Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Imola, 2020

Hamilton: Imola is incredible but it’s not going to be a great race

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was impressed by his first experience of Imola in a Formula 1 car but says overtaking will be very difficult during tomorrow’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver set the pace in the single practice session for the first race at the track for 14 years.

“This track is incredible,” said Hamilton. “It’s unbelievable how fast it is around this track. I think for a single lap, it’s going to be incredible.”

However he warned it will be very hard for drivers to overtake outside of the long run from the final corner to the Tamburello chicane.

“It’s definitely not going to be a great race circuit for us, being that it’s so fast for us,” said Hamilton. “It’s very narrow, it’s going to be very difficult for people to overtake.

“There will probably be overtaking on that mid-field after turn two. Maybe down the main straight you’ll see some overtaking.

“But on a single lap, it’s phenomenal to drive, it’s really incredibly fast.”

Hamilton said the tyres are performing much better at Imola than they were in last weekend’s race at Autodromo do Algarve, where low temperatures and a new track surface left drivers complaining of a lack of grip.

“The way the tyres are working with the circuit, the grip level is very high,” said Hamilton. “It’s mostly medium to high speed and it’s very fast and flowing.

“The speed we’re going through a lot of these corners, for some reason the tyres are hugging the road compared to the last track. And it’s just incredibly fast and flowing, it’s beautiful.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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21 comments on “Hamilton: Imola is incredible but it’s not going to be a great race”

  1. I love sector 2 and 3 but sector 1 just ruins it. I understand why they can’t reinstate Maranello but surely they could do something about that 2nd chicane? It would allow some overtaking into the hairpin.

    1. Tamburello you mean ? Maranello is not that far either ! It’s 1h drive from Imola.

      1. Haha, that’s the one I meant!

    2. The Villeneuve chicane is there more because of the lack of runoff at Tosa than anything else.

      And TBH I think it’s a fun, Tricky corner. You throw the car into the left while starting to brake & get over to the left side of the circuit to prepare for the right & it’s a place where you can gain or lose a chunk of time.

  2. True. I was surprised by the level of rose-tinted praise the track was already getting, romantic though it is to be back.

  3. I felt having Imola after Portimão was a mistake but the weather got an awful lot better even though it is almost November. Everything about this track is classic f1. I agree with Ham, these mostly narrow angle corners are bad for aero wake.

  4. Well we already know who the winner will be its only a race for fastest runner-up

  5. Track not suitable for F1, boring parade tomorrow.

  6. Think this is to be expected. It’s a cool track but overtaking will be hard in these wide cars. But it’s got bags of character and (mostly) proper run-offs so there’s plenty to like about it.

  7. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    31st October 2020, 11:51

    Agree. But we should not make the mistake to think that “overtaking” means “exciting racing”. Looking forward to see some of the tactical masterstrokes needed to get a (faster) car in front of others.

  8. Hopefully people will try some overtakes and we can have a few drivers harmlessly skittle off into the gravel and have some shock result.

  9. Bottas? Probably. His best chance. Pole, then no overtaking opportunities during the race.

    1. Granted he can take lead into the chicane.

  10. Cannot be worse than useless Monaco

  11. That’s what they said about Mugello and Portimao. We will see.
    And let’s face it, the race for the win has not been great anywhere apart from 1 race this season. That has got nothing to do with the track.

  12. When did Imola ever produce a great race?

    1. 05 was pretty good

    2. @davidjwest There has been more than a few great races at Imola even if overtaking is tricky.

      2005/2006 been the most obvious examples as the last 2 races held here. Not a lot of overtaking at either but a thrilling battle for the win over the final 15-20 laps that had me on the edge of my seat, Heart rate up & was far more memorable than a lot of the races that featured a lot more passing over the past decade or so.

      1. OK let’s see, wonder how powerful DRS is here?

  13. I just like it because it’s so different to the other tracks on a normal calendar.

  14. I guess Hamilton predicted it.

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