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Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team
Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team’s 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship campaign will continue this week with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Friday April 22 – Sunday April 24.

Located in a scenic part of the world, with rolling hills to the west and the sun-kissed Adriatic coast to the east, the circuit finds itself nestled in the center of an automotive landscape and culinary heaven. The venue, more commonly called Imola in deference to the surrounding town, joined Formula 1’s calendar in 1980 as the Italian round, and a year later was handed the San Marino moniker. 

Imola was removed from the schedule after 2006, as Formula 1 went in pursuit of new territories, but it returned as a late stand-in round in 2020 when the world was grappling with the early stages of the pandemic. Under the new title of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – the region in which Imola is located – it was again run in 2021, and for 2022 features as the fourth round of the season.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team

Imola’s circuit boasts a variety of challenges, with a greater than usual emphasis placed on qualifying, owing to the narrow nature of the old-school track and the paucity of overtaking opportunities. The best chance is frequently into the Tamburello chicane, at the end of the lengthy full throttle section past the pit lane. Drivers dart between the verdant parklands and terracotta-colored houses that add to the throwback nature of Imola and give it an unmistakable character. 

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will also see the return of F1 Sprint, following its introduction at select rounds in 2021. It will mark the first taste of F1 Sprint for Kevin Magnussen while Mick Schumacher will bring his experience of the format from his rookie campaign. 

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team
Guenther Steiner – Team Principal of Haas F1 Team

It was a challenging weekend in Melbourne which resulted in both drivers narrowly missing out on points. How would you assess the Australian Grand Prix and what positives can you take to Imola?

“The whole weekend was very challenging, starting with little issues on Mick’s car and Kevin not being on top form because he didn’t feel well. Nevertheless, with all these hinderances we still got close to points. In the race we didn’t get lucky with the safety cars which could’ve helped our strategy but we put Australia behind us. Not as a negative, but it’s a very competitive championship this year and you need to be perfect to get points. What I take to Imola is that the car is still performing, and we will perform as we go on. I hope we get to Imola having fewer unfortunate instances.” 

 

After three races in this new era of racing, we’ve seen lots of on-track battling and more opportunities for following and overtaking. Do you think the new set of regulations has delivered what it had promised in terms of livening up the racing spectacle of Formula 1?

“Absolutely. It seems to be working – the cars look interesting, they’re all different – but they can all be competing. At the moment it seems that some cars are better for one race track, some are better for another. I think the new rules have overdelivered.”

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be the first Sprint race of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. As teams are still getting to grips with new cars and new procedures, how do you think this added factor will impact race preparations?

“For sure it will be challenging because we’ve only got one free practice session to find a good set-up. With the difficulties of these cars and the inexperience we have got with it, it won’t be easy but it’s the same for everybody and who is better prepared will have a better car so we will be trying our best like everybody else. I think it is a good thing for the championship to have these sprint races and I really look forward to it.” 

 

Last month, Formula 1 announced that it would continue to race in Imola until 2025. With the emergence of new locations joining the calendar, do you think it’s still important to protect and continue racing at circuits with such history, or is it just as important to expand the sport into new territories? 

“It’s a mix. Imola came back out of nowhere during the pandemic because we didn’t have enough places to go. We realized a good thing and Imola realized a good thing and they found the finances to have Formula 1 there. Does it stay? I don’t know. Will others be coming? For sure. Will others be going? For sure. I think it’s one of those things where there is not one right or wrong answer, it is something in between to see how everything goes economically in the world, culturally and where the interest is.”
 

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