F1 Team Form: Imola

Williams and Ferrari share the record for most wins at Imola, the Scuderia have finished on the podium in all of the last thirteen races at the track and Alfa Romeo have finished a race here only once. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at Imola.



Mercedes have not raced at Imola before. Imola was first on the Formula 1 calendar in 1980, when Mercedes were already 25 years into their hiatus from motorsport following the Le Mans Disaster in 1955. Though they have not appeared here as a works team, Mercedes have powered one win here, for David Coulthard at McLaren in 1998 and five pole positions. Mercedes power also provided eight podium finishes here – including two for Mercedes in the last two F1 races held at the circuit in 2005 and 2006.

The Brackley-based team were in their Honda guise the last time that Formula 1 raced at Imola, where Jenson Button finished seventh and Rubens Barrichello finished tenth. The team started from the front row in two of the last three San Marino Grands Prix, including with pole position for Button in 2004; that being the first pole of the Briton’s career. In 2005, both cars were disqualified due to being underweight and the team were subsequently banned for two races.



Ferrari have finished on the podium at Imola in all of the last thirteen races at the circuit. Since 1994, the only times that a Ferrari driver has finished outside of the top six at the track were due to retirements (in 1994, 1999, 2001 and 2005). Ferrari won six of the last eight San Marino Grands Prix, with their 1999 victory being their first at Imola since 1983. 1982 and 2002 are the only years in which the team has recorded a 1-2 finish at the circuit. The team recorded their fifth and most recent double DNF at the track in 1993, while 1980 is the only other race at the circuit where they have failed to score.

Ferrari took pole position at three of the last five San Marino Grands Prix. The team has taken six poles at the circuit. Since 1986, Michael Schumacher – who qualified fourteenth in 2005 – is the only Ferrari driver to fail to qualify in the top ten at Imola. That was only the fourth time that a Ferrari driver has qualified outside of the top ten here. Jody Scheckter recorded the team’s worst qualifying result at the circuit with sixteenth place in 1980. 2002 is the only season in which the team has locked out the front row at the track.



Red Bull have two previous appearances at Imola, in 2005 and 2006. No Red Bull driver has yet qualified in the top ten at this circuit. Their best qualifying result here is fourteenth for David Coulthard in the last race at the track in 2006. Meanwhile, Vitantonio Liuzzi is the only Red Bull driver to score at the circuit, doing so with an eighth place finish in 2005. Both drivers retired from the 2006 race.



McLaren won the San Marino Grand Prix six times, with their most recent Imola victory being recorded in 1998. Since 1998, 2002 and 2004 are the only years that no McLaren drivers finished on the podium at the circuit. The team recorded double DNFs here in 1993 and 1996, while the 1980 Italian Grand Prix is the only other Imola race in which the team has failed to score.

McLaren hold the record for most pole positions at Imola, with nine. They set the qualifying pace at four consecutive San Marino Grands Prix between 1988 and 1991, and repeated the feat ten years later between 1998 and 2001. Six of those occasions were front row lock outs. Their most recent pole here was in 2005, when Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest Saturday time. 2004 is the only time in the last 23 races at the circuit that neither McLaren driver has qualified in the top ten.



Renault have taken a single victory at Imola, with Fernando Alonso taking a memorable victory in 2005. They have taken a further three podium finishes at the circuit. While 1982 is the only year in which Renault recorded a double retirement at the circuit, at least one of the team’s cars failed to reach the chequered flag on all of their first seven appearances. Michael Schumacher also won for the Enstone team at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, when the team was named Benetton.

Renault have two poles to their name at Imola. Both of their poles came in the 1980s, when they locked out the front row in 1980 and 1982. Benetton also took pole here in 1995. The team last started on the front row at the circuit in 2005, when Fernando Alonso qualified in second place.



When Formula 1 last visited Imola for the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, Toro Rosso were entering only their fourth Grand Prix. While Scott Speed was eliminated in Q1, Vitantonio Liuzzi reached Q2 and qualified in sixteenth place; one position ahead of Red Bull’s Christian Klien. In the race, Liuzzi finished fourteenth, while Speed finished just behind in fifteenth. With both Red Bull drivers retiring, the team is yet to be beaten by its senior team at the circuit.



At the last San Marino Grand Prix, the Silverstone team were named Midland. While Tiago Monteiro finished sixteenth, Christijan Albers was taken out on the first lap by Yuji Ide. The team last scored at the track as Jordan in 2001, when Jarno Trulli finished fifth and Heinz-Harald Frentzen came home in sixth. It’s the only time that both of the team’s cars have scored at Imola. Their best result here is fourth, recorded by Giancarlo Fisichella in both 1997 and 1999. The team recorded double retirements in four of the last seven San Marino Grands Prix.

Between 1995 and 2001, Martin Brundle was the only Jordan driver to fail to qualify in the top ten at Imola. He qualified in twelfth in 1996. The team’s best qualifying result here is fifth, recorded by Ralf Schumacher in 1997 and Jarno Trulli in 2001. Both Midland drivers were eliminated in Q1 at the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix.



When Alfa Romeo appeared at Imola for six races in the 1980s, Eddie Cheever’s seventh place in 1984 is the only time that one of their cars reached the chequered flag. Meanwhile, Sauber appeared in every San Marino Grand Prix from 1993 to 2006. The team scored on a handful of occasions, with their best result being fourth place, recorded on their first appearance by JJ Lehto in 1993 (even though he failed to finish the race), Karl Wendlinger in 1994 and Jacques Villenueve in 2005. The latter is the only time the teams scored at the circuit in the last six Imola races.

Sauber recorded their best qualifying result at Imola on their first appearance at the circuit, with Karl Wendlinger qualifying in fifth place in 1993. 1994 is the only year that both Sauber drivers qualified in the top ten at the circuit. The team recorded six top ten qualifications since then, most recently with eighth place for Felipe Massa in 2005; though the Brazilian started only eighteenth due to an engine penalty.



Haas have not competed at Imola before. They joined the sport in 2016, ten years after Imola last hosted a Formula 1 race.



Williams share the record for most Imola victories with Ferrari, having won at the track eight times. They recorded their only 1-2 finish at the circuit in 1992. Williams have scored in all of the last six San Marino Grands Prix, including their most recent win at the track in 2001; which was also the year in which they recorded their last retirement at the circuit. Between 1992 and 1997, the team won all but one of the races at Imola; that race being the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, in which Williams’ driver Ayrton Senna lost his life as a result of a crash.

Williams have taken pole at Imola four times, and have locked out the front row on three occasions, most recently in 1997. In the last 22 races at the circuit, there have been only three occasions where a Williams driver has failed to qualify in the top ten. That includes Jenson Button recording the team’s worst qualifying position at the circuit with eighteenth at the 2000 San Marino Grand Prix. Williams last started from the front row at the circuit in 2003, when Ralf Schumacher qualified in second place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *