2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Preview
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Preview
Round 2 of the 2021 Formula 1 season will be held at Imola in Italy.
Last time out, Lewis Hamilton scored a brilliant victory at the season opener in Bahrain, snatching the win from the hard charging Red Bull driven by Dutchman Max Verstappen.
Imola was reintroduced to the F1 calendar after a 14 year break in 2020 and produced a great race in which Mercedes took yet another Constructors crown and their driver Lewis Hamilton claimed victory ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
F1s trip to Imola this year will be its first of two Italian events as the Temple of Speed Monza hosts the Italian Grand Prix in September.
The Imola Circuit is 3.050 miles long and has produced some of Formula 1s most memorable moments over its illustrious history including Fernando Alonso stunning victory in 2005, the Spaniard fended off Michael Schumacher for the final 15 laps of the Grand Prix to take a very unlikely victory.
Imola is also famous for off track duels too, none more so than in 2004 which saw Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya get into a heated debate over a first lap battle between the pair as the Ferrari driver pushed Montoya off the road at Tosa. Schumacher went on to win the race.
F1.com Imola Track map
The Imola track is incredibly quick and loved by drivers and fans alike. The circuit is just over 3 miles long and is home to 19 brilliant corners including, Piratella, Acque Minerale and Variante Alta.
The track has a great flow to it undulating through the beautiful scenery of Italys Emilia Romagna region.
Turn 2 at Tamburello represents the best overtaking opportunity of the lap at Imola as drivers will look to use DRS on the long main straight to help overtaking.
Further round the lap, Turn 9 at Piratella is an incredibly quick left hander taken a 6th gear and is one of Formula 1s truly great corners. The track immediately drops downhill and plunges the drivers straight into the heart of the fearsome Acque Minerale. The lap is then rounded off by a duo of slow, left hand turns named Rivazza.
Mercedes performed brilliantly at Imola last year taking a 1-2 ahead of Renaults Daniel Ricciardo.
This season though could very well be a different story with Red Bull presenting a very firm challenge and the RB16B looked very good in Bahrain, especially through the middle sectors medium speed corners.
This trait could prove crucial at this weekend's Grand Prix, due to the fast and flowing nature of Imola.
Further down the field, McLaren will be looking to build on a successful opening weekend in Bahrain taking fourth and seventh in the hands of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. The Woking based outfit seem to possess the third quickest car ahead of a floundering Alpine and Aston Martin.
Aston Martin themselves have plenty of ground to make up have been hit hard by the new regulations which seemed to deeply affect Formula 1s low rake cars. Aston Martins star driver Sebastian Vettel had a scruffy weekend in Bahrain getting knocked out in Q1 and colliding with Esteban Ocon during the race.
Imola also presents a good opportunity AlphaTauris Yuki Tsunoda to carry on impressing the pit lane. The Japanese driver made his F1 debut in Bahrain and certainly didn't look out of place. Yuki stood toe to toe with team-mate Pierre Gasly all weekend and pulled off a great pass on double World Champion Fernando Alonso.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promises to be a brilliant, unmissable event.