LAST STINT FOR MONZA? Could Monza race track be hosting the Italian GP for the last time? Image: Shutterstock / Belle Momenti
MONZA, Italy - The 2015 Italian grand prix, to held at super-fast Monza track on Sunday (September 6), faces an uncertain future despite its historic status.
The Italian Prime Minister weighed-in on the debate about the historic track, and even had some harsh words aimed at F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Ahead of the GP, check out race and track statistics for the 2015 Italian GP at Monza:
Lap distance: 5.793km. Total distance: 306.72km (53 laps)
Race lap record: Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Ferrari, 1min21.046 seconds (2004)
2014 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:24.109
2014 winner: Hamilton
Start time: 1200 GMT (2pm SA local)
Tyres: Medium (white), Soft (yellow)
Click on Scuderia Ferrari's Italian GP preview video:
Mercedes has had seven one-two finishes this season and won nine of 11 races. Double world champion Hamilton has won six.
Four-times champion Sebastian Vettel has 41 career wins, Hamilton is on 39 and Fernando Alonso 32. Kimi Raikkonen has won 20 races, Jenson Button 15 and Rosberg 11.
Ferrari have won 223 races, McLaren 182, Williams 114 and Red Bull 50. Mercedes have won 38.
McLaren have not won for 49 races, a run that dates back to Brazil 2012 and is the team's worst since they went 53 races without a win between the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix and 1981 British GP.
Mercedes has been on pole for the last 22 races. The record for successive poles is 24 (Williams 1992-93).
Hamilton has been on pole in 10 of 11 races this season, including the last six in a row, and has already clinched the 2015 pole trophy. The Briton has 48 career poles, Rosberg 16.
Hamilton can also take his 19th successive front row start and move closer to the record of 24 set by his great boyhood hero Ayrton Senna.
Rosberg took 11 poles last year, when Mercedes and Williams were the only teams to start on pole. The last non-Mercedes pole was Austria, 2014.
Ferrari's last pole was in Germany with Alonso in 2012.
Red Bull are ready for Monza:
Nine drivers from five teams have appeared on the podium in 2015 - Hamilton, Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel, Raikkonen (Ferrari), Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa (Williams), Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus).
Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel have shared the podium in six races.
Hamilton has 80 career podiums, the same as Senna.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 28 points.
Vettel's tyre failure in Belgium ended a run of 21 successive races in the points. The record of 27 is held by Ferrari team mate Raikkonen.
The winner at Monza has ended the season as champion in three of the last four years (Hamilton being the exception in 2012) but only five of the last 15.
Vettel can become only the second driver, and first since Britain's Stirling Moss in the 1950s, to win at Monza with three different teams. He has done so previously with Toro Rosso (2008) and Red Bull (2011 and 2013).
The last driver to win at Monza two years in a row was Hamilton's compatriot Damon Hill in 1993-94.
The Italian and British Grands Prix are the only ones to have featured every year since the championship started in 1950.
The Italian race has always been staged at Monza, with one exception - at Imola in 1980.
Monza is the quickest track on the calendar and holds the record for F1's fastest lap, an average of 262.242 kph set by Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya before qualifying in 2004.
The race has been won from pole position eight times in the last 10 years.
Michael Schumacher won a record five times at Monza, all with Ferrari - who have 18 wins at the track, more than any other team.
Ferrari marked their 900th Grand Prix at Spa, while Vettel made his 150th start.
Click on Mercedes F1's Italian GP preview video: