Following a thrilling Italian Grand Prix, teams and driver stayed in Italy, making a short trip from Monza to Scarperia e San Piero for the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix on the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit.
Four-year hiatus – Formula One has not visited a new track since 2016 when the Baku City Circuit welcomed the European Grand Prix. Mugello is the 72nd venue to host an FIA Formula One World Championship grand prix. Due to the heavily-modified 2020 calendar, F1 will visit another new circuit this year with the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão scheduled to host the Portuguese Grand Prix in October.
A demanding circuit – Located in Scarperia e San Piero, Tuscany, Mugello Circuit is a 5.245 km track. It has 15 turns and a 1.141 km long straight. Drivers will need to complete 59 laps to cover the race distance of 309.497km.
Only fast corners – Although the Mugello circuit is a new location, it shares similarities with other tracks with Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone being similar to the Ferrari-owned race course. However, Mugello is even more brutal when it comes to fast corners as there are literally no slow corners or heavy braking zones with drivers not using a lower gear than fourth during the lap.
Not fully unknown – Although Mugello has not hosted a race so far, the track is not completely unknown for teams and drivers as it served as test location in the past. F1 ran a full in-season test in 2012, at which Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Pérez and Valtteri Bottas participated. Red Bull conducted a Pirelli tyre test here in 2016 and. In June, Ferrari visited its own circuit Mugello for a shakedown test with both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc driving the 2018’s SF71H.
A single DRS zone – FIA usually nominate two sections of the tracks as DRS zones, but the layout of the fast circuit made it impossible and unnecessary. The single DRS Zone will be along the start-finish straight. The detection point is at the entry of Turn 15 and the activation point is 175m after the SC1 line.
The hardest compounds - To cope with a combination of fast corners and abrasive asphalt, Pirelli brought their hardest compounds to Mugello, with the C1, C2 and C3 on offer. This selection was also to shield against the potential for thermal degradation exacerbated by very hot weather.
The fast Chinese - With today’s race becoming the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix, there has been no official track record ahead of the weekend. Following yesterday’s FIA Formula 2 feature race, the official track record it held by UNI-Virtuosi driver Guanyu Zhou who posted a 1m33.732, setting the fastest lap of the race. F1 is expected to deliver a new track record today that could be around a time of 1:20.0 based on Friday’s practice sessions.
F1 vs MotoGP - In yesterday’s qualifying session, Lewis Hamilton secured the pole position with a time of 1m15.144 that is currently the fastest ever lap around the Mugello circuit. In comparision, Marc Marquez posted a time of 1:45.519 in last year’s MotoGP qualfiying session to claim pole position.
The important people in race control – Garry Connelly, Mika Salo and Loic Bacquelaine will act as race stewards at this afternoon’s Tuscan Grand Prix. Matteo Perini will help their work as the national steward.