Hamilton and Verstappen have won the last two Imola races, Gasly is yet to qualify outside of the top five and Leclerc has recorded top five results in the last two seasons. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
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. He qualified third again last year, but this time went on to win the race. 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
After out-qualifying his team-mate and lining up on the front row, Sergio Perez finished outside of the points in last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He finished the race in eleventh, five positions down on where he finished at Imola in 2020 with Racing Point. Perez is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate here.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has qualified on the front row on both F1 appearances at Imola, qualifying second in 2020 and on pole position in 2021. He won the race in 2020 and finished as runner-up to Max Verstappen last year. 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.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell is yet to reach the chequered flag at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was not Russell’s finest moment. On course for a good result, the Williams driver crashed out of the race behind the Safety Car. Similarly, in 2021, he collided with the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, ending the pair’s race. Russell reached Q2 on both previous outings at Imola, qualifying thirteenth in 2020 and twelfth last year. 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.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc has recorded top five results in both F1 races in which he has competed at Imola. He finished fifth in 2020 and went one better last year, finishing in fourth place. Leclerc reached Q3 in both 2020 and 2021, with a best qualifying result of fourth last season. He’s yet to lose a position from where he has started at this track.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has finished in the points on both F1 outings at Imola, finishing seventh in 2020 and fifth in 2021. He reached Q3 in 2020, but missed out on the final part of qualifying last year, setting the eleventh fastest time. Sainz is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at this circuit. He has gained at least three positions on both appearances at Imola.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has finished in the top six on both F1 outings at Imola. He recorded a podium finish with Renault in 2020, finishing in third place. He finished sixth with McLaren last season. Ricciardo has also qualified in the top six on both appearances, with a best qualifying result of fifth in 2020. Ricciardo is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate here.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris finished on the podium at last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The British driver has a 100% points scoring rate at the track, having finished eighth in 2020. Norris has reached Q3 on both appearances, with a best qualifying result of seventh in 2021. He looked set to line up on the front row last year – but his lap time was invalidated for breaching track limits. 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.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso is the only driver on the 2022 grid who raced at Imola when it hosted the San Marino Grand Prix. 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 he has failed to score here. He finished tenth at the track last year. Alonso has never taken pole position at Imola, but qualified on the front row in 2005. Alonso has finished in a better position than where he has started every time he has reached the chequered flag.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon retired from the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, suffering a gearbox issue. He went on to score points last year, finishing one position ahead of his team-mate in ninth place. Last year also saw Ocon out-qualify his team-mate at the track for the first time. He reached Q3, qualifying in ninth. Before the 2020 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.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
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. He picked up points here for the first time last year, finishing in seventh place. Gasly is yet to qualify outside the top five here, having qualified fifth in 2021.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda had the most recent experience at Imola ahead of the 2021 race, having tested for AlphaTauri prior to the start of the 2021 season. He had never previously raced at the circuit, however. Tsunoda crashed out in Q1 and failed to set a lap time. Starting on the back row, Tsunoda went on to finish in twelfth place.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is yet to score at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He finished twelfth with Ferrari in 2020 and retired with Aston Martin last year. Vettel is also yet to reach Q3 here, having been eliminated in Q2 in both 2020 and 2021. He has been out-qualified by his team-mate on both appearances.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll picked up points at Imola for the first time last year, finishing in eighth place. The Canadian finished thirteenth in the previous year. 2021 also saw Stroll reach Q3 at the track for the first time, qualifying in tenth. He was out in Q2 in 2020. Stroll has gained two places from where he started on both F1 outings at the track. 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.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon has one previous F1 outing at Imola, in the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He qualified sixth, but finished only fifteenth after spinning in the closing stages of the race.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
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. He failed to finish the race in 2021. After qualifying on the back row in 2020, Latifi made it through to Q2 in 2021, qualifying in fourteenth place. 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.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
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. In 2021, Bottas qualified only eighth for the race. He was eliminated in a collision with one-time Mercedes team-mate George Russell.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu has previously raced at Imola in the Italian F4 Championship in 2015 and in the FIA F3 European Championship in 2016. He has a best result here of second place, which he recorded twice in F4.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher finished sixteenth in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, despite losing his front wing during the race. He qualified in sixteenth place. Schumacher 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.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen last raced at Imola with Haas for the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He qualified in 17th place after being out-qualified by his team-mate by just 0.018 seconds. He went on to retire from the race, struggling with gearbox issues which gave him a “massive headache”.
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. 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 and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.