Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Imola, 2020

F1 likely to dodge rain showers during cool Imola race weekend

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weather

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Formula 1 teams anticipate a rainy weekend at Imola for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though there is a good chance of dry conditions during the track sessions.

Weather forecasts indicate an above average chance of rain in the hours preceding Sunday’s grand prix. But the 63-lap race is likely to be held under clearer skies and on a dry track when the action begins at 3pm local time.

Unsurprisingly, far lower temperatures are expected than those experienced in the season-opener at the Bahrain International Circuit. Some teams, such as Alpine, are looking forward to a drop in temperatures after being concerned by their pace in hot conditions three weeks ago.

Through Friday to Sunday, the maximum air temperature at Imola is expected to be only 13C. Track temperatures are likely to be several degrees higher. Last years’ race, held in November, saw a peak of just 24C. Cloud cover during this weekend’s sessions is likely to keep those from rising high into the twenties.

This will no doubt benefit AlphaTauri, the only team to have tested at Imola during colder times in the winter.

Wind speeds of around 15kph could hit the qualifying session, which is taking place one hour earlier than originally planned. That is fairly low – around four metres per second.

Most teams, and notably Williams with their wind-sensitive FW43B, will appreciate the calmer conditions this weekend. The Imola circuit is sheltered by trees and buildings, reducing the potential for the wind to cause discomfort for drivers in particularly tricky to handle cars.

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For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on RaceFans Live and the RaceFans Twitter account.

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Author information

Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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11 comments on “F1 likely to dodge rain showers during cool Imola race weekend”

  1. Last year’s peak wasn’t 24 C on either day, but 19 (QLF) and 18 (race), although still cooler than usual this far into April. I definitely expected at least low-20s or around 20, not something below 15.

    1. Dunno if it makes any difference, but I read that as 24C being the track peak, not the air peak

  2. Fingers crossed for wet race,

    1. @johnrkh Please no. I never want wet races, but I especially don’t now when we should want to see over these initial races where the teams actually stand after a sample of more than just one race under it’s unique conditions. No lottery weekend quite yet please, rain Gods.

      1. @robbie I never get why you don’t like wet races. For me it’s the complete opposite, they’re the best. A mixture of real skill on display, just enough good luck/bad luck to add some wild cards, and the teams are stressed out over strategy decisions, when to pit, what tyres to put on… Obviously total washouts are no good when the races are suspended and restarts under the SC are bad too. But when the cars can actually race on track, it’s all good. And as you’re a Max fan, I don’t see the problem, he’s one of the drivers who excels :o)

        1. @david-br I get the aspects of it of which you speak, but for me you haven’t mentioned that imho the drivers would far prefer not to have to race in the wet. At least that I’m aware of, of course they accept that sometimes a race is going to be wet and they will deal with what that brings, but as far as I know they far much more enjoy racing in the dry. Even for drivers that feel or have shown they have a knack for it. And there are reasons for that such as the lottery aspect. And sure they are still on an edge of adhesion, but I envision it as a much more fuzzy edge, like watching a deer walk across a frozen pond. I feel for them.

          Don’t get me wrong I still find myself well entertained, and for me any weekend with an F1 race in any way, shape, or form is a better weekend, and no matter the winner, but still, I just feel for these drivers trundling along 15 or 20 seconds a lap slower, barely able to see, hanging on for dear (deer) life.

          And yeah sometimes there’s a standout performance, but often it comes down to the timing of a safety car or whatnot, and each race becomes a part of F1’s history and they take them as they come and then move on, and sometimes we talk about a wet race for decades afterwards, I get all that…I just would soooo prefer to see these guys feeling everything with their cars on that knife edge of adhesion, and not the slow, cumbersome, fuzzy edge that wet races bring.

          And again, it’s not like I can’t be brought to the edge of my seat, and haven’t often been, during wet races, but just heading into race weekends it just comes down to that the last thing I want to hear is that it will be wet.

          1. @robbie I admire the driver empathy! I guess I can see why some might not like wet races, I absolutely hate them on racing games, even when I’m doing OK, it’s too much stressful concentration staying on track to enjoy it much… However I do think some drivers actually do enjoy the conditions, mostly those who manage them better and know they can (probably) turn it to their advantage. I agree luck or strategy often plays a big factor, but that’s a vital part of a season too, making things a bit less predictable. Overall, a few wet races a year (3 or 4) are just about right for me. Plus a few damp/rainy qualifying sessions too.

          2. @david-br Good stuff. Yeah I’m sure some drivers do enjoy the conditions, or perhaps at least look forward to the potential the conditions might bring them come race day, or the opportunity they might not normally have. Stroll might be an example of that. I doubt he’d want every race to be wet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees them as an opportunity to excel, as long as some of the lottery aspect goes in his favour too of course, but strictly in terms of his ability to handle the car, yeah he seems to have a knack over some others, and therefore might look forward to taking advantage of that. And yeah for sure 3 or 4 races max, not like they or I can do anything about it anyway, and as I say I’ll still enjoy it usually, just a little less so if it comes down to the timing of a safety or whatnot. All good. I’m grateful for it all.

      2. @robbie I vehemently disagree, wet races (not floods) are an equalising factor in Motor Racing. Some of the greatest drives of all times have happened in wet races. Any power or in more recent times aero advantage is hugely reduced, bringing the deciding factor back to the driver.

        1. @johnrkh I can’t agree. That would be to say then that currently, as LH and MV are touted as the best drivers on the grid, only one of those two will win all the wet races this year, or last year(s) for that matter. Is that the case? If it’s that predictable then why the excitement over drivers trundling along so slowly, barely able to see, hanging on for dear life?

          No I think it has long been agreed that on average the best cars in the dry are also the best cars in the wet, but as we have seen so often, it can come down to nailing a setup, or nailing the timing of a switch from wets to intermediates to slicks or visa versa, or the timing of a safety car pit stop, etc etc.

          I do think there is something of which you speak to perhaps neutralizing somewhat (but not equalizing) a power or aero advantage but I think for all that might be “equalized” there is just as much a chance of an upset that wouldn’t happen in the dry, making it more of a lottery many times.

          Do we really have the feeling that any one team has “the” answer going into a wet race as to exactly what the plan is and exactly how it will play itself out? No I think they have to gamble all weekend on what setup might, just might be the one to have come race day, as they compromise between how much wing and what setup will be needed depending on a track that might stay wet, or start dry and get wet, or start wet and get dry. So many variables and so many more things that can happen lap after lap as the race unfolds compared to the dry, that I can’t think of wet races as equalizers at all. More like crap shoots.

          But yeah if throughout history only the best drivers ever won wet races then I might agree more with you about the equalization thing and sending the deciding factor back to the driver, but I just don’t think we have seen that supported in history. Isn’t some of the thrill some get from wet races the very fact that they can bring an upset…a surprise winner? Often a winner that just technically doesn’t belong there in a dry race that the lottery of a wet race brought? But hey, I’ll still honour that winner, as that is just part of F1 and what can happen on a wet day, which is anything.

  3. Clear sky doesn’t automatically mean it’s gonna be a dry race. With temperatures being on the low side, it might take longer than usual for the circuit to dry out. If the current forecasts are correct, then we might see at least a race under mixed (wet/dry) conditions.

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