Imola offers to host F1 race to replace postponed Chinese GP

Imola has offered to host a Formula 1 race to replace the cancelled Chinese GP in April – but even the venue’s boss acknowledges that the bid could be a “mission impossible.”

Imola offers to host F1 race to replace postponed Chinese GP

The circuit has approached Automobile Club of Italy president, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, about the possibility of staging a Grand Prix should an opportunity arise.

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari last hosted a round of the World Championship under the San Marino GP name in 2006, but the management has never given up its ambitions to bring F1 back. In 2016 it lobbied to host the Italian GP when there were some doubts over Monza’s future. In March 2011 the track stepped in at a late stage to host the GP2 Asia series, replacing rounds that were lost when two weekends of racing in Bahrain were cancelled due to civil unrest.

Read Also:

Imola president Uberto Selvatico Estense insisted that the venue could be ready on time, and said that it is licensed for F1 cars.

“It would be very difficult to arrange it, but the track is ready,” he told Motorsport.com. “We can move very fast to host a grand prix as we did in the past. We would not be at our best, of course. But if it’s necessary, we will move on with it.

“We’ve got the homologation for F1. The pit building is OK. I think we miss some parts of the hospitality, but we can organize it very quickly if necessary.”

Despite his enthusiasm, Selvatico Estense acknowledged that the logistical and commercial issues could yet prove insurmountable.

“It’s kind of a mission impossible, but why not?” he said. “Anything is possible if Liberty wants. I’m a dreamer! I always hoped that this opportunity would come. But it’s very difficult, it’s true.”

Inevitably, given the timeframe and lack of time to sell tickets, Imola would not be able to pay a representative European race hosting fee, which may make the plan a non-starter for Liberty from the outset, even without any logistical issues.

“For sure it will not be possible to pay the same fee that others are paying,” Selvatico Estense continued. “But it happened in a similar way in the past with the GP2 series, when the promoter asked us to solve the problem. Finally we reached an agreement and it was possible.

“When I spoke with Mr. Sticchi Damiani he said it’s not only a question of time, it’s also a question of money.

“But we are facing a good time with the political situation. We have a new president of the region, Emilia Romagna [Stefano Bonaccini, elected in 2014]. And we are talking about a very important sports event. So I think people will do their best effort, although I don’t know if will be sufficient.”

Selvatico Estense said that the traditional San Marino GP name could be revived if the race received the go-ahead.

“We have the opportunity to use the San Marino name, because I spoke in the past with those guys, and they agreed. So I think it should not be a problem.”

shares
comments
Fry says there's no "low-hanging fruit" at Renault

Previous article

Fry says there's no "low-hanging fruit" at Renault

Next article

Ocon was "destroyed" after year as Mercedes reserve

Ocon was "destroyed" after year as Mercedes reserve
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021