as the promised shuttle buses didn’t seem to be running. If you’re planning to use them, check very closely if they’re going to be available. If not, you might have to park near the circuit and walk. If practice starts at 9am I’d aim to be parking up at 7.30-8ish.

    2. Martin,
      Get there early and go for the inside of Parabolica – entry or exit is your choice.
      Went there in 2004 and did a recce on Saturday of where to watch the race from and found this to be best for GA.
      Going this year as well, however, we’ll be the lads in kilts in Tribune 23 on the exit of Parabolica.
      Have a fantastic weekend! Monza IS one of THE places to watch F1 at – you’ll love it!

      1. Hey Martin,

        We’ll look for you. We too will be in the area of the exit of Parabolica onto the front straight. Vedano 24 grandstands.


        1. Sorry, should have been to Rabs with the kilt.

      2. niceone, i’ll go to the parabolica so, its some corner

  6. I first went to Monza in 1998 and then went every year for 6 years so I guess that means that the last time I was there was 2003.
    Bad Points:
    1) It’s a very fast and non-technical track so often you are just seeing cars go past very quickly and not much happening.
    2) It’s very difficult to get a decent view using General Admission unless you get there at 5am on race day and find a spot and defend it!
    3) The nature of the circuit means that the cars can become spread out quite quickly so a processional race is not uncommon.

    Good Points:
    1) It’s Monza! The temple of speed. The history of the place oozes from every leaf in the park. The old banking is accessible and VERY steep!
    2) If you choose the right campsite and make friends with the right people you don’t need a race ticket. I had a couple of very enjoyable races watching from the roof of a camper van that was parked against the fence at the 1st chicane!
    3) The Tifosi. If you’re a Ferrari fan it’s great. I have been in the grandstand with the giant Scuderia flag and loved it.
    4) The track invasion and the podium ceremony at the end is brilliant – especially if it’s a Ferrari victory!

    I have heard some horror stories about problems getting to and from the track, but as I always camped there I wasn’t affected. I think if you go with the attitude that it’s a great party for all F1 fans, particularly (but not exclusively) Ferrari fans and there is also a race at some point in the weekend you’ll love it. If you go expecting to see half the track from General Admission you will be disappointed.

    My favourite year was 2002 when it was a Ferrari 1-2 and Eddie Irvine came 3rd, so it was really a Ferrari 1-2-3!!!

    1. hi rab and everyone going to monza. we’re in inner parabolica 23b.will keep an eye open for the kilted boys. have a good one . go lewis!

  7. ah!

    We’re coming from the US to Monza for our first race. Very exciting. We’ll be taking the train in as we’re staying in Milan. We are likely only getting the general admission tickets as everything else is SO expensive. Getting the tickets directly from the Monza track website.

    Any must see/do besides the race itself? I know there’s a walk-about “preview” on Thursday afternoon correct?

  8. Another question,

    Can you bring your own food and drink [no glass bottles] in a sack or do they prohibit that?

    1. You can bring with you whatever you want. No one is checking anything.

      Monza is fantastic, says I whos a McLaren supporter :)

  9. On ticket section it says the Thursday pit walk is:

    “Special deal:

    Enjoy a free pit walk on Thursday September 10 from 3-6 PM when you purchase a 3-day pass”

    That does NOT say 3-day GRANDSTAND pass, but yet I hear it is exclusive to Grandstand passes? This is really disappointing if I can’t get into the pit with my GA pass, as that’s probably the best view I will have the whole weekend of the cars and teams.

    Can anyone confirm or deny that GA is excluded from the pit walk in 2009?

  10. I don’t know about the pit-walks, but to answer Cindi’s second question I have certainly taken bottles of wine into the track without problems, although the last time I was there was 2003.

  11. Goodness this is the quiet site as everyone seems to be going to Spa instead! Where do most people stay – do they camp like at Spa or hotels?

    Is a signage to find your way around there in Italian only or also in English? Will be bringing my translation book! Can’t wait – we’re hoping the weather will be nice and not rain like we saw on TV last year!!!

    1. Hi Cindi,

      Are you still going to Monza?
      Where in the US are you from? I’m in northern California.
      We have tickets for turn 24 Vedano but will not be able to attend Friday or Saturday.

    2. Hi Cindi,

      I’m coming over from San Fran, used to live in Seattle myself. Anyway, I was wondering if you or anyone else has been able to find any useful info on the train service from Milan as I am staying there as well.

      I can’t wait! Ready to party in the sun, hopefully.

  12. Hi Zane

    We’re from Seattle. We have general admission tickets for all 3 days. Hoping it doesn’t rain like last year – should be a great time. All us Americans will have to seek each other out :)

    I’m sure someone would take your Fri/Sat tickets on here – I just think everyone is focused on Spa at the moment!

    1. I kind-of wish we would have waited to get tickets there. Even GAs would have been fine and money saved. Wasn’t sure, and didn’t want to risk not having a good seat in-case of rain.

      Spa was great! Not much of a fan of the “Ice Man” but happy to see Fisi do so well. Monz could be out-of-control if Fisi drives a Ferrari. And, clearly he can out-do Kimi.

  13. Hello All

    This is going to be my first European F1 race. I went to one of the F1 races at Indy. I saw the race where Michael S. lead the entire race and gave up the lead on the last lap as a courtesy to his then teammate Barrichello. I am from the US traveling to Italy from Barcelona. I have tickets in granstand 8 at turn 1. Seems like there should be some good action in that section. Looking forward to the whole experience at a track with such history.

    1. Hi Curtis,

      Where-at in the US?

      I’m not a huge Ferrari fan but still would love to see them do well at home!

      Ambrose had his 60~laps of fame in the Canada race yesterday. Led the whole thing in the dry and wet then lost it in the last turn!
      We met Marcos at the Sonoma race last year and have been fans since. Bad luck or no luck.

    2. Did you like grandstand 8? I’m trying to decide between 6C and 8, any thoughts about the pros and cons of each?

  14. Ah yes about the train. Are you talking about going from the airport to Milan or from Milan to the track?

    I read on the Monza site that there’s a free train on Sunday only from the main station to Monza for the race. The track site is and they have an English option…

    Supposed to rain on Saturday per the 10day forecast so we shall see! Hope it’s as much fun as I’m imagining!

  15. Forgot to add – the train is supposed to be the black line – no-stopto Biassono-Lesmo-Autodrome Station.

    1. Thanks much for the train to track info.

      Nothing someone from Seattle can’t handle.

      Have a great time! GO FISI!!

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  18. Was there in 2005 with GA tickets. Hard to get a good spot with GA but if you go to entrance to parabolica you can see the big screen if you look over your shoulder do its a good spot.
    WHATEVER YOU DO GO TO THE BANKING. Oficially its not open but its easilly accesable at the end near the first chicane bring a drink with you and savour the experience.
    INVADE THE TRACK as soon as the race is over and run under the podium. I got sprayed with Fisis champagne after he came 3rd. Then go and walk the entrire lap of the track

  19. Monza 2009

    It was the first time I went to a F1 grand prix. The atmosphere was awesome! The speed and noise of the cars was breathtaking.
    We were a group of 8 people 2 Indians, 2 Americans and 4 Italians. All suuporting Ferrari except for the 2 Indians supporting force India.
    We had our Indian cricket shirts on and carrying a big Indian flag! Everybody noticed and were very friendly. A swiss fan made a comment” we have been here for the last 15 years and the first time seeing Indian supporters! They then very kindly gave us a gin and tonic. We sat in the stands of the 1st Variant (330 euro), too expensive , no cover either and stone slabs to sit on.
    90% of supporters were Ferrari and 2 Indians. The atmosphere was very very friendly and good banter amongst different supporters. I got a lot of lip when Hamilton crashed in the last lap! (being British). I did give them a hard time about Ficicella deserting Force India to ferrari and not performing well, so I deserved it. They did share our cold Baccardi and Coke!!!

    Does anyone have any pictures of 2 people with blue cricket shirts waving an Indian Flag?? Either photos or tv coverage.Please direct me to the website.

    1. I saw you on the big screen… I’m Indian too, my dad mentioned the cricket tops (that’s his sport, not F1)

      I think we I got a picture of you guys/the flag – I was at 6B (opposite you)

  20. Monza 2009

    I didn’t know I was going to Monza this year until the wednesday afternoon. Due to work commitments i could only go for the sunday. I flew into Milan Malpensa airport at 22.30 on saturday night, got the shuttle bus outside the terminal ($7.50 euros) into milano centrale and then the train up to Monza. There was a fantastic festival atmosphere in Monza centre. Had a beer and made way to track. Tip DON’T try and walk from Monza to the autodrome it is miles (although very well signposted.) Got into campsite at 2am in the morning. Pitched tent and slept until 6. I was stood in General Admission at the end of back straight with a clear view of entry into parabolica. Tip: get there early if you are GA, i was in the stands at 08.45 and managed to get a fantastic view high up. The Food was lovely and no way near as expensive as Silverstone is. I was wearing a mclaren shirt and i didn’t suffer one instance of abuse for it. The support races were entertaining, at the spot I was in you are very close (30ft) to the track and the F1 itself was just stunning. You could physically see the mclaren pushing and pushing to try and maximise its poor 2 stop strategy. I will definetly be going again, might be looking for a like minded race enthusiast as my fiancee doesn’t much care for F1. Remember sun cream and if you are general admission, get your water and food before finding a seat. I was lucky, i buddied up with a Brawn GP fan and we went for refreshments in turns but if you are on your own if you move you will lose your seat. Oh and the Italians boo Hamilton, which kind of amused me.

  21. Monza 2009

    I had 3 day tickets for Section 26A of the grandstands (pit straight). I was in line with rows 5,6 and 7 of the grid and had great views of the Brawn GP and Force India pits as well as a giant TV screen just to my left. Thought the race and atmosphere were awesome, I felt awed by the history of the place. Monza is one of my favourite circuits so to be there was mind blowing. I went own my own, found this okay as there are usually a few other people who do the same thing. I met people over the weekend who I buddied up with on the Friday and Sunday, did my own thing on the Saturday.

    I stayed in Milan, got the train from Central Station to Monza then the free shuttle bus to the circuit. The transport to the circuit was well organised and regular although trains from Central Station to Monza seem to be rare. I got the 08:20 train to Monza on the Saturday and Sunday and was at the circuit for not long after 10 (I think).

    All in all I had a great time and will definitley be going back at some point.

  22. I was at the Ascari chicane for the 2009 race. For any budding photographers forget it – the cars are too fast and the fence is too high but although it was incidentless this year you could see a fair chunk of tarmac. You can take in your own food and drink as these were pricy inside the circuit e.g. €6 for a large beer, €2 for 500ml bottle of water. There are a couple of local supermarkets that were cheaper but remember the Sunday trading laws i.e. stock up on previous days!

    If you have a grandstand ticket, the pit walkabout on Thursday was excellent and most of the drivers were signing autographs if you were prepared to be crushed. Said ticket allows roaming on Friday so for fairly good photo’s, aim for the Grandstand opposite the end of the pit lane so you can get them when they are doing practice starts.

    Getting to and from the circuit was part of the package I’d purchased so I cannot comment on the best way to travel without advertising. I don’t tend to watch the support races as my bottom needs a refreshed supply of blood so I tend only to stay put for the F1 action.

    This was my seventh GP in total and probably one of the best.

    1. Budding photographers? Anyone with a decent camera and lens should have no problem no matter what speed theyre going. Ill show you what I mean in a month when I get back from Monza.

  23. I was in 6B for the race and absolutely loved the experience. The downpour on Saturday night was awesome and led to some excellent support races.

    To be honest Monza is simply set in the most beautiful setting. Walking in through the forest was simply wonderful while arriving to the sound of engines in the distance. There is a really historic feel to the place and I’m so glad I went.

    We tried to get seats in 6C but they were sold out so settled for 6B. I am very glad we did as all the action in the GP2 and other support races was really clearly visible. When in the stand we were surrounded by Finnish Ferrari fans. They seemed to consume about half the stand, man they love their motorsport.

    I am strongly considering going back next year and also possibly going to Spa to live that experience as well. I can definitely say I wasn’t disappointed with the weekend and watching the accuracy of the drivers first hand is a totally different experience!

  24. I went to Monza this year. Some notes in no particular order!

    – The train from Milan to Monza is dirt cheap – 1.65 for a return trip, plus on race day a free shuttle train from Centrale is provided (I forgot as I’d been getting the train from Lambrate each day…).
    – If you have a three day grandstand ticket, do go on the Thursday. I promise it’s worth it! You get to see the pitlane (though finding your way into it for the first time isn’t as simple as you’d think), the teams and the drivers much closer than you otherwise would. If there’s a particular driver you want to catch, loiter outside their garage.
    – Often it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time – I managed to run into Nico Rosberg, Rob Smedley, Tonio Liuzzi, Stefano Domenicali and Luca Di Montezemolo while just wandering around. Pitlane entrance is a good place to hang around to meet drivers coming back from their track walk.
    – There are no shuttle buses on the Thursday, so give yourself a good hour to walk from the train station to the track. The walk isn’t well signposted, so either print out a map or hope you can follow other people in teamwear who don’t really know where they’re going!
    – If you hire a Kangaroo TV, make sure you take a credit card for authentication. Their system doesn’t accept debit cards as proof of ID etc, though it doesn’t mention it on the site.
    – There is a bit of a wasp problem at Monza – take insect repellent.
    – Soft drinks are about 5 Euros a pop, so take your own.
    – The atmosphere is truly something else, even outside the track in the Parco di Monza. Obviously it’s even better if you’re a Ferrari fan. ;)
    – Do walk the banking if you get even half a chance. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Ditto for getting onto the track after the race, though actually getting through the gates isn’t good for claustrophobes. It was a bit like being down the front at a concert, but absolutely worth the discomfort in the end.
    – Advice to McLaren fans? Be thick skinned! ;) I saw no hostility towards McLaren fans themselves; however, the team were booed a bit as they moved up and down the pitlane on Thursday, and there was an eruption of cheers when Lewis crashed at the end of the race this year.
    – My ticket was for the Laterale Sinistra (the grandstand opposite the pitlane exit), which was brilliant for watching activity on the grid, the start and getting near the podium after the race, but you don’t see much ontrack action and overtaking.
    – Fancy a free F1 poster? Try the Milan tourism office in the Piazza del Duomo. There was a stack of them there this year.

  25. Went last year. Fantastic!!! I meant to buy 3 day general admission ticket but only got sunday by mistake. I got a grandstand for fri and sat from ebay.

    Dont try and walk from Monza train station….I did as I couldnt see any other way. Its MILES!!! I found out there is a bus but I have forgotten the number im afraid.

    Friday is roaming for any ticket so good for walking the track and taking some pics. I had a rug which is handy to sit on as even the grandstands are concrete. Its nice and hot and if you look carefully there are a few water taps dotted around the place. All the spots were good for different reasons depends what you want to see. The straights are good to get a feel for the speed but bit boring after a while. Inside of parabolica is good, fantastically close but that is hard work on the neck!

    Sat I had a ticket for the second chicane. It was a good spot for action and having the numbered seat was good for a bit of extra sleep point of view.

    Sunday was an early start to try and get a good spot. I was going for the 1st or 2nd lesmo where there a free 3 step metal stands. I would have seen a few 1st lap passes and LH crash but chose not to as it was in the shade all day. I went for the exit of parabolica, just before pit entry. Loads of space right up the the start of the race!!! Very surprising. Turned out to be a good spot, saw a grosjean mega save which tv didnt catch and watching LH totally flat out every single lap was unreal. I would probably pay the little extra for grandstand tickets next time, just to save the worry about where to sit. If you do go general admission spend the saved money on a kangaroo tv. Getting crofty and ant for all sessions is invaluable.

    The other reason i chose parabolica was for the track invasion. Just before the end of the race get your stuff ready and head for the gate it looks like people are going for. Its amazing, every race should have it. I sprinted down the main straight and just made it in time for the English anthem for Brawn. The atmosphere is incredible, so much fun!!

    Dont worry about wearing english team wear. There were loads of Mclaren people. I just wore my cap. All i got was a bit of banter from a megaphone guy after LH crash. Was quite funny but a shame it happened especially the cheers. Hopefully the were more for the fact it meant kimi was on the podium.

    For atmosphere and just the feel of the place its a MUST for any F1 fan. So please I made the effort. Good luck and enjoy it.

    Oh thursday has a pitwalk for 3 day ticket holders. I didnt know this unfortunately.

  26. christopher (sennaboy3)
    5th December 2009, 12:09

    Looking to get tickets for 2010 and was wondering if anyone could tell me where it is best to sit to get onto the track after the race? Was thinking about sitting in the Parabolica, can anyone comment on stands 21a,b,c,d,e? Any good campsites nearby? Thanks for any help!

  27. One year ago this week I fulfilled a forty-year dream by visiting Monza. There are really only two optimal times to visit this legendary track: the Italian Grand Prix Race Weekend – and the last half of December when most of Italy is ‘closed’ for Christmas observations. Our December 2008 visit was quiet, with the ability to hear the ghosts of the past who have raced this circuit, not only the current track but also the historic abandoned oval. The banking on the oval is so st