Paddock Diary: 2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

The very first dash race weekend of the 2022 time was also the very first in which the intermediate and moist tyres ended up known as into motion.

But as System one returned to Imola for the 3rd consecutive yr, RaceFans’ paddock reporter Claire Cottingham bought her very first style of the northern Italian circuit. It would verify a weekend of exuberant crowds, vehicle park quagmires and some intriguing insights into the motorists and teams…


Soon after skipping the Australian Grand Prix, I was eager to get back again in to the paddock, specially following the disagreeable functions of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Exactly where improved than Imola, a circuit I experienced in no way frequented right before?

The location has been back again on F1 calendar considering the fact that 2020, when the globe was nonetheless attempting to get back handle as Covid-19 swept via state following state with devastating impacts, and F1 quickly necessary to substitute considerably-flung functions with kinds nearer to household. Fortunately, the followers ended up back again this weekend, and there are handful of finer spectacles in motorsport than the Italian grandstands when Ferrari are back again on major. With Charles Leclerc top the standings heading into the weekend, that was quite a lot the situation.

Owning flown in late on Wednesday night, I arrived at the observe on Thursday to get edge of any media alternatives. Not only ended up Ferrari, Haas and Aston Martin earning their motorists readily available, but F1 Triviahad secured an exceptional chat with Pierre Gasly.

Grinning cheerily, dressed from head to toe in AlphaTauri’s trend line, Pierre requested a cappuccino right before joking to his Italian push officer Fabiana Valenti that he realized he’d be chucked out of the state for daring to have a cappuccino any time following midday.

Pierre spoke overtly and candidly about his time at Crimson Bull’s senior workforce, which lasted just 50 % a time right before he was despatched back again to their junior squad. We briefly touched on his romance with his close friend Anthoine Hubert, who died in 2019 in the course of a System two race at Spa.

Pierre explained a heat goodbye as I remaining to job interview the Haas motorists. As I remaining the observe, significant rain started to drop, which would have a very important bearing on the up coming working day. Our job interview will be printed in total later on this 7 days.


Friday introduced rain – not for the only timeA deluge of right away rain manufactured the push into the circuit furry to say the the very least. Arriving at the observe all set for very first follow, the media vehicle park was previously a mud pit. I realised this could pose a issue later on on, but made the decision that was an concern for Long term Claire to offer with.

I proceeded into the circuit for the very first session of the dash weekend structure following a prolonged push meeting in the early morning. Quite a few motorists dealt with the new weekend routine carried out by the FIA considering the fact that the start off of the time, which has observed Thursday’s media working day shifted and compacted into lesser time slot on Friday early morning.

Not to set much too great a position on it, several of them are not followers. Max Verstappen was specially vocal, pointing out that motorists commit a whole lot of time regularly answering the exact concerns for the advantage of tv cameras, and suggesting F1 should really undertake the instance of other sporting activities which team broadcast push conferences collectively.

Owning in no way frequented Imola, I was not conscious of the take care of I was in for as the push space overlooks the start off-end straight with a balcony sitting down higher than the pits. Observing the autos thunder earlier me even manufactured me overlook about the rain, and my enjoyment was brewing for our very first dash race of the time with that evening’s qualifying session generating 5 crimson flags.

The rain eventually stopped, having said that the vehicle park was a quagmire. Driving a Fiat Panda, I experienced no possibility of earning it out, but in no way the just one to be defeated I tried my excellent escape. I manufactured it all-around two yards right before I grew to become trapped in the mud. Even with the greatest attempts of the form Ferrari crew who attempted to drive the vehicle out, I was ultimately towed out by a tractor, chuckling to myself at the ridiculousness of the scenario.


Basking in the sunshine that greeted us on Saturday, I opted to go trackside for next follow, strolling via the hoards of Ferrari followers all set to cheer on Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Tamburello marks a tribute to motorists lostI paused briefly to glimpse at the Ayrton Senna flags hung up on the fence shut to the internet site of his tragic incident, and a statue in homage to the excellent driver. I manufactured my way to the Variante Tamburello, right before strolling to Variante Villeneuve right before settling at Curva Tosa. Cheers ongoing for Ferrari, as the follow session bought underway forward of the race.

The sunlight ongoing to glow following lunch, and I bought my very first style of an F1 grid in 2022, a minute I constantly cherish. The group roared as the two Ferraris arrived on to the observe, and the crimson flares started to fill the air. Reasonably quieter than normal, I was capable to glimpse at the autos up shut on my very first grid outing of the time.

Soon after the race, interviews bought underway all over again with the moist weather conditions keeping off, having said that following evening meal I was satisfied with a monsoon of rain as I headed back again to my resort, sodden when all over again.


I awoke in a worry wondering I experienced skipped the race – it was in truth eight:30am. The site visitors was obvious on the way in, even though the vehicle park nonetheless remained a mud skating rink.

Hamilton hung all-around the grid more time than usualSunday at grand prix weekends are a blend of investigating and socialising to consider and acquire the remaining titbits of details forward of the race. I arrived at the circuit with a tray of Italian biscuits that experienced been remaining in my resort space by the personnel. Perplexed but touched at what I would do with a large tray of biscuits, I realized they’d be appreciated in the push space.

The grid forward of the race was packed. I stationed myself very first at Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton stayed on the grid more time than normal. He normally hops out of the vehicle and is absent in a flash. This time he stopped and talked to engineers right before earning his exit.

Charles Leclerc, having said that, basked in the crowd’s power, waving frantically at the Tifosi who cheered adoringly back again. But the race did not rather get the job done out for Ferrari, with Crimson Bull remaining firmly on major at the chequered flag.

The write-up-race interviews started right before the race was even in excess of, with a luckless but resolute Fernando Alonso. The working day finished in dialogue with a a lot happier Christian Horner, who was glowing in the glory of a around-excellent final result in his major rivals’ yard.

With that, the weekend was in excess of, with only just one pizza eaten, but a significant absence of Aperol Spritz.

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