Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Motorsports
  2. F1

F1 Tracks: Imola Circuit - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The spiritual home of Ferrari, officially known as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari but more commonly referred to as Imola, is a circuit with a rich and sometimes tragic past.

The track, named after Ferrari's founder Enzo Ferrari, is located just down the road from the team factory in Maranello and therefore holds a special place amongst the throngs of Tifosi that pack the stands when Formula 1 comes to town.

The area is synonymous with racing, the Romans having staged chariot races in the region in 80BC and the Imola Circuit builds on that history.

A throwback circuit that's extremely fast and technical, F1 drivers enjoy the old-school challenge Imola presents, while being very aware of the dangers the track can pose.

Several drivers have lost their lives at Imola, including Ayrton Senna in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, after which changes were made to the layout to improve safety.

Imola was removed from the F1 schedule in 2006, but made its return in 2020, hosting what's now known as the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

With the 2023 race called off due to flooding, it will be 2024 before F1 is back at Imola, by which time the Tifosi will hope to be able to cheer on a more competitive Ferrari.

What2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
WhereImola Circuit, Italy
How to watchSky Sports F1

Where is Imola Circuit?

Located in northern Italy, Imola Circuit lies in undulating, picturesque park ground on the outskirts of the town that shares its name, 40km east of Bologna.

When was Imola Circuit first built?

Originally conceived by four locals who were fans of motorcycle racing, construction began on the Imola Circuit in 1950 in the presence of Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, who wanted to use the venue to test his cars.

The track was completed two years later with Ferrari holding their first test session in October 1952.

The following year, Imola staged its first race, the GP Coni motorcycle race with four-wheeled vehicles getting their first chance to compete at the circuit the following year.

How long is Imola Circuit?

At 4.909km, Imola is slightly shorter than the average Formula 1 circuit. Although the layout has been changed significantly to make racing safer, the length of the track has largely remained untouched having previously been just above the 5km mark.

Several of the most infamous corners at Imola have been softened with the previously flat-out Tamburello corner made into a chicane, while a chicane was added on the run to Tosa.

When did Imola Circuit first host an F1 race?

Imola has often had to play second fiddle to Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix, with the two circuits competing for Formula 1's attention.

Two non-championship F1 races were staged at Imola in 1963 and 1979 before it got its chance to shine in 1980 when wrestling away the rights to the Italian Grand Prix from Monza.

The race was a success and with the Italian Grand Prix going back to Monza, it was decided Imola would host the newly-created San Marino Grand Prix instead.

Despite being a hit with the drivers, the combination of a fast and technical track with little room for error made it a dangerous circuit and it underwent numerous changes to make it safer.

The circuit was removed from the F1 calendar in 2006 and it took 14 years before its place was restored, Imola capitalising on other races being cancelled in the 2020 season to secure a return to the schedule.

Who has won the most F1 races at Imola Circuit?

Given its affinity with Ferrari, it only seems right that Scuderia legend Michael Schumacher is head and shoulders above the rest with seven wins at Imola.

In 15 races at the circuit, the German was only first, second or retired. Despite Schumacher's success, Ferrari are tied with Williams for most team wins at Imola on eight apiece.

Alain Prost and Senna both won three times at Imola, with Max Verstappen denied the chance to join those two on three victories in 2023 when the race was washed out.

Verstappen won the previous two editions of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, joining Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet on two wins at Imola.

What is the F1 lap record at Imola Circuit?

The constant changes to the layout mean Schumacher, Hill and Mansell can all lay claim to holding the lap record at Imola.

But on the current layout, Lewis Hamilton holds the fastest race time, putting in a 1:15.484 lap in 2020.

His then-Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas holds the best lap time outright after going round in 1:13.609 in qualifying the same year.

Does Imola Circuit host any other events?

Given its long history and having been designed with motorcycle racing in mind, it's no surprise to see Imola has played host to a range of motorsport classes.

Currently, the Superbike World Championship uses the facility, while next year the World Endurance Championship will stage a six-hour race at Imola.

Alongside the more traditional two-wheeled action, motocross and sidecar racing events have previously been held at Imola.

GP2 and World Touring Car Championship are amongst the other recognisable classes of car racing to visit the famous track.

What is the weather like at Imola Circuit?

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been handed a mid to late April spot on the calendar, coinciding with what's traditionally the wettest month of the year at Imola.

This year's race was washed out, while the previous two races were affected by rain. Coupled with the slightly cooler conditions in Italy at that time of year, Imola hasn't been shown at its best since returning to F1.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.