Emilia Romagna GP Preview – Wolff touts “a lot of hard work” over Easter

© Mercedes-Benz Group AG

Mercedes released the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix preview featuring comments from team boss Toto Wolff. You can read the full preview below!

“Melbourne was a great weekend for Formula One,” Wolff said.

“The atmosphere was incredible, and it was wonderful to be back in Australia in front of so many fans. For us, the race went better than we expected, especially after a difficult Friday.

“George and Lewis were both on strong form all weekend and delivered a useful haul of points for the Team. We learned a lot and really maximised the opportunities available, and that’s what we need to keep doing.

“We know we haven’t got the pace of the Ferrari and Red Bull right now. But we’re working hard to reduce their advantage, and it’s been brilliant to see everyone across the factories pulling together to achieve this.

“There’s been a lot of hard work over the Easter weekend in the factory to bring improvements to the car and get it ready to head to the next race, and that shows the team’s dedication to turning the situation around. Of course, we must be realistic, it will take time to make the gains we want, but we’re learning as much as we can from each race and finding avenues to push us forward.

“Now we look ahead to Imola and the first Sprint event of the season. It’s an historic, old-school circuit with a challenging layout that the drivers really enjoy. Qualifying is important owing to the narrow track, while its sweeping nature really puts the cars to the test.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how 2022 machinery tackles Imola,” concluded the Austrian.

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Fact File: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

  • Construction of the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari first started in 1950 and the circuit hosted its debut race in 1953.
  • The track has hosted F1 races under three different names: the San Marino Grand Prix, Italian Grand Prix and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
  • This is the first of three planned Sprint events during the 2022 F1 season, the others being Austria and Brazil. This means Qualifying moves to Friday afternoon, after FP1, to determine the grid for a 100km Sprint race on Saturday afternoon, which takes place after FP2. The result of the Sprint race decides the grid for Sunday’s main race.
  • There has been a change to the Sprint event format for 2022, with pole position now officially being awarded in the history books to the fastest driver in Friday’s qualifying session – compared to the previous format, which awarded pole to the winner of the Sprint.
  • Because Imola is an older track, it has quite a narrow circuit width compared to modern circuits. This makes overtaking more challenging and puts more emphasis on strategy to make up places.
  • Imola has one of the longest pit lanes of any F1 track on the 2022 calendar, measuring 549 metres. This translates to one of the longest pit lane times, too, with 24.7 seconds. This is an interesting strategic factor as you lose more time making a pit stop compared to other races.
  • There’s a 575 metre stretch from pole to the first braking zone, which is one of the longest on the calendar and means we often see changes of position at the start.
  • 71% of the lap time is taken at full throttle, which is quite high compared to most other 2022 F1 tracks. This includes 15 seconds of foot-to-the-floor lap time from the exit of the final corner to the braking zone for Turn 2.
  • Imola has an average apex speed of 205 km/h, the third highest on the 2022 F1 calendar, behind Silverstone and Suzuka.
  • There’s a wide variety of corner types and speeds at Imola, requiring a car with a wider operating window – the complete opposite to a circuit like Monaco, for example, which has a much narrower corner speed window focused on low-speed turns.
  • Because of the wider corner speed window at Imola, more compromise is needed on the set-up details of the car, to enable it to perform better in that varied mix of corner types. A balance also needs to be found between the ride on the bumpy track and the aero configuration for maximum aero performance.
  • Imola has the highest accelerations seen all year on corner exit (what we call, gLong forces), due to the very high grip measured on the track’s tarmac and the very straight corner exit lines – unlike the long, sweeping exits you see at other F1 venues such as Silverstone. The average longitudinal acceleration on corner exit at Imola is 1.5g.
  • George’s Race Engineer, Riccardo Musconi, is from Imola and his primary school looked out onto the Imola circuit – so it’s hardly surprising he ended up working in motorsport!

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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