Verstappen has won the last two Imola races, Norris has finished on the podium at the circuit in the last two seasons and both Alonso and Hamilton have previous wins here. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix!
🇳🇱 Max VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen has won the last two Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. They’re his only two finishes at the track, having retired from the 2020 Imola race after picking up a puncture and spinning out into the gravel trap, bringing out the Safety Car.
Verstappen is yet to qualify outside of the top three at Imola. After qualifying third in both 2020 and 2021, he won the Sprint in 2022 to secure pole position.
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
Sergio Perez has scored twice from his three appearances at Imola. He recorded his best result to date here with second place in 2022. Despite out-qualifying his team-mate and lining up on the front row in 2021, Perez finished outside of the points in the Grand Prix. He finished the race in eleventh, five positions down on where he finished at Imola in 2020 with Racing Point. 2022 was the first time Perez was out-qualified by his team-mate at this circuit.
🇲🇨 Charles LECLERC
Charles Leclerc has recorded top six results in all three F1 races in which he has competed at Imola. He finished fifth in 2020 and went one better in 2021, finishing in fourth place. He finished only sixth in 2022 following a late race error at the Variante Alta.
Leclerc has reached Q3 in all three Imola appearances, with a best qualifying result of second in 2022. He’s yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at this track. Last year marked the first time he lost positions from where he started at Imola.
🇪🇸 Carlos SAINZ
Carlos Sainz finished in the points on both F1 outings at Imola in 2020 and 2021 but failed to finish the race in 2022. Sainz’s best result here is fifth place, recorded in 2021.
The Spaniard recorded his best Imola qualifying result in 2022 after finishing fourth in the Saturday sprint race. He reached Q3 in both 2020 and 2022 but was eliminated in Q2 in 2021, setting the 11th fastest time. Sainz is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at this circuit. He is the only driver who has not out-qualified his team-mate at any of the last three Imola races.
🇬🇧 Lewis HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton has taken one previous win at Imola, emerging victorious in the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He finished as runner-up in 2021, despite finding himself in a gravel trap mid-race. Hamilton finished only 13th last year.
Hamilton qualified on the front row in both 2020 and 2021, but could do no better than 14th in qualifying at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 2021 is the only time he has out-qualified his team-mate at the circuit.
Prior to the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton last appeared at Imola 14 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 reached the chequered flag at Imola for the first time in 2022, coming home in fourth place. 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 is yet to appear in Q3 at Imola, having been eliminated in Q2 on all three previous visits. He recorded his best qualifying result at the circuit to date in 2022, finishing in 11th place in the Sprint. Russell is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate here.
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.
🇫🇷 Esteban OCON
Esteban Ocon has scored only once at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with a ninth place finish in 2021. He retired from the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, suffering a gearbox issue. He went on to finish 14th last year.
2021 is also the only time that Ocon has reached Q3 at Imola, having been eliminated in Q2 in 2020 and failing to make it out of Q1 in 2022. His ninth place in 2021 is also the only time he has out-qualified his team-mate at the circuit.
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 only time so far in 2022, finishing in seventh place. He came home 12th in 2022.
After being eliminated in Q1, Gasly qualified only 17th in 2022. It was the first time that the Frenchman qualified outside of the top five at Imola, as well as the first time he was out-qualified by a team-mate at the track.
🇬🇧 Lando NORRIS
Lando Norris has finished on the podium in each of the last two Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. The British driver has a 100% points scoring rate at the track, having also finished eighth in 2020.
Norris is one of only three drivers to have reached Q3 at each of the last three races at Imola, with a best qualifying result of fifth, secured as a result of the Sprint in 2022. He looked set to line up on the front row in 2021 – but his lap time was invalidated for breaching track limits.
Prior to Formula 1, Norris raced at Imola in the Italian F4 Championship in 2015. From the three races, he finished in a best position of fourth.
🇦🇺 Oscar PIASTRI
Oscar Piastri has never previously raced at Imola.
🇫🇮 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.
Bottas returned to the top five at Imola in 2022, finishing an impressive fifth with Alfa Romeo. After reaching Q3 on Friday, he qualified in seventh place as a result of Saturday’s Sprint.
🇨🇳 ZHOU Guanyu
On his first appearance at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in 2022, Zhou Guanyu finished the race in 15th place. He reached Q2, but failed to out-qualify Alfa Romeo team-mate Valtteri Bottas. He failed to finish the Sprint race and subsequently started the Grand Prix from the pit lane.
Zhou 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.
🇪🇸 Fernando ALONSO
Fernando Alonso is the only driver on the 2023 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.
Alonso has failed to score at Imola only twice, both times the result of retirements – in 2001 and 2022.
Alonso has never taken pole position at Imola, but qualified on the front row in 2005. He has qualified in the top ten on five of his seven appearances – missing out in 2001 and 2021. Alonso has finished in a better position than where he started every time he has reached the chequered flag at Imola.
🇨🇦 Lance STROLL
Lance Stroll has gained positions from where he has started on all three F1 appearances at Imola to date. The Canadian has a 100% finish rate here and has picked up points twice – with an eighth place finish in 2021 and tenth in 2022.
Stroll reached Q3 at the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but was eliminated in Q2 in both 2020 and 2022. 2021 is also the only season in which Stroll has out-qualified his team-mate at Imola.
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.
🇩🇰 Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Kevin Magnussen has made two previous appearances at Imola. In 2020, 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”.
In 2022, Magnussen picked up points at the circuit, finishing in ninth place. He had qualified in an impressive fourth place for the Sprint event, but fell to eighth in the Saturday afternoon race.
🇩🇪 Nico HULKENBERG
This will be Nico Hulkenberg’s first time racing at Imola in Formula 1 machinery. The circuit re-joined the calendar in 2020, one year after Hulkenberg’s last full season in the sport.
🇯🇵 Yuki TSUNODA
Yuki Tsunoda scored points at Imola for the first time in 2022, finishing in seventh place. He had finished 12th in the previous season. Tsunoda is yet to reach Q2 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, having been eliminated in Q1 on both appearances. He made up positions in the Sprint last year to ultimately start 12th. Tsunoda has gained at least five places in both Grands Prix which he has competed in at the track.
🇳🇱 Nyck DE VRIES
Nyck de Vries has never previously raced at Imola.
🇹🇭 Alex ALBON
Alex Albon is yet to score from his previous two appearances at Imola. He was running in the points with Red Bull in the closing stages of the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix but finished only 15th after spinning. He recorded a better result in 2022 with Williams, coming home in 11th place.
Albon is yet to out-qualify a team-mate here, having suffered a brake fire in Q1 at last year’s Imola race. He reached Q3 in 2020, qualifying in sixth place. While Albon lost nine positions from where he started in 2020, he gained seven places in the 2022 race.
🇺🇸 Logan SARGEANT
Logan Sargeant raced at Imola in Formula 2 last year. After qualifying tenth, Sargeant finished sixth in the Sprint Race and seventh in the Feature Race.