Mercedes and Red Bull have one win apiece at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while Williams and Ferrari are historically the most successful teams at Imola. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at the circuit!
WINS: 1, POLES: 2, PODIUMS: 3
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. Hamilton secured pole for the team here last year, 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.
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: 1, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 1
2021 marked Red Bull’s fourth appearance at Imola. Sergio Perez brought them their first front row start at the circuit, while Max Verstappen brought their first victory and podium.
Prior to Verstappen’s win last year, 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 sixteenth following a late race incident.
The 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix marked the first time the team reached Q3 at the circuit, doing so with both cars. Verstappen qualified in third place, while Albon was sixth. Last year, Perez out-qualified Verstappen by 0.052 seconds.
WINS: 8, POLES: 6, PODIUMS: 24
The 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the first time that Ferrari failed to finish on the podium at Imola since 1993. Last year, the team recorded a double top five result, with Charles Leclerc fourth and Carlos Sainz fifth. Other than Sebastian Vettel’s twelfth place in the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, 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 in total at the circuit. Since 1986, Michael Schumacher – who qualified fourteenth in 2005, Sebastian Vettel – who qualified fourteenth in 2020 and Carlos Sainz – who qualified eleventh 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 sixteenth place in 1980. 2002 is the only season in which the team has locked out the front row at the track.
WINS: 6, POLES: 9, PODIUMS: 20
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 last year with Daniel Ricciardo sixth. 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. Both Norris and Sainz reached Q3 in 2020, with the pair qualifying in ninth and tenth respectively. Last year, both McLaren drivers qualified in the top seven, with Ricciardo sixth and Norris seventh. Norris challenged for a spot on the front row but exceeded track limits towards the end of his subsequently deleted lap.
WINS: 2*, POLES: 3*, PODIUMS: 11*
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. Last year, both Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso finished in the points, coming home ninth and tenth respectively.
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. Last year, it was Ocon who reached Q3, while Alonso was out in Q2.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
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 sixteenth place; one position ahead of Red Bull’s Christian Klien. In the race, Liuzzi finished fourteenth, while Speed finished just behind in fifteenth.
Flash forward fourteen 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. 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. In both 2006 and 2020, AlphaTauri finished ahead of the senior Red Bull team in the race.
Last year, Yuki Tsunoda crashed out in qualifying while Gasly recorded another top five qualification at the track. The Frenchman went on to finish seventh while Tsunoda rcovered from the back of the grid to twelfth.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
The 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the fourth consecutive race at Imola at which Team Silverstone has 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 last scored at the track 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. Lance Stroll recorded another points finish for the team in 2021, coming home in eighth.
Between 1995 and 2001, Martin Brundle was the only Jordan driver to fail to qualify in the top ten at Imola. He qualified twelfth 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. Both Midland drivers were eliminated in Q1 at the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, while both Racing Point drivers were eliminated in Q2 at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
WINS: 8, POLES: 4, PODIUMS: 15
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 eleventh while George Russell crashed out of the race under Safety Car conditions. Russell crashed out again last year in an incident with Valtteri Bottas, while Latifi also failed to finish.
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 eighteenth at the 2000 San Marino Grand Prix. Nicholas Latifi recorded a worse result than Button in 2020, qualifying only nineteenth. While Russell reached Q2 and qualified thirteenth, this 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 twelfth and Latifi fourteenth. Williams last started from the front row at the circuit in 2003, when Ralf Schumacher qualified in second place.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
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), Karl Wendlinger in 1994 and 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 here last year, with Raikkonen thirteenth and Giovinazzi fourteenth.
The team have recorded double Q1 exits at the last two Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. 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 eighteenth due to an engine penalty.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
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 sixteenth and seventeenth respectively. In the race, Grosjean finished fourteenth 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 sixteenth and seventeenth. Schumacher finished ahead of his team-mate, despite a costly spin which saw him lose his front wing.
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.