There was a real success for the 100th Italian GP, both in terms of spectators and fans. Much less so for the Race Direction decisions.
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After two years of the pandemic, the Monza circuit could reopen entirely to the general public. An extraordinary event on the occasion of the 100th Italian GP.
The F1 weekend’s takings were frightening. The sold-out at the Brianza circuit provided excitement, with the classic chilling cover of the red tide under the podium. The fans could not celebrate a Ferrari driver’s triumph for the third year in a row, but there was no shortage of controversy. The Grand Prix ended under a safety car because of a race direction that was, to say the least, pitiful and not without errors. Even though Masi watches the GPs, by now, from his home, the new race directors did not prove to be up to the task in case of unforeseen events.
F1, Monza’s record numbers
The Italian Grand Prix has always played an essential role in the F1 calendar. It was usually a turning point in the season before the last non-European transfers. After two terrifying years, this year, the public arrived in large numbers and with enthusiasm. The reference is not only to the pandemic but also to the Scuderia’s results. It took Leclerc two and a half years to return to the podium’s top step. From Monza 2019 to Bahrain, the inaugural round in 2022. The new course started great for Leclerc, but the evolution of events soon ousted Ferrari from the world race. Red Bull Racing was too strong, but Ferrari still squandered a considerable technical and points advantage.
In any case, at Monza, the fans played their part. According to an estimate reported by a major Italian economic newspaper, the weekend in Monza brought in a record sum of around 250 million euros, thanks to the 350,000 spectators present over the weekend. It is fair to say, however, that the previous record revenue was also demolished due to the sharp rise in prices, but the presence and strength of the public present are indisputable. In 2019, the Rossa’s last victory with Leclerc, the takings were €225 million.
Tourism over the three days also reached very high peaks in Milan. Thirty thousand rooms were booked in over 400 establishments, for a total take of 10 million euros. The average figure per spectator is around 500 euros for tickets and expenses. The fans, however, deserved a different ending. The new contract with Liberty Media until 2025 could guarantee more than a billion, given the 20 million fees per race.
To keep up with the times, the Autodromo will have to do a lot of work to cover the grandstands and subways and, not an easy goal for the facility, achieve so-called environmental sustainability. An investment of around 100-150 million euros.
On Sunday afternoon, moreover, on TV8 alone, Formula 1 had 3.4 million fans glued to the screen, i.e., 28% of the TV share. A number must be added to the Sky viewers who watched the race on the platform.
Monza has always been an excellent place for VIPs and prominent personalities from both national and international political and economic life. TV personalities, actors, and sportspeople from other disciplines caught the attention of the public and the spotters. Sylvester “Rocky” Stallone, Gordon Ramsey, Liam Cunningham from Game of Thrones, Shailene Woodley from Divergent, Massimo Rivola – Aprilia General Manager, Pecco Bagnaia – Ducati MotoGP Driver, Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Milan F.C., to name a few. Several former drivers were in Monza, just like Kimi Raikkonen and Jean Alesi. And then, Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO of Pirelli, John Elkan, Chairman and Benedetto Vigna, CEO of Ferrari, also concerning the respective anniversaries of the companies they preside over. One hundred fifty years for Pirelli and 75 for Ferrari. The anniversaries were celebrated in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who also attended the commemoration of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the Italian GP, although we had a slightly bitter ending to this year’s race.