Judging by recent comments, it is a development that is likely to be welcomed by drivers - with Imola confirming that 'we are in a position to once again host an F1 grand prix'.

Both Mark Webber and Jenson Button have confessed that should they be able to reinstate any former circuit on the F1 calendar, Imola is the one they would choose - and it appears their wishes could just be granted.

Imola hosted the San Marino Grand Prix every year from 1981 to 2006, before a delay in upgrades to its facilities and an inability to pay Bernie Ecclestone's increased race-hosting fee resulted in the event slipping off the schedule.

Although now sadly best known as the circuit at which F1 legend Ayrton Senna tragically met his end back in 1994, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari remains popular amongst drivers, and a recent Hermann Tilke-led overhaul of its pits, pit-lane and paddock has earned Imola the FIA's highest '1' homologation rating following an inspection by the governing body's race director and chief technical delegate Charlie Whiting - meaning it is fit once more to stage grands prix.

"We are proud of the objective reached," circuit chief Walter Sciacca is quoted as having said by SPEED.com. "It is a clear sign that we are working in the right direction. With this approval, we are in a position to once again host an F1 grand prix. So we don't limit ourselves, if we experience the right economic conditions, we are ready to face any challenge."