Opinion: Why Imola is wrong for modern F1 Car News

It pains me to write this because I love the place – but Formula 1 probably shouldn’t be racing at Imola this weekend.

Believe me, I never thought I would take that sentence from a racing circuit that I consider to be one of the best in Europe, if not the world. But sadly, the former home of the San Marino Grand Prix, now the host of the Emilia-Romagna GP, is outdated, a throwback – and not quite in a good way. The return of 2020 was proof enough.

In a hastily compiled ’emergency’ schedule formed amid a global health crisis, Imola was a welcome and familiar haven last November for his first F1 Grand Prix since 2006, all the more so its opening of the traditional European season of the past is fondly remembered – just like this weekend, in fact.

But while the surrounding Emilia Romagna countryside looked as beautiful as it has ever been, the track’s wavy tape was a fitting test and the grass lined and closed the barriers something to focus the mind. from each driver typically pampered by acres of asphalt runoff, the long-wheelbase, heavy hybrid F1 cars seemed to have outgrown the size of the place. In addition, overtaking was almost impossible. It has always been difficult to pass here, especially after the addition of the baffles at Tamburello and Villeneuve following Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994, and with the modern high-drag, high-grip F1 cars that are the fastest ever seen, the race was meant to be processional.

Of course, there have been incidents. Valtteri Bottas didn’t have the chance to pick up a piece of Ferrari debris that compromised his Mercedes-AMG, which led Max Verstappen to win a race in both Rivazza bends and move into the Tamburello chicane – the only one true point of overtaking on the three miles. follow as is the case today. But he would have struggled to hold it up without Bottas’ obvious obstacle. Then Verstappen was hit by a tire failure. Luckily for him, it wasn’t at the old Tamburello pre-chicane where Senna crashed.

The race was far from the best of a generally entertaining season, and we can expect more of the same this weekend – although I really hope I end up with an egg on my face and this turns out to be another modern classic, just like Bahrain. There is certainly a lot to look forward to, including the second part of the increasingly fascinating Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen / Mercedes v Red Bull duel. But strategy variation, unreliability, and good old-fashioned mistakes are our best hope for a cracking grand prize rather than daring overtaking and driving skills.

The non-charitable among you might say that is still the case with modern F1! But in the era of DRS rear fenders and wide circuits, overtaking is usually not such a problem at the majority of venues – ironic given that new automotive regulations have been created to ‘fix’ the flawed show. in 2022. In fact, on that thought, maybe a third Emilia Romagna GP would be a pretty tough place to put them to the test next year…

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This notice was published: 2021-04-17 05:01:24