Classic Italian Grands Prix on Sky Sports F1

Four decades, five Monza classics ahead of this year's race

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 30/08/13 1:06pm

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Having held more Formula 1 grands prix than any other circuit, Monza is just about as historic a motorsport venue as you are going to find anywhere in the world and so our Classic Races selection ahead of this year's Italian GP is particularly mouth-watering.

On five consecutive nights at 8pm from Saturday evening Sky Sports F1 will be showing five memorable races from four different decades to have taken place around the famous old Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Here's the five-strong Classics line-up:

1988 Italian Grand Prix (highlights) - Saturday 31st August, 8pm

Twenty-five years on and it's the one that got away for McLaren in 1988. Having arrived at Monza for the 12th round of the season boasting a 100% winning record, McLaren were overwhelming favourites for yet another victory - particularly after Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost locked out the front row of the grid.

However, the F1 gods had other ideas. With the race taking place less than a month after the death of Enzo Ferrari, it was Gerhard Berger who ultimately led the most emotional of Ferrari one-twos in the race after long-time leader Senna was famously taken out by the Williams of Jean-Louis Schlesser two laps from home.

1995 Italian Grand Prix (highlights) - Sunday 1st September, 8pm

Another race with a contentious collision at its centre, the 1995 Monza event proved an unpredictable blockbuster from start to finish and which eventually saw our very own Johnny Herbert emerge as a grand prix winner for the second time in his career.

After polesitter David Coulthard had inexplicably spun out on the formation lap, and then again from the lead having earned a reprieve when the race was restarted, arch rivals Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill had their second high-profile collision of the season before home favourites Ferrari self-destructed as a camera from Jean Alesi's car flew off and broke team-mate Gerhard Berger's front suspension. Alesi's car then packed up a little later itself.

2001 Italian Grand Prix - Monday 2nd September, 8pm

Taking place just five days after 9/11, the 2001 Italian GP proved a sombre weekend for Formula 1 but the race itself proved a memorable one for Juan-Pablo Montoya as the then rookie Colombian driver claimed his maiden win in F1 - and on his father's birthday no less.

The battle for victory distilled into a straight head-to-head duel between the Williams ace and fellow South American Rubens Barrichello, who attempted to win via a two-stop strategy in the Ferrari.

2008 Italian Grand Prix - Tuesday 3rd September, 8pm

Believe it or not, this year's Italian GP represents the fifth anniversary of Sebastian Vettel's breakthrough F1 victory at Monza for Toro Rosso and on Tuesday night we take you back to the giant-killing result that saw the then 21-year-old German become the youngest victor in F1 history.

Few Monza weekends before or since have proved quite so rain-lashed!

2010 Italian Grand Prix - Wednesday 4th September, 8pm

Fernando Alonso's first Italian GP as a Ferrari driver proved the perfect weekend for the Tifosi's new hero as the Spaniard claimed pole position, race victory and the fastest lap to boot to reignite his championship challenge.

On the day that pre-race points leader Lewis Hamilton crashed out on the opening lap, it was the other McLaren of Jenson Button who ran Alonso closest during an entertaining race-long duel at the front.

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