Romain Grosjean, Haas, Imola, 2020

Don’t blame the track if passing isn’t possible at Imola – Grosjean

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Formula 1 shouldn’t dismiss Imola as a poor circuit for overtaking if few passes occur in today’s grand prix, says Romain Grosjean.

Many drivers expect they will find it difficult to pass other cars around the dramatic but narrow circuit, which last held a round of the world championship in 2006.

Grosjean, who won a GP2 Asia race at the track in 2011, admits it’s “possible” little passing will happen in today’s race. “But I don’t think we should blame the track for the lack of overtaking,” he said, pointing out other factors make overtaking difficult in F1.

“We should more be looking at making sure that the tyres don’t overheat when you slide behind a car,” he said. “And that you lose less aero following another car.”

“Some tracks will be better” for overtaking, Grosjean conceded. “Bahrain is outstanding for racing with long straight lines, a lot of DRS, big braking at the end.

“Here the first corner is fourth or fifth gear so it’s very fast. And obviously, if you’re not alongside well before the braking, you have no chance.

“But let’s see – with tyre deg[radation] and so on, you never know until you’ve really had a race what’s it’s going to be like.”

Imola is a special track to drive for several reasons, said Grosjean, including the fact drivers are punished for mistakes if they run wide. “It’s a combination of a few things. It’s the surroundings, the elevation, kerbs that are a bit different from Silverstone or Barcelona.

“[It’s] the camber, it’s the fact that when you go out of turn seven you can see the trees on the side of the road but then you only see the sky. And then out of turn nine, you go into Acque Minerali and it looks very tight and narrow and you don’t want to make a mistake. The first two chicanes as well are really cool. It’s just a different layout, the speed of the corners.

“That’s the main comment rather than if I take the example of Sochi which is dead flat, kerbs, no real track physical track limits, it’s not [got] Astroturf, just not as good to drive. Then here where you don’t really want to make a mistake [because] you know you’re going to pay a heavy price.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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5 comments on “Don’t blame the track if passing isn’t possible at Imola – Grosjean”

  1. Yes, it’s the circuit. Fernando Alonso would have not keep Schumacher in 2005 in another circuit (he had serious engine problems).

    1. That was a different configuration though. And passing in the mid-2000s was harder than we think.

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      1st November 2020, 14:45

      Of course passing in the mid-2000s was hard. Why do you think we ended up with DRS?

  2. New Silverstone paired with catalunya… ouch!

    Surroundings and Ham said the integration, sounds daft but makes a huge difference, just looks right, natural.

    Silverstone never had much elevation however, bridge used to be a decent plunge. The atmosphere used to be great on the previous Silverstone, feels a bit artificial these days and that is what I miss the most. the new layout does work maybe a bit better than the precious one.

  3. Jose Lopes da Silva
    1st November 2020, 14:46

    F1 has had an issue with aero for 25 years and with tyres since the monopoly came. Tracks were never the problem.
    You could overtake at the old Hungaroring, given the circumstances.

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