We’re all set for our first European race of the season as we travel to Imola for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The first triple header of the 2023 Formula 1 campaign is also upon us, with our European road trip taking us to Monaco and Barcelona next.
Ahead of the action at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, let’s see what Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant and Dave Robson have to say.
With a new qualifying format set to debut and plenty of rain forecast, there’s an air of unpredictability about this weekend’s action in Imola. However, Alex will still be hoping to build on a strong P11 finish here last year.
“We’ve got an interesting qualifying format for Imola, so I think there’s going to be a lot of strategy involved during Friday and Saturday,” he told us.
“Otherwise, I think the weather is going to be the other determining factor this weekend. It’s a great track and one of my favourites on the calendar.
“Ultimately, I think we’ll need to leave room for some randomness and unpredictability with how it looks everything is going to play out, but let’s see how we go.”
Logan has also experienced this famous track, with the young American enjoying a P6 and P7 finish in the Formula 2 Sprint and Feature races last year.
“I’m excited to be starting the European leg of the season in Imola,” Sarge said.
“It’s looking like a tricky weekend in terms of weather, but it’ll be nice to drive an F1 car in the wet for the first time.
“We have a different qualifying format which should shake things up a little bit and there’s a lot of opportunity going into this weekend.
“Imola is a historic track that I’ve always loved driving and hopefully we can have a good one.”
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Finally, our Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson recognised that there’s a strong chance we’ll experience Pirelli’s new wet tyres this weekend, something we will need to be ready for.
“The sixth race of the season sees us return to Europe for a triple-header,” he began.
“We start in Italy, at the Imola circuit, before moving on to Monaco and Barcelona
“As well as a return to Europe, this weekend sees the introduction of a new tyre format. This Alternative Tyre Allocation (“ATA”) event – which will be repeated at the Hungaroring later in the year – will see each team have only 11 sets of dry tyres available for the whole weekend. The 11 sets of tyres this weekend are a mix of Pirelli’s softest compounds.
“As well as fewer sets of dry tyres this weekend, we also have the introduction of a new Pirelli wet tyre, which will run without heating blankets. Given the weather forecast, this may become very relevant this weekend.
“With fewer sets of tyres available, we have opted not to bring significant new items to this event, and we will instead focus on the new event format, the new wet tyres and the challenge of using the softest compounds at Imola.
“The Imola circuit is a fast and flowing circuit that runs anti-clockwise. There is a single DRS zone and whilst this is one of the longest DRS zones on the calendar, overtaking remains difficult at this circuit, which is a consideration for the race strategy.”
The prediction window for this Grand Prix has now closed.