Valtteri Bottas claimed his fourth pole position of the 2020 Formula 1 season beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Imola. Here’s how and when you can watch the race.
In the condensed two-day race weekend format being trialled for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Bottas turned the tables on Hamilton by taking pole after seeing his team-mate dominate in practice – completing a reversal of events from last weekend in Portugal.
The Finn, who secured the 15th F1 pole of his career, said the risks he took to claim top spot in qualifying left him with the “shakes” at Imola, as he edged clear of Hamilton by just 0.097s in the Q3 shootout.
Hamilton blamed a “piss poor” final lap in Q3 for missing out on what would have been his 10th pole of the season but comfortably held on to second place ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Verstappen endured his own issues during qualifying when a suspected spark plug failure almost saw the Dutch driver forced out in Q2 and despite a rapid repair job by his Red Bull mechanics he conceded it “ruined” his rhythm in the session.
Behind Verstappen, Pierre Gasly impressed once again for AlphaTauri by qualifying in fourth place, equalling his career best qualifying result in F1, beating Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alexander Albon in the second Red Bull.
What is the Emilia Romagna GP?
The previous ‘new’ races on the redrawn 2020 F1 calendar were either part of double-headers at the same circuit (Styrian GP at the Red Bull Ring and 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone) or races taking a new name as the national race title was already used or unavailable.
With different races not allowed the same name in the same F1 world championship season, the Nurburging’s F1 race, Mugello’s F1 race and the Red Bull Ring’s second race were named after the region the circuits are situated in. The second Silverstone race was named as a way to celebrate the 70th year of the F1 grand prix world championship.
With the Italian GP taking place at Monza earlier this year, Imola’s unexpected return to the F1 race calendar has been named after the area the circuit is located in.
The final unique race name for the unconventional 2020 calendar is the second Bahrain race, which will be called the Sakhir GP, which is also named after the region the track is based.
When did F1 last race at Imola?
F1 last hosted a grand prix at Imola’s Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in 2006, a race won by Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.
Imola’s most famous F1 moment remains the tragic 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend which saw the deaths of both Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.
While Imola hosted numerous non-championship races in the 1960s and 1970s, the circuit held its first world championship grand prix in 1980, the Italian GP, before the race returned to Monza a year later. From 1981 Imola hosted the San Marino GP and remained an ever-present fixture on the F1 calendar until 2006.
Why is F1 racing at Imola?
Due to the redrafted 2020 F1 calendar following the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cancellation of 13 races, series bosses have scrambled to produce a campaign of a minimum of eight races to meet FIA world championship criteria along with reaching a minimum of 15 races to fulfil the TV broadcasting deal.
As well as hosting double-headers at the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Bahrain, F1 will also head to venues not on the original 2020 calendar, with Imola the fourth of the new destinations, following on from Mugello, the Nurburgring and Portimao. Later this year the paddock completes its one-off stint of unexpected races at Istanbul Park.
When is the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?
Date: Sunday 1st November 2020
Start time: 1:10pm local time, 12:10pm GMT
How can I watch the Emilia Romagna GP?
In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports has exclusive live broadcasting rights (excluding the British GP), with the Emilia Romagna GP race shown live on Sky Sports F1. Pre-race coverage will be starting at 10:30am GMT ahead of the race start at 12:10pm GMT.
Channel 4 will be showing extended highlights of the race on Sunday evening, starting at 6:30pm GMT.
Autosport is running a live text commentary for the Emilia Romagna GP.
Weather forecast for the Emilia Romagna GP
Current weather forecasts predict cloudy weather at Imola on race day, with a small chance of rain. The temperature is expected to be 17 degrees Celsius for the start of the race – fractionally cooler than as qualifying.
How many laps is the Emilia Romagna GP?
The race is scheduled to complete 63 laps of the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, covering a total race distance of 309.267km.
Emilia Romagna GP starting grid
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||0.567s|
|6||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||0.963s|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1.302s|
|11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1.452s|
|15||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1.885s|
|18||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||2.344s|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||2.599s|