Imola has played host to 29 World Championship F1 races since first welcoming F1 for the 1980 Italian Grand Prix. Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about Imola!
?? RACE WINNERS
29 World Championship Formula 1 races have been held at Imola. The first 27 races at the circuit were held in consecutive seasons, from 1980 to 2006, and the track returned to the calendar in 2020 to host the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
From the 29 World Championship races here, there have been sixteen different winners. Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most wins at this circuit, having won at Imola on seven occasions – over double the number of wins of any other driver. Williams and Ferrari are tied for most wins for a constructor at Imola, having each won at the circuit on eight occasions. Meanwhile, Ferrari are tied with Renault as the most successful engine manufacturer at the circuit. Both Ferrari and Renault engines have won at Imola on eight occasions.
Three drivers on the 2021 grid have previously won at Imola. Fernando Alonso was victorious in the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have won on F1’s most recent visits to the circuit in 2020 and 2021.
Germany is the most successful nation at Imola, with nine wins. All but one Germany’s nine wins at the circuit have been taken by Schumachers, with Michael winning seven times and Ralf taking a single victory in 2001. Heinz-Harald Frentzen is the only other German to win here, doing so in 1997.
Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher are the four drivers to have taken consecutive wins at Imola. Schumacher is the only driver to have taken consecutive wins at the circuit on separate occasions. He also holds the record for most consecutive victories at the track, having won three races in a row in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Brabham, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams are the only teams to have taken consecutive wins at Imola. Williams and Ferrari share the record for most consecutive wins at the track. Williams won three races in a row between 1995 and 1997, while Ferrari won three races in a row between 2002 and 2004.
Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes are the only teams to have recorded 1-2 finishes at the circuit. McLaren have the most 1-2 finishes at the circuit, with their drivers finishing first and second in 1988, 1989 and 1991. Mercedes’ 1-2 finish at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the first for a team at this circuit since Ferrari finished first and second in 2002.
Elio de Angelis holds the record for the largest win margin at Imola. He’s the only driver to have won by over a lap at the circuit, doing so for Lotus in 1985; a race in which multiple drivers ran out of fuel in the closing stages, and Alain Prost was disqualified having crossed the line first. The smallest win margin at the circuit is 0.215 seconds, which is the gap by which Fernando Alonso took victory in 2005. The 1982 San Marino Grand Prix is the only other Imola race which has been decided by less than a second.
From the last ten races at Imola, the average win margin has been 6.937 seconds.
Of the 29 races held at Imola, nine have been won from pole position, while eighteen have been won from the front row of the grid. Max Verstappen’s victory in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the first not taken from the front row of the grid at Imola since 2001.
No wins have been recorded from further back than fifth on the grid at Imola. Nelson Piquet won the first two races at the track, both from fifth on the grid.
?? ON THE PODIUM
A total of 38 drivers have finished in the top three in a Formula 1 race held at Imola. No one has more podium finishes at the circuit than Michael Schumacher, who finished in the top three twelve times – that’s twice as many times as any other driver has finished on the podium here.
Ferrari have taken the most podium finishes of any team at the circuit. They have a total of 24 podiums at the track. 2020 was the first time that no Ferrari drivers appeared on the podium at Imola since the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Germany and Britain are tied as the nations with the most podium finishes at Imola, with both nations having finished in the top three on 15 occasions.
There are seven drivers on the 2021 grid who have previously finished on the podium at Imola. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are the only current drivers to record multiple podiums at the circuit. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris have each finished on the podium here once.
The lowest grid position from which a podium finish has been recorded at Imola is sixteenth. This happened in 1991, when JJ Lehto finished in third place having started sixteenth.
There have been five races at Imola in which the three drivers at the front of the grid finished on the podium. It happened in 1988, 1992, 2000, 2002 and 2004. The top three finished in the order which they started in 1988, 1992 and 2002.
There is yet to be a race at Imola where none of the top three starters have gone on to finish on the podium.
Fourteen drivers have taken pole position at Imola. Ayrton Senna holds the record for most pole positions at the track, having set the fastest time on eight occasions.
McLaren have more poles than any other team at Imola, having taken pole on nine occasions.
Senna’s tally of eight poles makes Brazil the most successful nation in qualifying at Imola. In addition to Senna’s poles, Nelson Piquet also took pole at the circuit in 1984.
Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are the only drivers on the 2021 grid to have previously taken pole position at Imola. While the Finns set the Saturday pace in 2005 and 2020 respectively, Hamilton is the most recent polesitter at the track.
Rene Arnoux, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen are the four drivers who have taken consecutive pole positions at Imola. Senna has the record for most consecutive poles at the track, having taken pole on all seven visits to the circuit between 1985 and 1991. Meanwhile, Schumacher is the only driver to have taken consecutive poles on multiple occasions at the circuit.
Lotus, McLaren, Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes are the teams that have taken consecutive poles at the track. McLaren hold the record for the most successive poles at Imola, with four. It’s a feat they’ve achieved twice; between 1988 & 1991 and between 1998 & 2001.
Nigel Mansell is the only driver to have taken pole by over a second at Imola. He did so at the 1992 San Marino Grand Prix, taking pole by 1.053 seconds.
Pole at the circuit has been decided by less than a tenth of a second on ten occasions; including in both of the last two Imola races. The smallest pole margin here came in 1995, when Michael Schumacher set the fastest time by just 0.008 seconds.
From the last ten F1 races at Imola, the average pole margin has been 0.156 seconds.
?? SUNDAY STATS
The Safety Car has been deployed only three times at Imola. The first time was at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix due to a collision on the starting grid. The second was in 2006, due to a collision between Christijan Albers and Yuji Ide. The fourth Safety Car outing was in 2020, when Max Verstappen suffered a tyre failure. The Virtual Safety Car was also called in 2020, as a result of Esteban Ocon pulling over to the side of the track following a mechanical issue. The Safety Car made two appearances in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – one as a result of Nicholas Latifi crashing out, the other the result of a collision between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas.
Five races at Imola have been affected by rain. The 1981 San Marino Grand Prix was held in the wet, while the 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2021 races were all held in drying conditions.
Eighteen drivers have set the fastest lap of a race at Imola. Michael Schumacher has the most fastest laps of anyone, having set the Sunday pace on five occasions.
The fewest number of cars to finish a Formula 1 race at Imola is five. This has happened twice – in 1982 and 1985.
In total, 733 cars have entered a round of the World Championship at Imola. Of those, 675 qualified for races and 326 reached the chequered flag.
There have been seven Did Not Starts recorded at Imola. The most recent was for Jarno Trulli, who failed to start the 1997 San Marino Grand Prix.
The 1989 San Marino Grand Prix, the 1994 San Marino Grands Prix and the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix are the only races at Imola which have been red-flagged. The 1989 and 1994 San Marino races are also the only two races at the circuit which have failed to run to full distance.
In total, 1,770 Grand Prix racing laps have been completed at Imola.
?? CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY
From the 28 races held at Imola, the winner of the race has gone on to win that year’s title on fourteen occasions. It has happened in six of the last seven races at the circuit.
No Drivers’ Championships have been decided at Imola, but Williams secured their first Constructors’ Championship at the track in 1980 and Mercedes were crowned Constructors’ Champions for a record-breaking seventh successive season in 2020.
The driver leading the title race after the Imola round failed to go on and win the title after all of F1’s first nine visits to the track. It has happened only four times since 1989.
There have been five occasions where the team leading the Constructors’ Championship after a race at Imola failed to win that season’s title.
The Drivers’ Championship has been tied after a race at Imola on three occasions – in 1983, 1986 and 2001. The Constructors’ Championship has been tied after an Imola race twice – in 1987 and 1995.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.