Unforgiving Imola is “how tracks should be” – Raikkonen

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In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen says he enjoys the challenge of more punishing F1 circuits like Imola.

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In brief

Raikkonen relished challenge of Imola

Last weekend’s grand prix saw red flags during qualifying and the race as drivers were caught out by Imola’s tight confines and close barriers. Raikkonen said he relished the challenge presented by Imola.

“It’s a bit unforgiving,” said the Alfa Romeo driver in response to a question from RaceFans, “and I think that’s how the tracks should be and that’s how they used to be.

“That’s why obviously tracks like this you see a bit more red flags and things going wrong. But that’s part of racing.”

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Lundgaard leads first day of F2 test

Alpine junior driver Christian Lundgaard led the first day of Formula 2 testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. The ART racer set a best time of 1’29.594 and was also fastest in the afternoon, when the track was slightly slower. Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich was second, followed by Juri Vips for Hitech.

The morning session was disrupted by three red flags. Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) and Oscar Piastri (Prema) both came to a stop, while Gianluca Petecof had a spin in his Campos. Driver errors also stopped the afternoon session twice: Lirim Zendeli (MP) and Roy Nissany (DAMS) each made contact with the barriers.

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Comment of the day

F1 should go radical with a third US race at Indianapolis, says Sumedh:

I hope there are two races in USA but also that F1 can rotate it around multiple tracks (Indianapolis, Texas, Miami, others). USA as a country has a lot of interest in racing and it is just unfortunate that F1 isn’t part of it.

But please make the Indy race an oval race. We got an absolute cracker in Bahrain when we went on the almost oval short circuit. Why not have a full oval in Indy! In fact, lets go a step further and allow all teams a special extra engine just for this race and let them go bananas! (Provided of course the safety of drivers and spectators is guaranteed).
Sumedh

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 1983 ex-F1 race and multiple Daytona 24 Hours winner Rolf Stommelen died in a crash at Riverside

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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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  • 28 comments on “Unforgiving Imola is “how tracks should be” – Raikkonen”

    1. cotd I would be down for that. I can’t see Penske wanting to host the gp on the oval. why not have real contrast on the calendar, from heavy downforce to low downforce.

    2. Kimi’s comments are spot on.

      I am so over circuits being modified to reduce damage to floors etc when cars venture off track.

      Surely one of the prime factors for being considered “the best drivers in the world” should be the ability to keep a car inside the bounds of the designated track.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        24th April 2021, 10:22

        This is also why I wish on the street circuits like Albert Park, Monaco and Marina Bay they keep all the painted lines and don’t burn them off

      2. @dbradock Disagree. Red flag and even safety car races are wrong in every way. Tracks should be selected or modified to avoid it unless F1 can finally come to its senses and adopt staggered restart from the pits to preserve the gaps, and use VSC much more.

        It’s deeply disappointing and unfair to for example have a championship decided with one of the protagonist punted off in the gravel trap, or having their initial mistakes or lack of pace be annulled because of some race-resetting ‘fun’.

        1. @balue You can never restore absolute parity after a red flag, and even doing so after a safety car would be difficult. Preventing tyre changes during red flags would bring up some issues, such as worn tyres being unable to be brought back into the operating window, not to mention the fact many might have picked up tyre damage/punctures from the cause of the red flag, or different weather conditions on the restart requiring inters or wets. They could impose a time penalty for changing tyres during a red flag, but still some will be disadvantaged due to their decision to pit immediately before the red flag, or not.

          Safety cars require the field to bunch up to allow marshals onto the track to recover debris and damaged cars, so getting the field to stretch out again to return to their previous gaps would be quite tricky and probably take a while to sort out.

          They could do more to ensure fairness in the event of safety cars and red flags, and I’m not against them tweaking some of the rules regarding those things. But as long as they aren’t throwing random safety cars purely to mix up the grid I can’t say I’m complaining about these events occasionally injecting some action into a race by closing up the field. Overall I think F1 has bigger fish to fry and has other issues it should focus on addressing.

          1. @keithedin Tyre blankets in the pits waiting for red flags to end, and tyre change only after provable damage. Then release from the pits according to a timer. It should be quite straightforward.

            Safety cars should really be eliminated completely. Last year at Imola there were some close calls with marshalls on track, and that’s not the first time. VSC or red flag with staggered starts, end of.

            But my main point was to reduce these things as much as possible by getting rid of old-style tracks without adequate run-offs etc.

            1. @balue It’s a lot harder to clear debris and stranded cars under a VSC than a full safety car because the cars can be distributed across the entire track rather than bunched up. In most cases it’s probably impossible to do safely. So getting rid of the safety car entirely would probably lead to a lot more red flags as a necessity to clear the track.

            2. @keithedin That’s what I’m saying. Red flags instead of safety car. No more driving with marshalls on track or through debris etc. Then restart from the pitlane according to the gaps to preserve sporting gains.

              VSC for other minor things like recovery vehicle etcs.

    3. Odd thought but at first glance I thought the background in the magnusson photo was a bag of doritos. Thought they were sponsored by them for a brief second.

    4. COTD: I disagree

      Star-Telegram: I hope not.

    5. The key part of the COTD is that last sentence. An oval race at Indianapolis would be fantastic, provided the safety of drivers and spectators was guaranteed. Unfortunately, I just can’t believe it would be. Ovals are dangerous enough in IndyCar that Grosjean did not want to race on them, and those cars are designed for ovals; F1 cars are not. An F1 oval race would just be too dangerous, and it definitely is not worth the risk.

      1. Even if 100% safe for all involved, I still fail to see how an F1 oval race could be interesting, @f1frog.

        I compared it yesterday to monster trucks and drag racing.
        But then again those activities also attract a lot of spectators; it just won’t be me.

        1. I’m not sure how entertaining an F1 oval race would be. I have seen a couple of NASCAR races over the years and find it incredibly dull compared to F1. I have never actually seen a full IndyCar oval, but watch I watch the highlights sometimes. I find the highlights very entertaining, but suspect a full race would get quite repetitive. I think F1 would be quite similar to IndyCar, but maybe more entertaining just because it would be very different to normal F1 races. But as I said above, it would be too dangerous, and for that reason is not something I would be in favour of.

          1. Indy isn’t really an oval but more like a rectangle with rounded corners. I find the racing there to be far more interesting than true ovals. I usually skip watching the Indy oval races because I too find them boring most times but I have never had this reaction to an Indy 500 race.

    6. I fully agree with Kimi here. The outcome of a Grand Prix weekend should be when one half feels gutted, while the other half feels elated. Just like the one we had in Imola. Unforgiving circuits add to the drama.

    7. Re Imola: Wouldn’t mind if Imola stays. Imola deserves another year of F1.
      Re F2: Hope they bring back F2 together with F3 again in the future.

    8. Totally agree with the Kimster. Noted Martin B’s comment that F1’s may well have outgrown the circuit due to size & power.
      Also not a fan of Tilke circuits.
      Just have extreme difficulty in the fact that the Master of the 5 Letter Word [BWOAH] said ALL that within the same interview. 😉

      1. Taking about out growing the circuit. Historic qualifying from Monaco live and free on the Sky youtube channel now. The roads look wide enough for plenty of overtaking. Makes you realise how big the modern F1 car is.

        1. Historic Monaco qualifying. I hope it includes the amazing Kimi v Alonso duel of 2005. Those two pushed the boundaries with extreme courage, nothing tame like today’s offerings
          .
          Kimi won by half a second. Alonso bit the dust.

        2. Modern cars are longer but not actually wider as the current 2 meter width is the same as it was from I think the mid/late 60’s until the end of 1997.

    9. Tell Russellado about unforgiving circuits, and he will blame other drivers for his errors.

      1. You’re comparing Russell to Maldonado? Come on, Crashstappen guy, Maldonado is an undisputed meme legend.

        1. Im not comparing them, Maldonado was a proper driver, Russellado is just a close end grid driver. Nothing more. Until Russellado is capable of scoring points he cannot be compared to a better drivers tier, not even to grand prix winners. He should compare himself with Latifi, Mazepin, Mick Schumacher, and all the backmarkers, but never compare himself to race winners like Bottas, Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen, Gasly, … Because they are levels above Russellado. Only his arrogance personality make that comparisons.

          1. Well I can clearly see that because you say Russellado. I believe you’re the same guy who used “Crashstappen” back at the Sakhir GP weekend.

      2. Thanks for the view from under the bridge

    10. At this point, the desperation to get Miami looks clear – COTA’s actions and stance look like an organisation that knows it will have a big fight on its hands to continue to be allowed to have a F1 race. I don’t dare assume Miami’s happening considering the previous problems (and especially considering COVID). Unless and until I see concrete proof Miami is on, Sumedh’s ambition that F1 has 3 races in the USA looks set to founder on the difficulties on having even 1 race there.

    11. They’re back!
      The most beautiful machinery from the past are back in Monaco for the Historic GP
      Streaming live Right here

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