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Formula 1

Inside abandoned and infamous F1 oval track not used for over 60 years after killing driver and 15 fans in horror crash

The abandoned oval circuit at Monza has not been used since 1961 after a horror crash which killed a driver and 15 spectators. But the disused track is still in good condition and has been used by people on foot or on bikes.

Track History and Tragedy

It was opened in 1922 for the Italian Grand Prix but it did not take long for tragedy to strike as driver Fritz Kuhn was killed during practice. Six years later a huge disaster occurred when driver Emilio Materassi lost control of his car and crashed into the mainstand. Materassi died along with 22 spectators and the Italian GP was not held again until 1931. However it would not take long until another horrific crash took place – in 1933 three drivers died at the Grand Prix in an incident known as the Black Day of Monza. A change to the track was made in 1933 and further changes would follow after another shocking incident in 1961. Wolfgang von Trips and 15 spectators were killed following a crash in lap two of the Italian GP. Since then the banking at the track has not been used, and even now it is clear to see how dangerous it must have been.

From Grand Prix to Public Use

The track was re-paved in 2014 and is now open to members of the public on foot or on bike. The high-speed circuit has not been used since 1969 with races only being held on the road circuit. The infamous banking, which was a major cause of crashes during the Italian GP, has not been maintained but it has not been overgrown by nature either, so a part of Monza history remains. In 2014, the old banking was re-paved and made available for access by members of the public, showcasing the enduring allure of this abandoned and infamous F1 oval track.

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