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Emilia Romagna GP: Preview - Aston Martin

NEWS STORY
20/04/2022

Fast, flowing and ready to punish even the slightest of errors: this is Imola, one of the most historic Grands Prix on the Formula One calendar. From Tamburello to Piratella and ending at Rivazza, few laps pose a more finely balanced trade-off between risk and reward. For added spice, the F1 Sprint returns for the first time this year...

Lance Stroll: "It has been cool to see Imola not only return to the F1 calendar but re-establish itself as one of the classic tracks that we visit. Few circuits are more old-school: there's so little run-off and you must make set-up trade-offs for a fast and flowing lap, so it's about bravery and finding the limits as quickly and consistently as possible. It will be interesting to see how the changes to F1 Sprint liven up the race weekend, too."

Sebastian Vettel: "Imola is a real test of driver and machine, and that's what every F1 circuit should be. It's hard to imagine we'd ever be racing around Imola in ground-effect cars - that's really something special, and a bit of a throwback to the 1980s, which is cool. I'm looking forward to getting back into the car and getting up to speed. Imola has never hosted a Sprint race before, so I'm also excited to see how that plays out."

Pitstops

Teams and drivers want to make as few as possible because Imola has the longest pitlane time loss of the season at 28s. Combined with historically low tyre degradation, you're unlikely to see teams make more than one stop in the race.

Overtaking

While the 2022 cars seem to make overtaking easier, it's still tricky at Imola. Short straights, high-speed corners and one DRS zone contributed to just 12 passes after the first lap in 2021 - all but one requiring DRS. The long run from the grid to Turn Two at the start is the best chance to make up ground.

Practice time

The return of the Sprint format means practice is at a premium as teams seek to refine set-up and balance and understand tyre behaviour. Combined with the new-for-2022 cars, every minute counts in FP1 and FP2, and any setbacks or curveballs could mix up the order come Sunday.

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