After a two week break we are back this week and we are in Imola for Round 4, along with Formula 2 and 3.
Pirelli have chosen the C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium), C4 (Soft) tyres for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. This is the same nomination which was made for Imola last year, although the compounds are of course different with the latest 18 inch tyres.
Imola, marks the first sprint of the year, with rules that are slightly revised compared to last year, including more points on offer. The tyre rules are the same as last years sprint events though, rather than 13 sets for a normal weekend, this weekend will see 12 sets.
The asphalt dates back to 2011, which makes the 11 year old surface reasonably abrasive, that’s why we don’t see the same double step between medium and soft tyres, like we did in Australia. The more mature surface at Imola, generates more grip and therefore more heat in the tyres.
The forces at work on the tyres are generally equal between lateral and longitudinal, making it a flowing track where drivers need to find a good rhythm.
Imola is an old-school, challenging track, where overtaking can be tricky, also because the circuit is quite narrow in places. So the strategy is likely to centre around avoiding traffic, and effectively the teams start from scratch here in terms of tyre knowledge – as the compounds are completely different this year, and last year’s race also began on the wet-weather tyres, before being interrupted by a lengthy red flag period. Generally speaking, Imola is a medium severity track for the tyres, and it’s a venue that is used quite frequently. This means that we might see a little less track evolution than we’ve been accustomed to at other circuits as the track is well rubbered-in already: the first round of the Pirelli-equipped GT World Challenge took place at Imola last month, which gave us some useful data. These are just some of the factors that the teams will have to take into account when establishing the tyre strategy for the opening sprint session of the year: another first for the 2022 season.Mario Isla, Head of Pirelli Motorsport.
Formula 2 will support a Formula 1 grand prix at Imola for the first time in 16 years, when the championship was known as GP2. The Medium and Supersoft tyres have been nominated- this will be the debut for the revised supersoft tyre for 2022, featuring optimisations to improve resistance.
This weekend will be the first time that the modern Formula 3 championship has raced at Imola. The medium compound is the sole nominated tyre for the first time this season.