Mercedes released the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix preview featuring comments from team boss Toto Wolff. You can read the full preview below!
“The 2021 F1 season certainly began in spectacular style,” Wolff said.
“It was an encouraging first race, coming away from Bahrain with a double podium, and hopefully the duel in the desert between us and Red Bull is a sign of what’s to come this year.
“We may have won the first round, but we’re under no illusions that this will be a straightforward season. The car is still lacking pace over a single lap and Red Bull appear to have the edge right now. We’re pushing hard to close the gap, and this is a challenge we relish.
“We’ve been eager to get back on track over this three-week break and round two, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, is just around the corner. Imola is such an historic and iconic venue, and it’s a track the drivers really enjoy, with its sweeping nature, high speeds and variety of corner types.
“It’s quite a narrow track, which makes overtaking more difficult, but this puts more focus on strategy and makes qualifying even more crucial. We all enjoyed returning to Imola in 2020, after a 14-year gap, and it was made more special by the fact we secured our seventh Constructors’ championship on that weekend.
“We’re looking forward to being back there again this weekend and seeing what the 2021 race has in store!”
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Fact File: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
- Construction on the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari began in 1950 and the track hosted its first 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.
- Unlike more modern tracks, the circuit width is quite narrow at Imola, which makes overtaking more challenging and puts more emphasis on strategy to make up positions.
- The length of the pit lane and time spent driving through the pits is also an interesting strategic factor. Imola’s pit lane is the longest of any 2021 F1 track, measuring 528 metres, and this also translates to the longest pit lane time (driving through at the speed limit of 80 km/h) of 24.8 seconds.
- Imola is one of seven fully anti-clockwise tracks on the 2021 F1 calendar, alongside Interlagos, Baku, COTA, Jeddah, Marina Bay and Yas Marina.
- The stretch of 605 metres from pole position to the first braking zone is the third-longest on the calendar.
- 73% of the lap time is taken at full-throttle, the third-highest percentage of the 2021 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 200 km/h, the third highest on the 2021 F1 calendar, behind Silverstone (roughly 205 km/h) and Suzuka (around 210 km/h).
- The track surface is particularly bumpy, meaning teams must find the right set-up compromise between the ride (and how well the car absorbs the bumps) and the aero (and how aggressive to go for the maximum aero performance).
- Imola is quite stop-start in nature, similar to Montreal. Therefore, despite not having any ‘heavy’ braking zones (defined by achieving 4g for more than 0.4s), it is a track with a fairly high brake duty
- Another punishing factor for the brakes is the short straight lengths, meaning the brakes don’t have as much time to cool between the braking events.
- 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 Sochi, for example, which has a much narrower corner speed window.
- 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.
- 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.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team