Monza’s Parabolica renamed in honour of Alboreto

Jon Wilde
Parabolica curve at Monza, home of the Italian GP

General view of the Parabolica curve at Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix

Monza’s famous Parabolica curve is to be renamed after the late Michele Alboreto, who raced for Ferrari in the mid-1980s.

Alboreto raced in Formula 1 between 1981 and 1994, winning five grands prix and finishing second in the 1985 World Championship to Alain Prost.

After taking victory for the Tyrrell team in Las Vegas and Detroit in 1982 and 1983 respectively, the Italian moved to Ferrari for the following season.

In the best of his five years with the Scuderia, Alboreto finished in the top four in nine of the first 11 races of that 1985 campaign, but his hopes of denying Prost a first World Championship came unstuck when he failed to score at any of the last five – rounding off the season with four straight retirements.

After leaving Formula 1, Alboreto became a successful sportscar driver for the all-conquering Audi Sport Joest team, winning the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 1997.

Tragically, he was killed in a testing accident at the Lausitzring in April 2001 at the age of 44.

Twenty years on from his death, Milan-born Alboreto will be commemorated at the Temple of Speed on Saturday September 11 with the renaming of the sweeping right-hand corner that leads onto the pits straight.

Michele Alboreto in crash helmet at a touring car event. Magny-Cours 1995.

Although Alboreto did not win at Monza for Ferrari, he finished second there twice – in his first and last seasons with the Scuderia.

In 1984, he came through from 11th on the grid to take the runner-up spot behind Niki Lauda’s McLaren – but four years later there was more to celebrate for the tifosi.

With neither of that year’s dominant McLarens driven by Prost and Ayrton Senna able to finish the race, the door was left open for Ferrari to claim a one-two via Gerhard Berger and Alboreto.

It was the only race that year McLaren failed to win, with Prost suffering a Honda engine failure, while Senna looked to be coasting to victory until, with two laps remaining, he was forced into retirement by a collision with Jean-Louis Schlesser’s Williams which he was trying to lap.

That race was also poignant for it came just a few weeks after the death of Enzo Ferrari.

The day of the Parabolica corner’s renaming is when the second trial of sprint qualifying has been scheduled to take place, with a crowd of up to 50% capacity set to attend at Monza due to Covid-19 restrictions.