The Williams Racing F1 team is gearing up for its first European appearance of the season, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. This weekend the fourth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship 2022 will be held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. During the weekend in Imola, the first sprint race of the season is also on the calendar
Passing through beautiful parkland, the circuit offers twelve left and nine right turns, deep into the Emilia Romagna region. Imola’s bumpy track is narrow in places, making overtaking both challenging and risky, so strategy is key.
Imola also marks the first Saturday Sprint event of the season, with qualifying moving to the final on Friday afternoon.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: We have enjoyed our recent trips to this great circuit for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and we are looking forward to another good weekend this year, especially after an encouraging result in Melbourne. The unusual two-day format here in 2020 gives us some idea of how the Sprint event will work this weekend; Getting the setup right in a single free practice session before going straight to qualifying isn’t easy, but it’s a great challenge and opportunity.
The track retains many of the elements that previously made it such a daunting and exciting race track, including its overall fast-flowing nature and unusual anti-clockwise direction. The famous corners at Piratella, Acque Minerali and Rivazza are all as demanding as they once were and the run up from the second part of Rivazza to the chicane at Tamburello is now flat as it passes the new pit complex. Some minor changes have been made to the DRS zone for 2022, which could affect racing.
The tire compounds are the same as Saudi Arabia’s and are a good compromise for this track, especially given the sprint session on Saturday.
After the intensity of the first flyaway races of the season, it was good to get the cars back to the factory and ready for the next set of events refreshed. We are all looking forward to a European race and the challenge of the sprint qualifying format.
Nicholas Latifi: I’m super excited to hit the track in Imola. It’s the first Sprint Event of the year, so I’m looking forward to that format and the opportunities it offers. It also provides an additional challenge for the teams, which will be even more interesting while we are still learning about these new cars. The Emilia Romagna circuit is one that has suited our car in recent years and I certainly enjoy driving it; a real old school circuit with lots of nice curves and curbs. I look forward!
Alex Albon: It’s my first time competing in the Sprint event format, so I’m looking forward to the slightly different approach to the weekend and both the challenges and opportunities it will bring. Historically, the team has done quite well at Imola, so we’ll put our heads together and see what we can do. We had a great race in Melbourne and the team did a fantastic job with the strategy, so hopefully we can use that momentum to keep going this weekend.