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

by Nov 1, 20200 comments

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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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