The F1 Imola GP will take place this weekend and marks the sport's return to Europe. The track at Imola has seen some impressive battles over the years, most recently the one between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen last season. Although the track is not conducive for wheel-to-wheel action, the Imola GP is going to be a must-watch event this weekend!
#1 Sprint race format for Imola GP
This weekend will feature the return of the sprint race format that was trialed last season. The format did receive positive reviews across the board as it brought a sense of unpredictability to the weekend.
With what could be a slightly modified format this weekend, the sprint race returns for the Imola GP. It will be interesting to see what impact the new format has on the on-track action.
#2 It's Ferrari's home race!
The last time Ferrari won a race in Italy was in 2019 and even then it was Charles Leclerc that made it happen. The last time Ferrari won the Imola GP was in 2006 with the great Michael Schumacher behind the wheel. This year, with a car capable of winning, Ferrari head to the weekend as the favorite to win the race.
The Tifosi are a passionate bunch, but just imagine what kind of electric atmosphere there would be if Ferrari is contesting for the win. Simultaneously, just imagine what kind of atmosphere there would be if Ferrari ended up winning. The Imola GP, in all probability, might just end up having the best atmosphere of any race this season.
#3 Charles Leclerc vs Max Verstappen
If Red Bull can sort out its reliability issues this season, we might be getting a glimpse into the future of the sport. A future where Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, arguably two of the best talents in F1, will be competing against each other for the biggest prize in motorsports.
We all know how good Verstappen is. This season, we've been able to see how good Leclerc is as well. In all three races, both drivers have battled against each other for the lead. There is a very high probability that we will see the same at the Imola GP. Now, if that doesn't excite you, are you even a Formula 1 fan??
#4 Fernando Alonso vs Reliability
Fernando Alonso has been scintillating this season. Three races into the season, however, he has only two points to his name, in contrast to the 20 points accrued by his teammate.
This is because the Spaniard has found a new enemy that goes by the name of "reliability". Alonso was set for a top-6 finish in Saudi Arabia if not for reliability issues. He had an outside shot at the front row in qualifying in Australia if not for a hydraulics failure during his first run in Q3.
Alonso will revive his battle with the reliability of his Alpine at Imola as he tries to convert his form into a good haul of points.
#5 We might see rain on Sunday!
Remember last year's Imola GP? It rained just before the start of the race, which resulted in a spectacular battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. To be honest, if the rain gods had not made an appearance that day, we might have been looking at a rather dud race due to the lack of overtaking potential across the track.
Well, even this year, there is a forecast of rain on Sunday morning just before the race. Will we have a rain-affected race with this new generation of cars? There is certainly a possibility of that happening.