WEC racing in Monza WEC, Monza, Imola,Saturday, Sunday, entering the Temple of Speed, Pit-Walk, Paddock and surroundings, Gradinate Centrali (Central Stands), | Constructors F1

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WEC racing in Monza WEC, Monza, Imola,Saturday, Sunday, entering the Temple of Speed, Pit-Walk, Paddock and surroundings, Gradinate Centrali (Central Stands), | Constructors F1 Constructors F1

WEC racing in Monza

MC/ Write adn photo | 21.4.24 | MC - Itálie/Italy

WEC 2024 and MC writer.

This is not a technical review of the WEC (World Endurance Championship) but rather the narration of what we experienced, as long time Formula1 fans (our first GP on track was Monza 1978), attending a WEC race for our very first time.

Additionally, this is also kind of a preview of what to expect when planning to attend an F1 GP in Monza, thanks to the fact that WEC tickets granted access to all the available grandstandings around the track. Being the race 6 hours long, there's plenty of time to move from place to place and see which part you like more. This is a nice plus.

Our interest was sparked the same day (in 2023) Ferrari, returning to Le Mans after 50 years, won the race. We followed the event from home through the Offical Timing Service kindly provided by Le Mans orgazination via web. The same day we ordered tickets for the next race, to be held in Monza.



Monza is a city close to Milan, northern Italy. We had tickets for the Sunday race. According to our trip-plan, we reached Milan early Saturday morning, in order to spend the day into a huge park-museum dedicated to aeronautics. We had a hotel booked near Monza, in order to be ready for the morning after at the circuit.

The permanent exhibit, named Volandia, is located into an early-1900 airplane factory, five minute walk from the Malpensa airport, or an hour of train ride from Milan. Both indoor and outdoor, about a hundred flighing machines are exposed.


Beside aeronautics and aerospace, Volandia is also currently the temporary location for the "Bertone Collection", an exhibit of almost all the cars and protypes the famous italian industrial design company created. Do you recognize the Lamborghini Miura here?


The picnic area is side by side with an outdoor exhibit of vintage tramway and railway vehicles once used in Milan.


We were gently escorted to the exit gates past the closing time, still begging to stay more. If you plan to visit, consider allocating a full day. Then we moved to our hotel near Monza.

Sunday, entering the Temple of Speed            

The 6 hours race was set to be started at 12.00. The schedule included F1Academy and Classic F3 races in the morning but we weren’t able to attend due to huge traffic jams around Monza, related to the Ferrari success in the previous race at Le Mans. Our arrival at the track was at around 10.30 am.

Monza is dubbed "Il tempio della velocita" ("The temple of speed").




A nice surprise: fans were allowed to walk along the pit-lane, to meet the teams and cars. We arrived at the circuit near the end of the lane, so would proceed visiting it backward. There were so many people that we decided to have a pause of some minute before jumping into the crowd.


Suddenly, another surprise: Isotta Fraschini performed a few laps with their prototype hypercars Tipo 6, being prepared for the 2024 season. They are now an official WEC team. Isotta Fraschini, established in 1900, produced the first stock car model ever mounting an L8 engine. They ceased operation in 1949.

The brand resurrected recently with the purpose of building sport cars. We experienced an incredible view right from inside the track, at the pit-lane exit.


Eventualy we were ready to jump into the crowd. The pit-walk is a great chance to get a close view of the cars in their natural environment.


Fans we're everywhere but the most crowded pit was the Ferrari's one.



The 499p was the most acclaimed star, after the victory in the previous race at LeMans. By the way, 499 is the displacement of a single cylinder, while "p" stands for "prototipo".


During a WEC race, pit-stops for refuelling are frequent. The pit-walk allows a closer look at technical equipments, beside cars.


Paddock and surroundings

When the pit-lane was closed we were able to visit the paddock area. The Ferrari hospitality was celebrating their LeMans victory.


In a large area behind the paddock there were classic F3 cars from the morning race 


and several classic Alfa Romeo from the Saturday race.


Gentleman drivers are supposed to be gentle. This "Quadrifoglioverde" was patiently waiting well-deserved lovely care after fighting in Monza.


A specific area was reserved to display hypercars, including a BMW (confirrmed for 2024 championship), Alpine, Toyota.


And the Ferrari 499p number 51, winner in LeMans.


Former Formula1 Antonio Giovinazzi drives for Ferrari and won the 2023 Le Mans 24h with this car.


Also, the Lancia Martini LC2 endurance car from the 80’s. At the time this car was driven by nine Formula1 drivers: Riccardo Patrese, Michele Alboreto, Alessandro Nannini, Teo Fabi, Pierluigi Martini, Beppe Gabbiani, Mauro Baldi, Paolo Barilla and Piercarlo Ghinzani.


The Martini livery is always a spectacular classic in motorsport. It also dressed the Lancia 037, Lancia Delta S4, Lancia Delta Integrale.


Noon was approaching. After buying food and drinks in the park we prepared for the race, by moving to the…

Gradinate Centrali (Central Stands)

The race started with the two Toyotas in first and third position, on the right side, while the first Ferrari was on the left.


The start procedure in WEC is different than in Formula1. While F1 cars are standing on the grid, hypercars are subject to a rolling start. Honestly, this seems a bit less exciting, however in some way it is reasonable that, in such long races lasting many hours, the start is not crucial.

Is that true? Well...NO! First turn, first crash and immediate yellow flags!


While laps behind the safety-car are usually boring on TV, for spectators on track those are great moments to view some details of the cars as they proceed at low speed.


The central grandstandings in Monza are quite long, extending through the whole pit-lane, but on the other side of the track.


We moved to several positions to get different views. This is also a vantange point to keep track of the teams' activities all along the pit-lane.


We were placed a bit low, closer to the track: the protection fences were a bit of a problem in taking pictures. All in all, a great place, just not ideal for photos. After about an hour we decided to take advantage of the race long duration to move torward...

Tribuna Alta Velocita (High Speed Grandstands)

We walked a tunnel under the main straight to reach the internal part of the circuit and move along the main straight torward the first chicane. 

At the end of the main straight, the first chicane is the slowest section in Monza at about 90 kmh. It also causes the larges deceleration of the whole circuit, being placed just after the top speed point. J.P.Montoya was metered at 372 kmh during the 2005 F1 week-end.

The sound of downshifts with pops and bangs from exhausts is simply amazing there.


The HiSpeed Grandstands are rather tall and steep structures providing a great view well above the fences. The chicane starts with a tight turn torward the right.


Then a turn torward the left follows. The chinane ends with a further right turn.


Being the slowest section of Monza it offers views with great details. Here one of the two Peugeout 9x8 exposes the brave engineering solution of designing a hypercar without a rear wing. That's something that performed very well in Monza, as the race was progressing. The Ferrari Tifosi on the grandstands were intially surprised then increasingly worried. On a side note, the three lights switched on, just in front of the rear wheel, mean that the car is in third position: a nice helper for spectators.


The first chicane is also a great place to appreciate different driving styles. Here an official Porsche 963 is aggressively dealing with internal curbs.


The sound of the naturally aspirated V8 installed on the Cadillac is immediately recognizable.


All in all, the first chicane ended being the best place for taking pictures, without fences obstructing the view.


TV crew at work is usually not seen on TV.


One more hypercar.


Beside hypercars, other prototypes are allowed in WEC races, grouped under a second class. Here is an Oreca 07. Starting 2024 all the prototypes are united into a single hypercar class. This is a great move, that encouraged the arrival of new competitors like BMW, Isotta Fraschini and Lamborghini, for an even more amazing championship.



Even GT cars are allowed, with their own class. The recognizable pink Porsche is driven by the all-female team Iron Dames. And they were fast! Ended 5th in the GT class.


We stayed more than two hours at the first chicane. After having lunch on the grandstands we decided to explore another area.

Walking through the Monza Park

The circuit section after the first Variante is located into the woods, with limited standings at the Variante della Roggia. From there, drivers reach the Lesmo I and Lesmo II, the most distant turns from the starting line. Leaving Lesmo II a straight takes at high speed to the Variante Ascari area, and we planned to move there.

Walking in the Monza park is pleasant. Informative plates allows to reach all the standings easily (the word "tribuna" means grandstand).


Anello Alta Velocita (High Speed Ring)

The Monza circuit used for the F1 Gp is just a part of the whole track. The remaining infrastructure is the Monza high speed ring, a zero shaped track with extremely steep banked turns.

The ring and the road track are superimposed, resulting in intersections both on the main straight (that's whay the area of the strarting grid looks so large in Monza) and between the Lesmo II and Variante Ascari, where F1 cars drive apparently under a tunnel.

Obviously, further intersections happen between the ring and Monza park pathways and we came across one on our walk torward the Ascari. Notice how steep it looks.


The ring was used in F1 races until 1961, and can be seen in 1966 movie Grand Prix. Endurance cars raced here until 1000km Monza 1969. It's still used today by rally cars during the yearly Monza Rally.


Variante Ascari II

The Variante Ascari area sports the largest amount of grandstandings, spread among chicane entrance, middle and exit. We continued to take advantage of  the "one ticket, any grandstand you like" WEC feature.

Standing at the Ascari entrance, if you look backward, torward the cars arriving at high speed from Lesmo II, you get a classic Monza shot, seen often on TV. Notice the high speed ring, heavily banked, above the blue Michelin sign, partially obscured by the Brembo plate.


At the entrance of the Ascari, cars are very close, however protection fences are obviously mandatory. Large amount of details are visible. Note the complex aerodynamics of this Toyota GR010. The light in front of the rear wheel is indicating first position.


Variante Ascari I

The amount of grandstandings at the Ascari allows several differents view angles and we decided to stay there for the remaining part of the race. The middle part of the chicane looks faster than the first cichane after the main straight. Interestingly, no hypercar driver ever touched the internal curbs.


Yellow flag phase. Again, not as boring as on TV. Slower cars, more details visible.


Alberto Ascari was an F1 driver, two times world champion with Ferrari. During the 1955 Monaco GP he survived an accident where his car sank in the sea. Four days later he had a fatal accident in this same point of the Monza circuit, during a private practice session. At the time, in place of the chicane there was an high speed turn.

Uscita Ascari

The Uscita (Exit) Ascari grandstands and ground area offer a frontal view of the middle of the chicane.


Cars pass close to you approaching the chicane exit. The 499p is increasing speed at this point.


From here, the 499p accelerates at full power to enter a long straight, parallel to the main straight but oriented in the opposite direction, leading to the Parabolica.


We were on the inner part of the Monza circuit. The last turn to visit (and the last turn of the track) is the Parabolica but we didn't move there as we visited the place already during F1 events. Basically, the inner part of the Parabolica is in the woods. Stands are limited to three rows of seats. You'd be very close to the track but due to high speeds and the shape of the turn, angle of view is limited to a few meters.

Leaving the track

Approaching the sixth hour (the race end) the first three position were stable. We decided to leave the circuit in advance, trying to avoid the huge traffic jams experienced in the morning.

For those who didn't yet attend a motorsport event live, consider that people arrivals are usually spread through the week-end, with some persons camping in the circuit when possible. On the contrary, when the event ends there's a concentration of people moving home all at once. Be prepared for traffic jams.

Leaving the grandstands, we still had to traverse the Monza park on our feet to reach the exit gates.

We were phisically exhausted but got a last energy boost by looking that some guys in front of us: a real motorsport fan must always be ready to face any effort


At the end of the day, this was a really satisfying experience that we would surely recommend to F1 fans that have never been at a WEC race.

End results: 1 Toyota GR010, 2 Ferrari 499p, 3 Peugeot 9x8


2024 WEC Notes

Hypercar teams: Alpine, BMW (new), Cadillac, Ferrari, Isotta Fraschini (new), Lamborghini (new), Peugeot, Porsche

Note: the 2024 Italian WEC race was moved to Imola, as Monza is under temporary maintenance.





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