1951 Italian Grand Prix
- Sunday, September 16, 1951
- Gran Premio d'Italia
- F1 World Championship
THE Italian G.P. run over 80 laps of the 3.9 mile Monza track on September 16th saw Ferraris set the hottest pace yet, witnessed in postwar racing, and the result was an overwhelming victory for them.
Long before official practice began, the Ferraris had taken their 4 1/2-litres to Monza and satisfied themselves that they could lap comfortably in 1 min. 55 sec., a speed of 122 m.p.h., and if need be to keep up that pace for the full distance of the race. Alfa-Romeos thereby had a target to aim for, and some pretty steady lapping in 1 min. 57 sec. by Fangio, Farina and Sanesi on a spare car, indicated that they could stand the pace. While rehearsing refuelling-stops a fire started in which Sanesi was so badly burnt that it was impossible for him to take part in the race.
It was quite clear during practice that these teams were going to give no quarter. Ferrari had brand new 4 1/2 litres with redesigned bodywork and Alfas had new 159 models with detail modifications. Ferraris also tried out the new four-cylinder car in 2 1/2-litre form in a de Dion G.P. chassis of shorter than normal wheelbase, while Franco Rol appeared with a very new 4 1/2-litre Osca, new both in engine and chassis. Gordini had his new two o.h.c. engines in blown form and B.R.M.s were out with Parnell and Richardson driving, creating a very good impression on sheer sound alone as they screamed past the stands. The regular Talbot drivers were quietly circulating.