Emilia Romagna GP: Preview - Racing Point


Imola is one of Formula 1's most historic circuits, how excited are you to race there?
Lance Stroll: "I'm very excited! Not only is Imola such a famous circuit, but we'll have the two-day format as well, which has the potential to really mix things up. I also have great memories there, so it's a weekend I'm relishing."

Is winning your European Formula 3 title at Imola one of your greatest racing memories?
LS: "It is - and it feels like a lifetime ago! There was a lot of champagne that night. It was so emotional and a huge achievement in my racing career. I worked so hard to win it and that just makes the idea of returning to Imola all the more special."

What do you think the greatest challenge about racing here?
LS: "It's clearly a very technical track and narrow in places - I think precision is going to be very important. That won't be easy, it's a tough track and hitting all the marks will be a challenge every lap for all the drivers. It's going to be demanding mentally and physically, but overtaking could be a real challenge."

Having never driven at Imola, how will you prepare for the weekend?
Sergio Perez: "It's definitely going to be a challenge as the two-day format means we will only have the one practice session. We will definitely come into the weekend having maximised simulation and watched plenty of onboards to make sure we head into qualifying and the race as well-prepared as we can be. I'll also give it a go on the PlayStation!"

Do you have memories of watching Formula 1 races there?
SP: "Yeah I do, which makes me all the more excited to race there. It's such a classic venue and there's been so many memorable races - so hopefully this weekend will be another! I can't wait to get going."

This is the last in a double-header of races in which Formula 1 has little experience to draw on, what's that been like as a driver?
SP: "I've enjoyed racing on circuits that we didn't expect to visit. Places where we don't have years of data to fall back on. It puts the emphasis on maximising track time and analysing the limited information you get from practice, especially on a shorter weekend format. I think we've risen to the challenge so far, and all credit to the team that we've been fighting for good points even at new circuits."

Formula 1 has not raced at Imola since 2006 and the evolution of Formula 1 machinery means that this will be another weekend of unknowns, much like last time out in Portugal, creating a challenging end to the latest double-header.

The new two-day format at Imola is also another factor for the teams, but the washed-out Friday practices at the Nurburgring this season meant the Eifel Grand Prix weekend effectively acted as warm-up to the format for this weekend.

The one 90-minute practice session at Imola will be hectic for the teams as they attempt to conduct performance runs and high-fuel running to simulate race conditions in a condensed period of time - and some teams may differ in approach to their practice programmes.

There will be some familiarity in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in that the Pirelli tyre range for this weekend will be the C2-C4 range, a selection that will be used for the eighth time this season.

Imola has a wide range of corners across the low, medium and high-speed range, but with the final chicane now removed at Imola - the flat-out run from Rivazza to Tamburello means that teams may look to reduce downforce and drag to better optimise the car.

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Published: 28/10/2020
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