The Italian Grand Prix – A battle of the nations

Monza_aerial_photoSince the Formula One World Championship took its current form in 1950, 63 drivers representing 14 countries have won the Italian Grand Prix.

Italy has played host to a Grand Prix every year since the championship’s inception so it allows for a direct comparison of the nations, as depicted in the table below. All but one, when the race was held in Imola in 1980, have been contested at the Monza Autodromo Nazionale.

Great Britain is the most successful country by far, with a win percentage of 23.44% and their 15 victories cover each of the six decades. Sir Stirling Moss was the first to succeed under the Union Jack and stood atop the podium on two further occasions while Damon Hill, John Surtees and Jackie Stewart have each won twice. In 2012, then racing for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton ended a 15 year drought to become the first winner since David Coulthard.

Brazil and Germany are tied in second place, both on nine wins. Emerson Fittipaldi was the first victor for Brazil in 1971 with Lotus-Ford and was later joined by his compatriots Nelson Piquet (4 times), Rubens Barrichello (3 times) and Ayrton Senna (twice) on the list of Brazilian conquerors at Monza.

Rather unsurprisingly, Germany’s first win on the Italian tarmac came courtesy of Michael Schumacher in 1996. Under the guidance of the rain master, Germany won a further six races until Sebastian Vettel stepped up to Formula 1 to take three wins in Italy – his first being with Toro Rosso in 2008.

Ferrari has won a whopping 19 Grands Prix on home soil, gifting them with over a quarter of all wins at Monza. However Italian drivers have been much less successful, winning their last race back in 1966 with Ludovico Scarfiotti with the famous Italian outfit. Vitantonio Luizzi was the last Italian driver in Formula 1 but did not register a win in his 81 outings.

1024px-Monza_banking_2003France is well-represented on the 2014 gird but has not recorded an Italian Grand Prix win since 1989 with Alain Prost at the helm of his title-winning McLaren-Honda. The historic Formula 1 nation has won an Italian round four times with René Arnoux becoming the second winner for France during a closely-fought tussle back in 1982.

Argentina, Austria, Sweden and the United States of America are all tied on three wins at Monza. All of Argentina’s victories came courtesy of five time champion Juan Manuel Fangio in 1953, 1954 and 1955. The South American country has not dominated title running since his retirement.

Austria, on the other hand, has a slightly more varied history. In 1978 and 1984 Niki Lauda won for Brabham-Alfa Romeo (a team with three wins on Italian soil) and McLaren who are the second most successful team in Monza’s history. Incidentally, Gerhard Berger won in 1988 to end McLaren’s dominant streak in the MP4/4. This prevented the British outfit was obtaining a clean sweep of victories that year.

Sweden’s most successful driver Ronnie Peterson was responsible for all three of his nation’s wins however his time in Italy ended in tragedy following his death in 1978. However, the United States of America has two Italian GP winners to its credit with Phil Hill (1960/1961) and Mario Andretti (1977) winning under the star-spangled banner.

Spain’s two victories came courtesy of their greatest representative Fernando Alonso. The 2005 and 2006 champion secured their first win in 2007 and followed that up with a 2010 win for current team Ferrari. Switzerland’s Clay Regazzoni also took them to two race victories in 1970 and 1975 to become his country’s most successful driver. The last Swiss driver in Formula 1 was former Toro Rosso racer Sebastien Buemi. Meanwhile, Venezuela has Juan Pablo Montoya to thank for their two Italian Grand Prix victories in 2001 and 2005.

South Africa (in 1979) and New Zealand (1968) are both one time winners at Monza thanks to Jody Scheckter and Denny Hulme respectively.

The table below states each of the countries to win an Italian Grand Prix, their number of victories and the years. In the eventuality that multiple countries have registered the same number of wins, they will be listed alphabetically. These results were recorded before the 2014 Italian Grand Prix so will not feature this result.  

You can click here to see my latest F1Plus column and take a look back at some of Monza’s most iconic moments.

Country Number of wins Years
Great Britain UK_Flag 15 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2012
Brazilbrazil-flag1 9 1972, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2009
Germanygermany-flag 9 1996, 1998, 1999. 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013
Italydownload 4 1950, 1951, 1952, 1966
Franceimages 4 1981, 1982, 1985, 1989
Argentinadownload (1) 3 1953, 1954, 1955
Austriaaustria-flag 3 1978, 1984, 1988
Swedendownload (2) 3 1973, 1974, 1976
United States of AmericaUnited_States_Flag_by_sprite_genius 3 1960, 1961, 1977
Spaindownload (3) 2 2007, 2010
SwitzerlandSwitzerland 2 1970, 1975
Venezuelavenezuela-hi 2 2001, 2005
South Africasouth_african_flag 1 1979
New ZealandNational_flag_of_New_Zealand 1 1968


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