Following three opening ‘flyaway’ races, Formula One returns to Europe for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix which takes places at the iconic Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó picks out the facts that make the Imola race so special.
Legendary circuit - Today’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be the third race at Imola to bear this title, and it will be the 30th F1 race at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. When it comes to all Formula One races in Italy, it will be the 103rd occasion for the sport to visit the country. The circuit hosted the Italian Grand Prix once when it took over this important role from Monza in 1980.
A popular venue - The track was inaugurated as a semi-permanent venue in 1953. In April 1953, the first motorcycle races took place, while the first car race took place in June 1954. The track played host to its first Formula One race in 1963 as a non-championship event, won by Jim Clark for Lotus. Imola officially debuted on the Formula One calendar in 1980. The event was won by Nelson Piquet and it was such a success that the sport continued to visit the venue, albeit under the name of the San Marino Grand Prix.
Home to two teams - Imola is the true home circuit for Ferrari in Formula 1, located only around an hour from its Maranello factory. In fact, Emilia Romagna is home to several automotive icons and even another Formula 1 team: AlphaTauri which conducted a few private test sessions with older cars in recent years, particularly as it prepared its Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda for his F1 debut.
Middle range - Pirelli nominated the C2, C3 and C4 tyres for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as P Zero White hard, P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft respectively. This is the same nomination as was made for Imola last year, although the compounds are of course different with the latest generation of 18-inch tyres.
Medium-length – The Imola circuit has a length of 4909m which makes it an average track in terms of length on the current calendar. Drivers will need to complete 63 laps in total this afternoon to cover the race distance of 309.276km. There is an offset between the start and finish line, equivalent to 218m.
A narrow circuit – Although the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari provides drivers a flowing rhythm, it sports quite a narrow layout which makes overtaking rather difficult. In spite of this, FIA could only mandate a single DRS zone due to the characteristics of the track. The detection zone of this single DRS zone will be 385m before Turn 17 while the activation will be 60m after Turn 19.
The most successful teams - Ferrari and Williams are tied on eight victories at Imola. McLaren secured six wins in total in Imola with its latest win recorded by David Coulthard in the 1998 San Marino Grand Prix.
The most successful engine supplier - When it comes to the engine manufacturers, Ferrari and Renault are tied on eight victories, followed by Honda with the Japanese engine supplier having recorded a total of four wins.