The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team head to the Imola circuit for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Formula One returns to the circuit for the first time since 2006.
Kimi Raikkonen is the only current Formula One driver to have raced a Grand Prix car here although Lewis Hamilton tested here for McLaren.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff reflected on last weekend’s race in Portugal where Lewis Hamilton beat Michael Schumacher’s long standing win record of 91 Grand Prix victories while looking ahead to the race saying:
It was remarkable to see Lewis achieve his 92nd F1 win. It’s like Michael often said: Records are there to be broken. We’re witnessing the amazing journey of one of the greatest athletes of our time and I’m excited to see where else it will take Lewis.
We showed good pace in Portimão once we got the tyres into their window and left Portugal with the maximum number of points, building the gap in both championships on the way to our ultimate goal this year. Now our focus moves onto Imola, which is another F1 venue that we haven’t visited for a long time. It’s a track with lots of history but one that the Mercedes works team has never raced on before, so there are quite a few unknowns heading into the race weekend, and it’s great to be back in Italy once again for our third different race there this season.
We’ll also be experiencing an unfamiliar schedule, with no running on Friday and just one practice session on Saturday morning. We had an unexpected preview of what this would be like at the Nürburgring after Friday’s running was cancelled because of the rain. We can expect a busy practice session where teams will try to maximise their running on track to prepare in the best way possible for Qualifying and the race; achieving the fastest possible rate of learning will be important to maximise our competitiveness for qualifying and the race.
We’ve seen exciting races on the new tracks this year and the shorter weekend format will spice things up even more, so fans have an interesting weekend to look forward to.