F1 drivers braced for Mugello to be "killer physically"

Friday’s practice running for the Tuscan Grand Prix will give Formula 1 drivers a long-awaited first taste of Mugello, which some predict will be “an absolute killer physically”.

F1 drivers braced for Mugello to be "killer physically"
Listen to this article

Mugello was added to the 2020 calendar as part of the alterations made in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the cancellation of over half the scheduled races.

The circuit has traditionally been used for motorbike racing, hosting the Italian Grand Prix in MotoGP every year since 1994, but is also used for a handful of junior single-seater categories.

While a handful of the grid have raced at Mugello before, none felt their experiences in junior categories could suitably prepare them for the speeds they will hit in an F1 car.

"I've raced here once in 2014 I think when I was competing in Formula Renault," said Williams driver George Russell.

"It's an incredible circuit. It's so fast, it's so flowing, it's going to be an absolute killer physically. Turn 6, 7, 8, and 9 will be absolutely flat out, probably, flat out in seventh gear I think anyway.

"I think Arrabiata will be quite easy flat. It's the corners before, Casanova and Savelli, those are the difficult ones. I hope it will be.

"We've done a sweepstake to see who is going to do it [flat] first. We'll let you know on Sunday.

McLaren's Lando Norris previously raced at Mugello in Formula 4, but did not think there was any benefit to be gained from the added experience.

"I don't think there's any advantage, it was too long ago for me now in a completely different car," Norris said.

"The track has even changed slightly since then. I don't even remember the track being cambered in so many of the corners.

"Simulators are very good, but at the same time, it was very late notice for us to know that we're going to Mugello, so maybe everything was not as perfect and up to date as all the tracks that we normally go to.

"You have a good enough of an understanding driving a Formula 1 car in a simulator of what you need to achieve coming to a track like Mugello.

"This track is the pure performance and definition of what a Formula 1 car can achieve in such corners, such medium and high-speed corners, and just goes to show the limit for us as drivers.

"Physically it's going to be very tough."

Read Also:

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo said drivers had to "lean" on the simulator in order to learn a new circuit, but was excited by the chance to get out for the first time in practice on Friday.

"We've got obviously a lot of time on track in practice, so it's not something we really need to rush into," Ricciardo said.

"I don't think we need to be a hero in FP1. For sure we can't mess around.

"Driving on a new circuit, it does bait you in. You do want to go fast, straight away. It's fun, you know.

"I've never had probably so much excitement for a Friday practice as I do tomorrow. It's been a while, unless it's a Thursday in Monaco."

Alexander Albon of Red Bull echoed his peers on the physical challenge that would be posed by Mugello.

"I think it's going to be the most physical track for drivers this year, possibly ever," Albon said.

"The lowest gear is fourth gear. So it's going to be it's going to be fun, especially on our necks, I'm sure we're going to feel it.

"It's a really cool circuit, it's nice to be going to these old school circuits with proper history, and it has that character that you don't always get with new circuits. So it's a thumbs up."

shares
comments

Related video

Tuscan GP: Latest key F1 technical developments
Previous article

Tuscan GP: Latest key F1 technical developments

Next article

Vettel's Ferrari relationship souring a "shame" - Rossi

Vettel's Ferrari relationship souring a "shame" - Rossi
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022