Monza, Italy – Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, September turn road course. Start Time: 8:00 a.m. (et). Laps: 53. Miles: 190.58. 2010 Winner: Fernando Alonso. Television: Speed.
Formula One will run its ninth and final race in Europe this season with Sunday's Italian Grand Prix. F1 will then compete in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, India and Abu Dhabi before wrapping up the season on November 27 in Brazil.
With seven races remaining on this year's calendar, defending world champion Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull Racing holds a very comfortable 92-point lead over his teammate Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso from Ferrari trails Vettel by 102 points, while McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are 110 and 113 behind, respectively. All other drivers have already been mathematically eliminated from this year's title race.
Vettel made F1 history at the 3.6-mile (5.793-kilometer), 11-turn Monza circuit three years ago. At age 21, he became the youngest race winner and pole sitter with his wet-weather victory in the Italian GP. The young German drove for Toro Rosso at the time. Vettel moved over to Red Bull the following year.
"Monza holds incredibly special memories for me," he said. "It's where I scored my first-ever F1 win with Toro Rosso in 2008. That's something I will never forget. I had goose bumps standing on the podium with the fans below."
Alonso is a two-time Italian GP winner. Last year, the Spaniard won in dramatic fashion on Ferrari's home track. He started on the pole but endured a sluggish beginning when Button passed him for the lead heading into the first chicane on the opening lap. Alonso came charging back later in the 53-lap race when he exited the pits quick enough to beat Button's on-coming car on the track. He led the final 15 laps to give his Italian team a win in its backyard.
Alonso's first win at Monza came during his first and only season with McLaren in 2007.
"Another win this year? Why not," he said. "Monza is a unique track with a unique setup, which involves its own wings and aero set-up, so everyone is effectively back to zero. I expect we will have a very competitive car, and Ferrari will be very strong, boosted by the fact we really want to win at home."