F1 Driver Form: Imola

How have the drivers on the 2021 grid fared in their previous races at Imola? Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the circuit!


Lewis Hamilton qualified on the front row at Imola last year and went on to win the race. Prior to the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton last appeared at Imola fourteen years previously. Partaking in only his second weekend in F1’s feeder series GP2, Hamilton had a weekend to forget. After qualifying third for the Feature Race, he jumped the start and was then disqualified for overtaking the Safety Car. In the Sprint Race, he fought back from the rear of the grid to tenth place.


At the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas took pole position by just under a tenth of a second. His charge to a win was hampered by picking up floor damage after hitting debris in the early stages. He finished the race in second place, six seconds behind his team-mate.


Max Verstappen qualified in third place at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but failed to finish the race. Having made an overtake on Valtteri Bottas, the Dutchman picked up a puncture soon after and spun out into the gravel trap, bringing out the Safety Car. Prior to Formula 1, Verstappen appeared at Imola in the FIA F3 European championship in 2014. In the three races, he recorded a retirement, a second place finish and a win. His win came in the third race, for which he started from pole position.


Sergio Perez finished sixth at last year’s Imola race. He missed out on Q3 on Saturday, qualifying in eleventh place for Racing Point.


On his first appearance at Imola for the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo recorded his second podium in the space of three races with Renault. He finished in third place having started in fifth.


Lando Norris finished eighth in last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He reached Q3, qualifying in ninth and out-qualifying team-mate Carlos Sainz. Prior to Formula 1, Norris last raced at Imola in the Italian F4 Championship in 2015. From the three races, he finished in a best position of fourth.


Sebastian Vettel failed to score at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with Ferrari, finishing in twelfth place. He was out-qualified by team-mate Charles Leclerc, being eliminated in Q2 and lining up fourteenth on the grid.


Lance Stroll finished thirteenth in last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He started the race from fifteenth, having been out-qualified by Racing Point team-mate Sergio Perez. Stroll has had success at Imola in the junior formulas. In the Italian F4 championship in 2014, Stroll won two of three Imola races with the Prema team and finished second in the other race. In the FIA F3 European Championship two years later, Stroll again won two of the three races, having started on pole for all three events.


Fernando Alonso raced in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola five times between 2001 and 2006. He scored on four appearances, and won in 2005 following a memorable duel with Michael Schumacher. The Spaniard went on to finish as runner-up in 2006. His retirement in 2001 is the only time that Alonso has failed to score here. Alonso has never taken pole position at Imola, but qualified on the front row in 2005. He has out-qualified his team-mate on every appearance at the track, and has finished in a better position than where he has started every time he has reached the chequered flag.


Esteban Ocon retired from last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, suffering a gearbox issue. He qualified twelfth for the race, failing to out-qualify Renault team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Before last year’s Imola race, Ocon last appeared at the circuit in the FIA F3 European Championship in 2014. He started from the front row in all three races, winning the first race from pole position and finishing fourth and third in the other two events.


Charles Leclerc finished fifth in the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He reached Q3, qualifying in seventh place and making up two positions over the course of the race.


Carlos Sainz scored six points at Imola last year, finishing the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in seventh place. He failed to out-qualify McLaren team-mate Lando Norris but reached Q3, qualifying in tenth place.


Pierre Gasly started an impressive fourth at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix but faced a tough Grand Prix afternoon, retiring from the race after only eight laps.


Yuki Tsunoda is the driver with the most recent experience at Imola, having tested for AlphaTauri prior to the start of the 2021 season. He has not previously raced at the track.


The 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be Kimi Raikkonen’s eighth F1 appearance at Imola. His best result here is second place, recorded in the 2003 San Marino Grand Prix. Raikkonen has retired here three times, but scored on all of his other appearances. He finished ninth last year, despite qualifying only eighteenth. That was his second-worst qualifying result at the track. His worst was in 2004, when he failed to set a lap time and subsequently lined up last on the grid. In all four races which he has finished here, has completed the race at least three positions up from where he started.


At the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Antonio Giovinazzi became the first driver to race at home three times in a single season since Eddie Cheever in 1982. Giovinazzi gained ten places from where he started in the race, which is the most positions he has gained in any race during his F1 career. Having started last on the grid, he finished tenth – making this the only race in 2020 where both Alfa Romeo drivers scored.


This will be Mick Schumacher’s first F1 outing at Imola, though he has raced here in the past. He completed six races here with Prema in the 2016 Italian Formula 4 Championship. From those six races, he claimed a win and a further podium finish.


Nikita Mazepin raced at Imola in the FIA F3 European Championship. He failed to qualify above thirteenth place in any of the three races, and failed to finish above eleventh.


The 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was not George Russell’s finest moment. On course for a good result, the Williams driver crashed out of the race behind the Safety Car. He had reached Q3 in qualifying, starting in thirteenth place. Prior to Formula 1, Russell last raced at Imola in FIA F3 in 2016. He finished in the top four in all three races, recording two podium finishes, with a best result of second place. He started third on the grid for all three events.


Nicholas Latifi was eight tenths of a second away from scoring the first point of his F1 career at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. That was the gap from Latifi’s eleventh place finish to Antonio Giovinazzi in tenth place. The Canadian qualified on the back row, setting the second slowest qualifying time. Ironically, it was Giovinazzi who set the slowest time. Latifi previously raced at Imola in the FIA F3 European Championship in 2014. From the three races, he finished a best of fourth place in the third and final event. It was his final appearance in F3.

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