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16 - 18 Apr
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
First Grand Prix
Number of Laps
1:15.484 Lewis Hamilton (2020)
Imola – or the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari as it’s been known since 1988 – had its foundation stone laid in March 1950. It was ready for testing by October 1952, while racing began at the circuit in 1953.
Imola first hosted a non-championship F1 race in 1963, but it would take some politicking with Monza in 1980 before the track was awarded the honour of hosting the Italian Grand Prix for the first time that year. From 1981, the two tracks worked together in perfect harmony, with Imola taking on its famous ‘San Marino’ title, and going on to host a total of 27 Grands Prix up until 2006. It returned as venue for the Emilia Romagna GP in 2020.
A thrill ride. After testing his AlphaTauri AT01 at the track in the build-up to the 2020 season, Pierre Gasly called the experience one of the best he’d ever had in a Formula 1 car, while his then-team mate Daniil Kvyat remarked that “an F1 car through corners like Acque Minerali – the entrance is so fast, it’s so cool. It really gives you a lot of adrenaline.” The anti-clockwise circuit is certainly fast, with an old-school feel as the drivers put it on the line in iconic corners like the aforementioned Acque Minerali and Piratella.
Like neighbouring Mugello, Imola is nestled in a fantastic part of the world, with the Tuscan hills to the south, the Adriatic beaches to the east and the gastronomic delights of cities like Bologna, Parma and Modena to the west – as well as the F1 mecca that is Ferrari’s HQ in nearby Maranello. There’s also no getting around the fact that a visit to Imola is an opportunity for F1 fans to pay their respects to Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, who lost their lives at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
The stand on the outside of Acque Minerali is a great spot to see an F1 machine being pushed to its absolute limits, as the drivers struggle to get the cars down to speed for the tight right-hander before blasting back up the hill to the Variante Alta chicane.
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