Leading Formula 1 drivers say they would relish a return to the “awesome” and “old-school” Mugello circuit following the first-ever Tuscan Grand Prix.

The Ferrari-owned venue was added to the revised 2020 calendar as an additional round to replace some of the original events which had to be cancelled due to the widespread disruption caused by the coronavirus.

Mugello proved to be an instant hit among the drivers as early as Friday practice, with the F1 field enjoying the high-speed thrill ride around the 5.245km Tuscan track which has been likened to a mix of Suzuka and the Hungaroring.

Drivers heaped particular praise on the challenging nature of the circuit, with its sweeping cambered corners and gravel run-offs, while the race proved to be a dramatic affair with two red flag periods and plenty of overtaking.

Inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix victor Lewis Hamilton described Mugello as “fantastic” and one of the “toughest” tracks he has driven.

“Personally, I love it,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know how it was for the racing but it was one of the toughest tracks to drive.

“I think being that it’s medium and high speed but it’s a fantastic circuit and I don’t think it was too dangerous… I think it’s more old-school with the run-off areas and the gravel so I hope they don’t change that and I would love to come back.”

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas echoed Hamilton’s comments, adding: “I think it’s great, I think it should be in the calendar every year.

“It definitely goes really high up in my list so it’s not too dangerous. Well, motorsport is dangerous, that’s how it goes but it’s an old school track and we all love it.”

Red Bull’s Alex Albon enjoyed the “more punishing” element to the circuit, which provides little room for error.

“I really love the circuit,” he added. “I think it’s nice to go to these tracks which aren’t your normal run-off area, let’s say mistake-free tracks.

“Here it was a bit more punishing and it just feels a bit more special as well to come to these unique old places where there’s a lot of history behind it.”

Sebastian Vettel, who tested at the track alongside his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc prior to the start of the season, was a fan of the cambered turns, which he feels makes the circuit more enjoyable to drive.

“As a driver you like cambered corners and you hate off-camber,” the four-time world champion explained. “This track wasn’t designed by [Hermann] Tilke so there is not so much off-camber here.

“Normally the reason for the off-camber is for the water drainage but I think there is other solutions and therefore I always favour corners that have camber because they lead to more grip, so it makes it more exciting.

“Despite everyone’s fears overtaking was actually possible around here. So maybe it would be nice to come back.”

Leclerc admitted that he was initially sceptical about whether the track could provide entertainment as a race venue but was happy to be proved wrong.

“I actually really enjoyed this weekend and the track overall,” he said. “I would love to have it back on the normal calendar, it was very nice. It was also a special race day because there were a lot of red flags and everything.

“To be honest, before the race, I was a bit sceptical about how much people would overtake on this track. But after the race I have to say that there’s been quite a lot of overtakes, so surprisingly good on that matter. And the track is awesome so yes, I would love to be back.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...