Bertolini/Salo - Copyright Maserati/Studio Mazzi
 

Circuit

Imola - ITALY
05/09/2004

Imola circuit

Set in the hills of Romagna, Imola, the circuit of Enzo and Dino Ferrari, is one steeped in history. The modifications to the track made after the terrible accidents of 1994 have not diminished the fascination of the place. On the contrary, the tricky and often spectacular changes have added to the excitement.

The short main straight leads the driver quickly into the Tamburello chicane, a fast esse that requires a precise line and a swift change of direction. The aim is to use the right kerb and buy some speed going into the next chicane, Villeneuve. Then it is foot on the gas before Tosa, a slowish left where it pays to get the exit spot on, avoiding oversteer when accelerating out. It is then uphill with the foot to the floor to take on the testing Piratella; the braking has to be just enough to get the trajectory for the left turn. From here it is Acque Minerali, maybe the most difficult section of the circuit.

The first curve, a right, is a fast one. Then it is heavy on the brakes before lining up the exit. It is open up the gas time and then some more harsh braking for the Alta chicane, a right-left where it is crucial to exit well to get the line right for the long straight that follows. Rivazza lies at the end of the straight and the braking for it has to be decisive; it is another key part of the track.  Two lefts, separated by a brief straight, have to be taken almost as one. Here too, a good exit means the driver is in a position to attack at the entrance to the Bassa chicane, the last hurdle before crossing the line.