23rd San Marino Grand Prix. Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola. 17 Apr 2003
There have been races in Imola since 80 BC. Back then the town was called Forum Cornelli and the Roman inhabitants were wowed by horsepower of a different kind. The ancient town featured an ampitheatre where chariot races regularly took place. For the inhabitants of this rural Italian town, racing is part of their culture and history.
It is unsurprising therefore that the San Marino Grand Prix is such a passionate affair. The track is the home of Ferrari's rabid mob of fans, the tifosi, and at the track named in honour of the marque's famous founder and his son, a sea of red greets you at every turn.
The 2003 race will be the 23rd San Marino Grand Prix, but the 24th Grand Prix to be held at Imola, the track's first use in Formula One being as a temporary replacement for Monza in 1980.
The track used for this weekend's race is the sixth different version of the circuit since it was first used as a Grand Prix venue. The majority of changes have occurred since 1994 in an attempt to make the track safer and provide larger run off areas. The infamous high speed Tamburello and Villeneuve corners have, since 1995, been replaced with chicanes. The circuit length is now 4.933km and the 2003 San Marino Grand Prix will be run over 62 laps. In total, the cars which finish the race will cover 305.609km.