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For the first time since 2006, Imola plays host to a Formula 1 grand prix - dubbed the Emila Romagna Grand Prix.

Usually hosting the San Marino Grand Prix, Imola is a circuit steeped in F1 folklore. 

It is where three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna and Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger tragically lost their lives during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

 

 

This weekend's Emila Romagna GP will be run across two days - a 90-minute practice on Saturday morning followed up by qualifying in the afternoon. 

Lewis Hamilton broke Michael Schumacher's win record last time out and will be looking for win number 93 as he looks to secure the drivers' championship next time out in Turkey.

Mercedes is likely to secure a record seventh constructors' championship in a row, should Red Bull fail to score it by 33 points - something which hasn't happened since the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix where Hamilton and Nico Rosberg famously collided on the opening lap.

What to expect from this weekend?

The unique two-day weekend format means drivers will only have 90 minutes to acclimatise to the Imola circuit.

Only Kimi Raikkonen has raced in F1 at Imola, while the likes of Lance Stroll and Charles Leclerc have experience driving it in their junior careers.

Naturally, given its tight, technical nature, qualifying will be as crucial as ever.

No rain is expected at any point this weekend.

Pirelli has nominated the C2, C3 and C4 tyres for this weekend's race.

Mario Isola, head of F1 at Pirelli said: “The tests we carried out last weekend in Portimao to assess 2021 tyre specifications went well, as expected. We are now analysing all the data collected because by November 1st we have to nominate the definitive specification for next year. This weekend at Imola, there’s going to be a lot to get used to in a short space of time. 

“After travelling back from Portugal the teams have to cope with a new race weekend format and reduced practice time on what will be a brand new track for most of the drivers – although inadvertently, they practised this exact scenario at the Nurburgring recently. As you would expect on a circuit with so much history, Imola has an old-school feel to it like Mugello, and we believe that the drivers are going to love racing there.

“Finding the right set-up as quickly as possible is going to be key to success, as the technical nature of the track means that a number of important compromises have to be made, so it’s always tricky to find the right balance. Overtaking could be quite tricky and the weather at this time of year is unpredictable, so the strategy is set to play an important role – but that strategy has to be flexible enough to adapt itself to changing circumstances.”

 

 

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