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PREVIEW: 2020 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari

4 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, otherwise known as Imola, is making its return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2006.

Previous known as the San Marino Grand Prix, Imola was the second Italian circuit in a Formula 1 season calendar.

The official naming of the track is dedicated to late Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari and his son Alfredo Ferrari, who tragically passed away age twenty-four. The track held its first official Formula 1 race in 1980.

What happened at the Portuguese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton gained his ninety-second race win making him the most successful Formula 1 driver ever, in terms of race wins.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Hamilton. Starting from pole, he was overtaken by both Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr., who led the race at one point. It became apparent that both Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers where having issues warming up their tyres. However, come lap twenty, Hamilton had fire in his belly and accelerated himself back to first where he stayed until he crossed the finish line twenty-five seconds faster than Bottas in second, with Max Verstappen completing the podium in third.

Elsewhere on the field, Kimi Räikkönen found himself up in the mix in the points after pushing himself from sixteenth to sixth in the first couple of laps. Unfortunately, his great start didn’t last but still finished in an impressive eleventh.

Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sergio Pérez finished occupying fourth to seventh respectively. The four drivers have been lacking in results recently, so they all pulled out a great race from the bag. Pérez was subsequently voted Driver of the Day after storming through the field after being pitched into a spin by Verstappen on lap one.

What happened at last San Marino Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher won the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, the last one to be held at Imola.

A first lap incident was the start of the end for driver Yuji Ide. Ide hit Christjian Albers, sending his car into a succession of rolls and the car become stationary upside down. Ide was reprimanded after the race but the stewards. This incident was also used as evidence to have Ide’s superlicence withdrawn by the FIA.

Jenson Button started in second place but found himself crossing the line in seventh place due to a pit lane incident. The refuelling nozzle got stuck and Button pulled away thinking it had been removed which teared the nozzle from the refuelling rig.

Fernando Alonso spent a lot of the race chasing Schumacher in hopes to overtake him for the race win but was never able to get in a good move and crossed the line in second place.

Finishing off the podium was Juan Pablo Montoya who had worked his way up from seventh to third.

The Circuit

The 4.909km racetrack will consist of 63 lap and drivers will complete a race distance of 309.049km. Unlike a lot of racetracks. Imola is an anti-clockwise circuit with twelve left-hand corners and nine right-hand corners. 

The circuit has been re-asphalted since F1 last raced here in 2006 meaning the circuit is smoother, putting less stress on the tyres.

Scuderia AlphaTauri are the only team to have a taste of this racetrack so far after using it to do some filming, plus some testing in an old car, at the circuit.

Credit: Pirelli Media

Sectors Corners and DRS Zones

Sector 1 consists of Turn 1 to Turn 6. Sector 2 has Turn 7 to Turn 13. Sector 3 is Turn 14 to Turn 21.

Turn 2 to Turn 4 as a cluster is known as the Variante Tamburello. Turn 5 is Variante Villeneuve. Turn 7 is Tosa with Turn 9 and Turn 10 is Piratella. Along Turn 11 and Turn 12 is Acque Minerali, Turn 14 to Turn 15 is Variante Alta and Turn 18 to Turn 19 is Rivazza.

Imola is another track to just have one DRS Zone. The DRS Detection Zone starts just before Turn 19, ready for the battles along the pit straight.

Tyre Strategy

As there are no Friday sessions at Imola, there will only be ten sets of tyres available for each driver this weekend. Two sets of hard, two sets of medium and six sets of softs.

The middle range tyres have been chosen with C2, the white-striped hard, C3, the yellow-striped medium and C4, the red-striped soft.

What should we look out for this year?

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team can win the Constuctors’ Championship at Imola, as long as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing doesn’t outscore the team by thirty-three points. This will be the teams seventh World Championship win.

Verstappen could overtake Bottas to take second should he outscore him by eighteen points.

The fight for fourth in the Drivers’ Championship is just as tight as ever this year. Just six points separate Daniel Ricciardo, Leclerc and Pérez in fourth, fifth and sixth.

Coincidently the battle for third in the Constructors’ Championship between BWT Racing Point Formula One Team, McLaren F1 Team and Renault DP World F1 Team is also separated by six points.

Lance Stroll will be hoping for a good race after a string of bad runs. Stroll hasn’t finished a race since his third-place podium at the Italian Grand Prix and also missed the Eifel Grand Prix due to illness. He really needs to step up his game and prove why Racing Point is right to keep him instead of Pérez.

What’s the schedule?

Saturday 31 October

09:00 GMT / 10:00 Local Time – Free Practice 

13:00 GMT / 14:00 Local Time – Qualifying

Sunday 1 November

12:10 GMT / 13:10 Local Time – Race

How can I keep up with the action?

Follow all the action at the Checkered Flag with our extensive coverage, quotes and analysis of every session of the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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