Imola breathes Formula 1 history
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola for short, was continuously on the Formula 1 calendar between 1980 and 2006 and many historical events have been seen on the circuit during the period. Although this was not always positive. The track is, of course, well-known for the black weekend in 1994, where not only three-time world champion Ayrton Senna was killed, but also up-and-coming talent Roland Ratzenberger.
Fortunately, we have also seen beautiful fights at Imola, such as the titanic battle between Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher in 2005. In the penultimate year of the San Marino Grand Prix, seven-time world champion Schumacher came against the upcoming world champion Alonso. Schumacher drove with his teeth gritted to fight from 13th on the grid. But Alonso always outsmarted the German. The difference between the two drivers on the finish line? 0.215 seconds.
It's a real "old school" place
Overtaking may not be easy at Imola, but that often brings out the best in a driver. The track has legendary turns such as Tamburello and Acque Minerali. Today, most of the circuits that are new to the F1 calendar are billiard cloths, as we know them in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. A return to a circuit with a small bump every now and then is not bad for variety.
Old school circuits are often loved by fans and drivers alike. An error is immediately punished, as Imola does not have asphalt run-off areas. A driver must continuously be on the best of his ability to avoid losing time. At Imola, the men differ from the boys.
Imola deserves a race with an audience
Last season the circuit suddenly returned to the calendar, but due to the persistent problems with the coronavirus in Italy, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was held behind closed doors. There is always a chance Imola will have to keep its doors closed in 2021, but in that case, it is only an extra reason to return to the circuit in 2022. The Tifosi is ready for two races in Italy.
Imola has hardly had any major events since the 2009 renovation
It was almost a shame to say that Imola hardly organised any major events after 2009. The WTCC visited once and it was mainly GT cars and national championships that drove on the Italian asphalt. It also organises races in the 24H Series. With the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, another world-class event is finally on the Italian circuit's calendar.
Should Imola get a permanent place on the Formula 1 calendar again? Or would you rather see another (Italian) circuit return in 2022? Let us know in the comments!
This article was written and originally published by Bonne on the Dutch edition of GPblog.com.