San Marino marks a welcome return to Europe for the Formula One camp. After the first long-haul races of the season, it's a short trip across the Channel from their UK bases for many teams to Imola, for round four of the 2002 World ...
San Marino marks a welcome return to Europe for the Formula One camp. After the first long-haul races of the season, it's a short trip across the Channel from their UK bases for many teams to Imola, for round four of the 2002 World Championship.
THE RACE The small principality of San Marino has hosted Grands Prix for just over 30 years. Built in 1950, Imola's racing roots go back further still to Roman times when the current Autodromo was an amphitheatre used for chariot races. Three decades of racing has yielded some of the most memorable races in history and always guarantees an electric atmosphere, delivered by the loyal 'tifosi'.
Lap Distance 4.933 km
Race Distance 305.609 62 laps
2001 Winner Ralf Schumacher, Williams
THE TRACK Imola is famous for it's fast-flowing combination of straights and tight chicanes and remains a challenging circuit to drive, despite several changes to the layout to increase safety. Just shy of five kilometres in length, it focuses greatly on the team's aerodynamic package and is particularly hard on brakes making it a challenging one for both teams and drivers.
THE DRIVERS Heinz-Harald Frentzen is pleased to be returning to Europe and enjoys the circuit and its atmosphere. "I'm looking forward to the start of the European season and Imola is a great place for it to start. The track is pretty special with some big braking areas and that gives us a new set of challenges. It is a strategic track and it should suit us well. I enjoy racing there, especially as the tremendous enthusiasm of the Italian fans makes for a great atmosphere."
A race winner at Imola in his European Formula Renault days, the track holds fond memories for Enrique Bernoldi. "I really like Imola - It's a circuit that is very challenging and enjoyable to drive. The track has some nice turns and some pretty quick chicanes, so it will be important to find the right balance for the car so we can get a good lap time. I haven't been able to finish a race yet, so getting the car home really has to be my aim, but I'm confident that the car has good speed and hopefully we can mix it with the big boys here."
THE TEAM Mike Coughlan, Technical Director "Imola is a circuit that should suit our car quite well. It has a relatively smooth surface and has more tight to medium speed turns, which our car should handle better on, compared to circuits such as Interlagos. Brakes and tyres could be the main problems over the weekend, but we'll do our best to avoid those. It would be fair to say we were disappointed with Brazil - we had a quick car, which again showed great potential in the race so we're hoping to turn potential into positions here and we'll be working hard to get the right set up for the car from the word go."