Red Bull and Mercedes have won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix since Imola re-joined the calendar in 2020, while Williams and Ferrari are historically the most successful teams at the circuit. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at Imola!
WINS: 2, POLES: 1, PODIUMS: 3 | 2022 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 1st, PEREZ 2nd
2022 marked Red Bull’s fifth appearance at Imola. Max Verstappen brought the team their second victory at the circuit along with their first pole position, while Sergio Perez ensured the team recorded a 1-2 result at the track for the first time. It was the first time that both Red Bull drivers scored in a single race here.
Both Red Bull drivers have reached Q3 in the last three Imola races, with both qualifying in the top three in each of the last two years. Perez gave Red Bull their first front row start at the track in 2021.
Prior to Verstappen’s 2021 win, Vitantonio Liuzzi was 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. In 2020, Verstappen retired while Alex Albon finished only 16th following a late race incident.
WINS: 8, POLES: 6, PODIUMS: 24 | 2022 RESULT: LECLERC 6th, SAINZ DNF
Ferrari have not finished on the podium at Imola since the last San Marino Grand Prix in 2006. The Scuderia had finished with at least one car in the top five in every San Marino Grand Prix between 1994 and 2006.
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 the 1980 Italian Grand Prix is the only other race at the circuit where they have failed to score.
In 2022, Carlos Sainz recorded the team’s first retiremenr at the circuit since 2005, while Charles Leclerc finished only sixth following a late race mistake. It made it the first time since 1993 that neither Ferrari driver finished in the top five at Imola. In the previous year, both Leclerc and Sainz finished in the top five.
Ferrari took pole position at three of the last five San Marino Grands Prix. The team has taken six poles in total at the circuit. Since 1986, Michael Schumacher – who qualified fourteenth in 2005, Sebastian Vettel – who qualified 14th in 2020 and Carlos Sainz – who qualified 11th in 2021 are the only Ferrari drivers to fail to qualify in the top ten at Imola.
Jody Scheckter recorded the team’s worst qualifying result at the circuit with 16th place in 1980. 2002 is the only season in which the team has locked out the front row at the track.
WINS: 1, POLES: 2, PODIUMS: 3 | 2022 RESULT: RUSSELL 4th, HAMILTON 13th
Prior to 2020, the Mercedes works team had 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.
On their first appearance at Imola, Mercedes secured the 2020 Constructors’ Championship with a 1-2 finish. The team locked-out the front row in qualifying. Lewis Hamilton secured pole for the team here in 2021, but could not take victory. He finished as runner-up to Max Verstappen, while Valtteri Bottas retired following a collision with one-time Mercedes team-mate George Russell.
The team had a lacklustre time at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, neither driver reached the final part of qualifying, making it the first race since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix in which neither Mercedes qualified in the top ten. Russell recovered to fourth place in the race but Hamilton did not make much progress and finished only 13th.
Though 2020 was their first appearance at the track as a works team, Mercedes have powered one other win here, for David Coulthard at McLaren in 1998, along with five pole positions. Mercedes power also provided eight podium finishes here prior to 2020 – including two for McLaren in the last two San Marino Grands Prix held at the circuit in 2005 and 2006.
Meanwhile, the Brackley-based team were in their Honda guise at the last San Marino Grand Prix in 2006, 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.
WINS: 2*, POLES: 3*, PODIUMS: 11* | 2022 RESULT: OCON 14th, ALONSO DNF
Appearing at the track as Toleman, Benetton, Renault and now Alpine, Team Enstone have recorded two previous victories at Imola. Michael Schumacher won for Benetton in 1994, while Fernando Alonso took a memorable victory for Renault in 2005.
The Enstone team has taken a further seven podium finishes at the circuit, the most recent being Daniel Ricciardo’s third place for Renault at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The team last recorded a double DNF at the circuit in 1998. In 2022, neither Esteban Ocon nor Fernando Alonso finished in the points, making it the first Imola race since 2001 in which the team did not score a point.
Team Enstone has taken a single pole position at Imola, with Michael Schumacher starting from the front in the 1995 San Marino Grand Prix. The Enstone team last started on the front row at the circuit in 2005, when Fernando Alonso qualified in second place. In 2020, Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fifth place, while Esteban Ocon was eliminated in Q2. In 2021, it was Ocon who reached Q3, while Alonso was out in Q2. Alonso qualified fifth in conventional qualifying at the circuit last year, while Ocon was out in Q1.
WINS: 6, POLES: 9, PODIUMS: 21 | 2022 RESULT: NORRIS 3rd, RICCIARDO 18th
McLaren won the San Marino Grand Prix six times, with their most recent Imola victory being recorded in 1998. 2002, 2004 and 2020, are the only years that no McLaren drivers finished on the podium at the circuit since 1998.
Both McLaren drivers scored at the 2020 and 2021 Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. Carlos Sainz finished seventh and Lando Norris eighth in 2020, while Norris finished on the podium in 2021 with Daniel Ricciardo sixth. Norris recorded another podium finish in 2022 but Ricciardo finished only 18th.
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 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 qualified in the top ten. Both Norris and Sainz reached Q3 in 2020, with the pair qualifying in ninth and tenth respectively. In the last two seasons, both McLaren drivers have qualified in the top seven. Norris challenged for a spot on the front row in 2021 but exceeded track limits towards the end of his subsequently deleted lap.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2022 RESULT: BOTTAS 5th, ZHOU 15th
When Alfa Romeo appeared at Imola for six races in the 1980s, Eddie Cheever’s seventh place in 1984 was 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), by Karl Wendlinger in 1994 and by Jacques Villenueve in 2005.
The 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the only race of the 2020 season in which both Alfa Romeo drivers scored points. Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth, with Antonio Giovinazzi behind him in tenth. The team had a fruitless visit in 2021, but Valtteri Bottas gave the team their best result at the track since 2005 with fifth place in 2022.
2022 was the first time since Imola’s comeback that the team did not record a Q1 exit. Bottas recorded the first top ten qualification for the former Sauber team at Imola since 2005, securing seventh place in the Sprint.
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 Imola. The team recorded six top ten qualifications since then, most recently with eighth place for Felipe Massa in 2005; though the Brazilian started only 18th due to an engine penalty.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2022 RESULT: VETTEL 8th, STROLL 10th
The 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the fourth consecutive race at Imola at which Team Silverstone appeared with a different name. They were Jordan at the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, Midland at the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, Racing Point at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and Aston Martin at the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
In 2020, Sergio Perez became the first driver for the team to score at Imola since 2001, finishing in sixth place. Jordan had last scored at the track in 2001, when Jarno Trulli finished fifth and Heinz-Harald Frentzen came home in sixth. Until 2022, it was the only time that both of the Silverstone team’s cars had scored in a single race. In 2022, Sebastian Vettel finished eighth, while Lance Stroll came home tenth. The team’s best-ever result here is fourth, recorded by Giancarlo Fisichella in both 1997 and 1999.
Between 1995 and 2001, Martin Brundle was the only Jordan driver to fail to qualify in the top ten at Imola. He qualified 12th in 1996. The team’s best qualifying result here is fifth, recorded by Ralf Schumacher in 1997 and Jarno Trulli in 2001.
In 2021, Lance Stroll became the first driver for the Silverstone-based team to qualify in the top ten at Imola since 2001, while Sebastian Vettel bettered that with ninth place in the qualifying hour in 2022 – though he lost positions in the Sprint race.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2022 RESULT: MAGNUSSEN 9th, SCHUMACHER 17th
Haas made their first appearance at Imola at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Haas joined the sport in 2016, ten years after the last San Marino Grand Prix. Both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were eliminated in Q1 at the event, qualifying in 16th and 17th respectively. In the race, Grosjean finished 14th while Magnussen retired following gearbox issues and suffering from a headache.
In 2021, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin were the two slowest drivers to set a lap time in qualifying. They finished the race in 16th and 17th. Schumacher finished ahead of his team-mate, despite a costly spin which saw him lose his front wing.
The team had a far more impressive weekend in 2022, with Magnussen qualifying in fourth place for the Sprint. He lost positions in the Saturday race, dropping to eighth place. Nevertheless, both Haas drivers started from the top ten on the grid. Magnussen finished the Grand Prix in ninth place, picking up Haas’ first points at Imola.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2022 RESULT: TSUNODA 7th, GASLY 12th
When Formula 1 visited Imola for the last San Marino Grand Prix in 2006, Toro Rosso were entering only their fourth Grand Prix. While Scott Speed was eliminated in Q1, Vitantonio Liuzzi reached Q2 and qualified in 16th place; one position ahead of Red Bull’s Christian Klien. In the race, Liuzzi finished 14th, while Speed finished just behind in 15th.
Flash forward 14 years and in 2020, AlphaTauri recorded a fourth place finish with Daniil Kvyat. Pierre Gasly also looked set for a good result having qualified an impressive fourth, but retired from the race. In both 2006 and 2020, AlphaTauri finished ahead of the senior Red Bull team in the race.
AlphaTauri have scored in each of the last two Imola races, with Pierre Gasly finishing seventh in 2021 and Yuki Tsunoda recording the same result in 2022. The other driver has finished 12th in each of the last two years.
Both Gasly and Kvyat reached Q3 for the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, marking the first time that this team had qualified with both cars in the top ten since 1991, when it was under its Minardi guise. Having qualified fourth in 2020, Gasly recorded another top five qualification in 2021. Both drivers were out in Q1 last year.
WINS: 8, POLES: 4, PODIUMS: 15 | 2022 RESULT: ALBON 11th, LATIFI 16th
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 scored in all of the last six San Marino Grands Prix, including their most recent win at the track in 2001. 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.
The team are yet to score since the circuit’s return to the track. In 2020, Nicholas Latifi finished 11th while George Russell crashed out of the race under Safety Car conditions. Russell crashed out again in 2021 in an incident with Valtteri Bottas, while Latifi also failed to finish – recording the team’s first double DNF at the track since 2000. Both drivers reached the end of the race last year, but neither did so in a points-paying position.
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 San Marino Grands Prix, there were only three occasions on which a Williams driver failed to qualify in the top ten. That included Jenson Button recording what was then the team’s worst qualifying position at the circuit with 18th at the 2000 San Marino Grand Prix.
Nicholas Latifi recorded a worse result than Button in 2020, qualifying only 19th and set the 20th and slowest time in the qualifying hour in 2022. While Russell was able to Q2 and qualified 13th in 2020, it was the first time since 1983 that neither Williams driver qualified in the top ten at the track. In 2021, both drivers reached Q2, with Russell qualifying 12th and Latifi 14th. Williams last started from the front row at the circuit in 2003, when Ralf Schumacher qualified in second place.
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.