Imola renews F1 licence as sport polls fans over new venues for 2020 races

2020 F1 season

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The Imola circuit has announced it is renewing its FIA grade one licence which permits it to hold Formula 1 races, as the series indicates it is considering multiple European venues for grands prix.

The Italian track already held a grade one licence, which was due to expire on Wednesday next week. Formula 1 last visited the circuit in 2006, but part of the track layout has changed since then. Imola held the Italian Grand Prix in 1980, and the San Marino Grand Prix subsequently.

As RaceFans revealed on Monday, Formula 1 has approached Ferrari over the possibility of holding a race at its Mugello circuit in Tuscany. The two Italian circuits were among three tracks which F1 put to fans as potential venues for races this year in a poll on social media.

The third was the Autodromo do Algarve track in Portugal, which like Mugello has never previously held a round of the world championship. It announced the renewal of its FIA grade one licence in April.

Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2008
Pictures: When F1 put one foot in the Algarve
The chances of any of these venues holding a round of this year’s championship improved today when F1 announced three more race cancellations affecting the Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix. Singapore’s round was due to follow two weeks after the Italian Grand Prix.

That vacancy opens up a slot which F1 could fill with relatively little difficulty by visiting either of the other two Italian circuits.

Sochi, which was due to hold the Russian Grand Prix on September 27th, one week after the Singapore Grand Prix, is understood to be keen to hold two races. That could impinge upon the hopes of the Italian venues. However the cancellation of Japan’s race on October 11th also leaves three vacant weekends between Russia’s race and the United States Grand Prix.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Imola renews F1 licence as sport polls fans over new venues for 2020 races”

  1. Are the gravel traps still there or have they been replaced in all these years?

  2. I hope F1 hasn’t forgotten about re-scheduling the Montreal GP, perhaps a week before the US GP if there’s now a opening.

    1. A week before the US GP?… so on October 18?… in Montreal?
      These front wings are going to work excellently as snowplows :P

    2. @louis Too cold for F1 in October, LOL. The Canadian GP is a lost-case for this year. It would’ve been better to just outright cancel it back in April ahead of Easter when it lost its scheduled race day of June 14 for this year.
      @black – LOL.

      1. Dan (@canon1753)
        12th June 2020, 22:25

        It was that late up until 81. Could be great could be frigid…

    3. According to the info I have found the Canadian GP was held in October twice. In 1976 and 1978. However up until the start of the 1980s it was held in late September.

  3. F1 making decisions based on Twitter polls?

    What next – fan boost?

    1. Why not? It’s already a topsy turvy season and it’s only gathering views when there is in fact a choice on venues to get a decent amount of races.

      What you prefer exactly? FIA “we’re having two races at Sochi” “or you can choose an extra race at a circuit that isn’t a bucket of plop”

      If we get Fan Boost, then yes everyone needs sacking.

      1. It’s not bad, but given it’s Liberty we’re talking about it’s a double-edged sword.

        If one poll asks “which circuit would you like F1 to go this year? : a) Imola, b) Mugello, c) Portimao”
        the very next poll could ask “how much do you like the idea of reverse grid sprint races? : a) a lot, b) very much, c) i like it but with double points on the season finale as a bonus” without mentining any other options and they can take any answer and say “look the fans obviously want this so we’re bringing it”.

        1. That is exactly how LM are operating. Only a few days ago, Ross Brawn was denying all knowledge of where the reverse grids nonsense came from, claims he hasn’t a clue, etc, etc. On Friday it pops up again. Does Brawn believe we’ve all got the memory of a goldfish?

          Ross Brawn said he’d work to change F1. He didn’t promise to make it better, well he might have, but he’s been to sleep since then.

  4. I will always have a soft spot for Imola since it was my favorite as a kid. But after 1994 doomed the track forever, I kinda feel indifferent if it integrates the Calendar or not. Still, it’d be nice to see how current generation behaves at sectors 2 and 3, especially with the new pit straight. Maybe if they raced there I’d guess they’d find out either Tamburello or Villeneuve chicanes is dispensable. I mean, coming from Rivazza, the first chicane isn’t any safer than Tamburello was. Also, coming from T4 without Villeneuve-bends in the way, I pretty much believe Tosa’s runoff would be good enough.

    1. Talking about modifications I’d like them to get rid of Variante Alta.

      1. @zomtec – I always wanted Variante Alta gone as well, but a thing I’ve noticed is that T14 runoff would be insufficient for the built speed. Sadly, it can’t be expanded because of the houses right behind the walls (funnily enough, even Tosa has some space for a change, but here I divagate). Therefore, the only feasible solution would be changing the course at the entire Rivazza.

  5. imola must be in calendar these year, i want montreal also

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