From the beginning, Monza was an important venue and since 1922 has hosted the Italian GP almost every year. Indeed, its opening caused members of the Brescia Automobile club to instigate the Mille Miglia. Brescia had lost its previous high status in Italian motor sport with the coming of Monza. There was also ancient rivalry in that Monza is in Piedmont and Brescia is in Lombardy.
This level of passion has long been a feature of Italian racing and is nowhere better experienced than at Monza when Ferrari is present. The word is 'present', not 'racing', the tifosi will turn out by the ten thousand just for testing.
Like many other circuits, Monza has not been a single layout, but a series of more than a dozen layouts which have ranged in length from 1.482 miles to 6.214 miles. The circuit was opened in the Monza Royal Park, near Milan, in 1922 and featured banking, though these were demolished in 1939. The banking which featured in some races, 1955-69, were new structures built on the format of the original. The banking was used for the Italian GP in 1955, '56, '60 and '61, and was last used for racing of any form in 1969 when the concrete became in need of substantial resurfacing and rebuilding.
From 1950 to 1954, the purely road circuit was 3.915 miles long, but the layout was eased, slightly shortened (to 3.571 miles) and made faster for 1957 and 1958. That is not a misprint, the track was made faster and also easier to overtake on.
Between 1962 and 1971 this revised circuit provided an opportunity for high-speed racing with lots of slipstreaming and overtaking. The 1971 Italian GP holds the record for the fastest-ever Formula One race but, emphatically, that is not the same as saying the fastest race for Grand Prix cars. Though you would not know it to listen to some people, that honour remains in the possession of the 1937 Avusrennen.
After 1971, the circuit underwent further revisions to discourage slipstreaming and to lower the average lap speed. Chicanes were added in 1976 and, in 1994, the second Lesmo Bend was tightened and the Curve Grande was re-profiled.
In 2000, the chicane on the main straight was altered, changing from a double left-right chicane to a single right-left chicane, in an attempt to reduce the frequent accidents at the starts due to the conformation of the braking area. The second chicane was also re-profiled. In the Grand Prix of the same year however, the first to use the new chicanes, a marshal, Paolo Gislimberti, was killed by flying debris after a major crash at the second chicane.
In 2007, the run off area at the second chicane was changed from gravel to asphalt. The length of the track in its current configuration is 3.599 miles.
The fastest ever Formula One lap of Monza in its current configuration, was set during the 2004 Italian Grand Prix, when Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) posted a time of 1:20.089, thereby averaging 159.891 mph.
Over the years, the circuit has witnessed many fatal accidents, especially in the early years of the Formula One World Championship, and has claimed the lives of 52 drivers and 35 spectators.
Despite the numerous modifications to improve safety and reduce curve speeds it is still criticised by drivers for its lack of run-off areas, most notoriously at the chicane that cuts the Variante della Roggia.
Every Formula One circuit has its own charm and excitement, from Monaco, with its glitz, glamour and casinos to the deserts of Bahrain. Yet the Italian GP, at Monza, the home of Ferrari, remains, to many, one of the highlights of each season.
Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA
The Italian Grand Prix has been an everpresent on the F1 World Championship calendar, a distinction it shares with the British Grand Prix.
Monza has hosted 65 of the 66 Formula One World Championship Italian Grands Prix. Its only non-appearance came in 1980 when the race moved to Imola while Monza was undergoing renovation. That race was won by Nelson Piquet, driving for Brabham.
Ferrari is the most successful team in the history of the Italian Grand Prix with 18 victories. Five of those wins were recorded by Michael Schumacher (1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006), making him the most successful driver at this event. Eight of Ferrari's wins have involved one-two finishes. The team also has 19 pole positions. Its most recent victory came in 2010 when Fernando Alonso won from pole position.
The road course as used in the modern grand prix has - through various iterations - hosted the majority of grands prix. The exceptions are the races in 1955, 1956, 1960 and 1961 when the race was run on a combined circuit that linked the road course with the adjacent banked oval.
Two Italian teams have enjoyed debut victories at Monza. Juan Manuel Fangio gave Maserati its maiden F1 victory at the 1953 Italian Grand Prix, while in 2008 Sebastian Vettel recorded Toro Rosso's first - and so far only - win.
Vettel was F1's youngest winner, a record surpassed this year by Max Verstappen. The 2008 Italian Grand Prix does, however, still hold the record for F1's youngest podium with Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica having an average age of 23 years and 350 days.
Vettel's 2008 victory was also his first. He joins Phil Hill (1960), Jackie Stewart (1965), Ludovico Scarfiotti (1966), Clay Regazzoni (1970), Peter Gethin (1971) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2001) in the list of drivers to have taken their debut victory at Monza.
Gethin's winning margin of 0.01s has a claim to being the closest in the history of the sport. Rubens Barichello's 2002 US Grand Prix margin was recorded at 0.011s, after the timing system used had switched to three decimal places.
Montoya holds several records at Monza. Driving for Williams in 2004 he set F1's fastest lap, an average of 262.2km/h, during the low-fuel pre-qualifying session. In 2005, now driving for McLaren, he set F1's highest recorded race speed: 372.6km/h.
The fastest average race speed record is held by Michael Schumacher who completed the 2003 Italian Grand Prix at an average of 247.6km/h. This was also the shortest duration race to go the full race distance in the history of the sport. Schumacher winning in 1h14.19.838s.
Daniil Kvyat should start his 50th grand prix this weekend. It will be the 52nd event for the Russian driver. He has twice failed to take the start - both times in Australia (2015 and 2016).