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Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
Imola
Imola.svg
Location Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Time zone GMT +1
Coordinates 44°20′28″N 11°42′48″E / 44.34111°N 11.71333°E / 44.34111; 11.71333Coordinates: 44°20′28″N 11°42′48″E / 44.34111°N 11.71333°E / 44.34111; 11.71333
Major events SBK, WTCC, Italian GT
Length 4.909 km (3.050 mi)
Turns 17
Lap record 1:20.411 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari is an auto racing circuit near the Italian town of Imola, 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) east of Bologna and 80 kilometres (49.7 mi) east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello.

The circuit is named after Ferrari's late founder Enzo and his son Dino who had died in the 1950s. Before Enzo Ferrari's death in 1988 it was called 'Autodromo Dino Ferrari'.

It was the venue for the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix (for many years two Grands Prix were held in Italy every year, so the race held at Imola was named after the nearby state) and it also hosted the 1980 edition of the Italian Grand Prix, which usually takes place in Monza. When Formula One visits Imola, it is seen as the 'home circuit' of Ferrari and masses of tifosi (Ferrari supporters) come out to support the local team.

Imola, as it is colloquially known, is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. (Istanbul Racing Circuit, Singapore's Marina Bay and Autódromo José Carlos Pace at Interlagos, Brazil are other counter-clockwise circuits used recently by Formula One.)

Contents

Tamburello curve

Despite the addition of the chicanes, the circuit was subject to constant safety concerns, mostly regarding the flat-out Tamburello corner, which was very bumpy and had dangerously little room between the track and a concrete wall which protects a creek that runs behind it. In 1987, Nelson Piquet had an accident there during practice and missed the race due to injury. In the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger crashed his Ferrari at Tamburello after a front wing failure. The car caught fire after the heavy impact, which in fact split the monocoque, but thanks to the quick work of the firefighters and medical personnel Berger survived and missed only one race (the 1989 Monaco Grand Prix) because of burns on his hands. Michele Alboreto also had a fiery accident at the Tamburello corner testing his Footwork Arrows at the circuit in 1991, but also escaped any injury whatsoever. Riccardo Patrese also had an accident at the Tamburello corner in 1992 while testing for the Williams team.

The old pitlane

In the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, the dangers of the Imola circuit, and of Formula One in general, became tragically apparent. During Friday practice Rubens Barrichello was launched over a kerb, and into the top of a tyre barrier, flipping the car and knocking the Brazilian unconscious. He was not seriously injured. During Saturday qualifying Austrian Roland Ratzenberger crashed head-on into a wall at the Villeneuve corner after a front wing failure, and according to autopsy results found by the Italian authorities, was killed instantaneously. The nightmare continued the next day, when the legendary 3-time World Champion Ayrton Senna went straight on at the Tamburello corner on Lap 7. He may not have been badly injured by the impact with the wall itself, but a suspension piece broke off in the accident, and the front-right wheel was catapulted at an immense speed onto Senna's helmet and killed him. In two unrelated incidents, several spectators and mechanics were also injured during the event.

Diagram showing the differences between the 1994 and 2006 circuit layouts

In response to the deaths of Ratzenberger and Senna, revisions were made in an attempt to make the circuit safer. The flat-out Tamburello corner was reduced to a 4th gear left-right sweeper, and a gravel trap was added to the limited space on the outside of the corner. Villeneuve corner, previously an innocuous 6th gear right-hander into Tosa, was made a complementary 4th gear sweeper, also with a gravel trap on the outside of the corner. In an attempt to retain some of the quickness and character of the old circuit, the arduous chicane at Acqua Minerale was eliminated, as was the corner at which Barrichello crashed. Many say that the new circuit configuration is not as good as it used to be as a result of the new chicanes at Tamburello and Villeneuve.[1][2]

Some are also critical of the circuit's deteriorating facilities, and there had long been talk of the San Marino Grand Prix being taken off the Formula One calendar. In 2007 it was not on the Formula One calendar.

Another modification made to the Imola track is that of the famous Variante Alta which is situated at the top of the hill leading down to Rivazza and has the hardest braking point on the lap. The Variante Alta, formerly a high-kerbed chicane, was hit quite hard by the drivers which caused damage to the cars and occasionally was the site of quite a few accidents. Before the 2006 Grand Prix, the kerbs were lowered considerably and the turn itself was tightened to reduce speeds and hopefully reduce the number of accidents at the chicane.

Recent developments

Following an FIA decision in August 2006, Imola did not host a Grand Prix in the 2007, as the San Marino race was removed from the calendar.[3] SAGIS, the company that owns the circuit, hoped that the race would be reinstated at the October 2006 meeting of the FIA World Motorsport Council and scheduled for the weekend of April 29, 2007, provided that renovations to the facility were completed in time for the race, but the reinstatement was denied.[4]

Imola at March 2007

The circuit has undergone serious revisions to the pitlane, pit garages and the final corners. The final left-right chicane has been removed, thus making the run from Rivazza 2 to the first Tamburello chicane totally flat-out, much like the circuit in its original fast-flowing days. The pitlane has been being extended and revamped, and the old pit garages and paddock has been knocked down and a completely new set rebuilt. The circuit hopes to rejoin the F1 calendar in the next few seasons. The reconstruction has been designed by German track architect Hermann Tilke.

The new pitbox in Imola, photo taken on 15/4/2008

In June 2008, with most of the reconstruction work done, FIA gave the track "1T" rating, meaning that official F1 test can be held there. But still the track needs the "1" homologation to again host a Formula One race[5]. The track also hosted the 2008 WTCC Race of Europe, on September 21, 2008.

Simulation / Video Game List

Simulation / Video Game Year Configuration
1981 1995 2007
SBK-09: Superbike World Championship 2009 Check markY
Race Pro (downloadable content) Check markY
GTR2 2006 Check markY
F1 06 Check markY
F1 Championship Edition Check markY
rFactor 2005 Check markY Check markY
Grand Prix 4 2002 Check markY
Grand Prix 3 2000 Check markY
F1 Championship season 2000 Check markY
Formula One 99 1999 Check markY
Formula 1 98 1998 Check markY
Formula 1 97 1997 Check markY
Grand Prix 2 1995 Check markY
Grand Prix (World Circuit) 1992 Check markY
Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II Check markY
Super Monaco GP 1989 Check markY
Michael Andretti's World GP 1990 Check markY

References

External links


Simple English

Autodromo Internazionale "Enzo e Dino Ferrari"
Location Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Time zone GMT +1
Coordinates 44°20′28″N 11°42′48″E / 44.34111°N 11.71333°E / 44.34111; 11.71333Coordinates: 44°20′28″N 11°42′48″E / 44.34111°N 11.71333°E / 44.34111; 11.71333
Major Events Superbike World Championship, World Touring Car Championship, San Marino Grand Prix
Surface Asphalt
Circuit Length 4.909 km (3.050 mi)
Turns 17
Lap Record 1:20.411 ( Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004, Formula One)
Previous layout (1981-1994)
Surface Asphalt
Circuit Length 4.933 km (3.065 mi)
Turns 23
Lap Record 1:24.335 ( Damon Hill, Williams-Renault F1, 1994 Formula One)

The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is an auto racing circuit near the Italian town of Imola, 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) east of Bologna and 80 kilometres (49.7 mi) east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. Often, it is simply called Imola.

The circuit is named after Ferrari's late founder Enzo, and his son Dino who had died in the 1950s. Before Enzo Ferrari's death in 1988 it was called 'Autodromo Dino Ferrari'.

It was the host for the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix. The Italian Grand Prix has been held in Italy since the start of Formula One. The race at Imola was named after the nearby Republic of San Marion. After a bad crash Monza in 1978, Imola hosted the 1980 Italian Grand Prix. When Formula One visits Imola, it is considered the 'home circuit' of Ferrari and a large group of tifosi (Ferrari supporters) come out to support the local team.

Imola is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise) direction. Other anti-clockwise circuits include Istanbul Park, Singapore's Marina Bay, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, and Yas Marina Circuit.

Contents

Tamburello corner

Even with the addition of the chicanes, safety was a concern at the circuit. One of the biggest worries was the high-speed, flat-out Tamburello corner. Tamburello was very bumpy and had very little room between the track and a concrete wall. The wall protected a creek that ran behind the corner. In 1987 San Marino Grand Prix, Nelson Piquet had an accident at the corner during practice. He missed the race due to his injuries. In the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger crashed his Ferrari at Tamburello after the front wing broke. The crash was so heavy, the monocoque (the driver's compartment) split open. The car caught fire. The firefighters and medical personnel went to work quickly. Because of fast response, Berger survived with only burns on his hands. Berger only missed one race, the Monaco Grand Prix. Other drivers, including Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese also bad crashes at Tamburello corner. They escaped without serious injury.


In 1994 there were three serious accidents at Imola. During the Friday practice, Rubens Barrichello hit the fence at the Variante Bassa. It was a very hard crash and he was knocked unconscious for a few minutes. During the qualifying session on Saturday, Austrian Roland Ratzenberger crashed at the Villeneuve Corner. He hit a concrete barrier wall almost head-on and was received a very bad head injury. He was taken to the hospital, but died from injuries. In the race on Sunday, 3-time World Champion Ayrton Senna hit a concrete wall at Tamburello Corner. Senna was killed instantly.[1] In two unrelated accidents, several spectators and mechanics were also injured during the race.

In response to the deaths of Ratzenberger and Senna, changes were made to try to make the circuit safer. The flat-out Tamburello corner was reduced in speed. It was also made into a left-right sweeper. A gravel trap was added to the limited space on the outside of the corner. Villeneuve corner was also slowed down and a gravel trap added. To retain some of the character of the old circuit, the slow chicane at Acqua Minerale was eliminated. Many say that the new circuit configuration is not as good as it used to be as a result of the new chicanes at Tamburello and Villeneuve.[2][3]

Another modification made was to the Variante Alta. Variante Alta is at the top of the hill leading down to Rivazza. It has the hardest braking point on the lap. The kerbs were very high, and the drivers often hit them. This often caused damage to the cars and sometimes lead to accidents. Before the 2006 Grand Prix, the kerbs were lowered and the turn itself was tightened to reduce speeds.

Some had complained about the poor quality of the facilities (buildings and work areas) at Imola. San Marino Grand Prix was dropped from the Formula One championship after 2006.

Recent developments

Following an FIA decision in August 2006, Imola did not host a Grand Prix in 2007.[4] SAGIS is the company that owns the circuit. They hoped that the race would be reinstated at the October 2006 meeting of the FIA World Motorsport Council. They were planning renovations to the facility, but the reinstatement was denied.[5]


The circuit has undergone major revisions. The pitlane, pit garages and the final corners have been updated. The final left-right chicane has been removed. The run from Rivazza 2 to the first Tamburello chicane is flat-out. This is more like the old version of the circuit. The pitlane has been extended and reworked. The old pit garages and paddock have been completely rebuilt. The circuit hopes to rejoin the F1 calendar within the next few seasons. The reconstruction has been designed by German track architect Hermann Tilke.

In June 2008, with most of the reconstruction work done, FIA gave the track "1T" rating, meaning that an official F1 test can be held there. But still the track needs the "1" approvial to again host a Formula One race[6]. The track also hosted the 2008 World Touring Car Championship Race of Europe, on September 21, 2008.

References

Other websites

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