ON 3 SEPTEMBER 1922, at 9:30 am, in the Villa Reale in Monza there were three Fiat, two Diatto, one Bugatti and two Heim. 100,000 spectators in the grandstands, for the first Grand Prix of the newly created Monza circuit. Among these, two thousand Fiat workers arrived on a company train to ensure that those on the shop floor shared the experience that was also the result of their work. The track was 10 kilometres long, to be covered eighty times. Crossing the finish line in the rain, with an average of 140 kilometres per hour aboard a Fiat 501, was Pietro Bordino. To celebrate the victory and bring the top three finishers to the grandstand, the audience invaded the track after the race was not yet over.
On Saturday 3 September 2022, the race track celebrated its centenary milestone and the history that has run over the track in a century. Among the many, the names of Tazio Nuvolari, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, who in 2020 set the absolute record of the circuit with the highest average ever in the history of Formula 1, are In the Roll of Honour of the Grand Prix; but there were other historical events, in April 1945 a parade of Allied armoured vehicles broke up the track surface on the straight in front of the grandstand, from here the Giro d’Italia starts and arrives. And we wanted to trace an ideal course of these hundred years, together with Alumnus Umberto Andreoletti, since 2015 Director of Operations of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit.
‘If I had to summarize the work of our office - explains Andreoletti - I would say that it is the troubleshooting office, because it manages the productive, technical and logistic part; it is as if we were working on a big puzzle where everything is interconnected. Our goal is to ensure that the public and customers return home happy. And above all with their own legs, in total safety. This is our diktat’.
We start our journey from the very first time that Andreoletti was part of the Autodromo audience. ‘I was little, I went there with some friends, I must have been a little over ten years old. My father didn’t want it, it was my mother who indulged the passion for motorsport. An avalanche of emotions flooded me. I remember the deafening noise of the twelve cylinders and the outburst of the public. I never thought then that one day I would return to work there. The first time I entered here as a director I discovered that it is a chameleon-like place because it is so vast that you think you are in one place and instead you are in another. This year, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations, it was a record place for a paying public, 90,000 on Saturdays and 130,000 on Sundays. Our task is to understand what the needs of the place are to make it work properly. It is one of the three oldest racetracks in the world and is to be found in a unique context: within the largest monumental enclosed park in Europe, which is itself located in a small town. The park is within the town and the town is within the park. You enter a world of history’.