Imola Track Guide | Sector 2 | F1 2021

Imola – or the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari as it’s been known since 1988 – has been host to racing since way back in 1953. Imola has a lot of history and many memories, some of which are not happy ones. Imola was modified for the modern era to make the track safer but it still retains its old-school feel. It is one of the few anti-clockwise circuits on the calendar and drivers love it.

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Sector 2 of Imola is a challenging mix of slow and fast corners. The most notable challenge is the Acque Minerali which has a really challenging braking zone right in the middle of a fast corner. Passing in the race is rare in this sector but that does not mean that time cannot be found.

Turn 7: Entry (Tosa)

Move the car back over to the right as you approach Turn 7 - Tosa in 6th gear. Start braking just before the 50m board and get right up to the grass as you turn in. Be careful not to catch the grass with the rear of the car or you may spin since there is no kerb there to protect you.

As you turn into the apex from fairly late in the corner (just after the 50m board), begin to downshift to aid rotation and ease off the brake pedal, trailbraking in.

Shift down to 3rd gear for the best rotation to a late apex

Turn 7: Apex (Tosa)

Run the car slightly deep on entry and cut back for a late apex in Turn 7. Trailbrake as you rotate the car in 3rd gear over the kerb.

Aim to kiss the very edge of the kerb late in the corner for the last bit of rotation without unsettling the car. Get on the power soon after the kerb to get a good drive up the hill on the exit. Be patient on the application as a sudden burst of power whilst steering could kick the backend around. Short-shift to 4th gear on exit to mitigate this.

Turn 7: Exit (Tosa)

When exiting Turn 7 up the hill, try to drive out in a straight line so that you can get to full power sooner. Ensure you reach full throttle before you get to the exit kerb to allow time for the rear to settle.

Use the flat part of the kerb for a good compromise in traction and line as the rumble strip may reduce grip further. You may choose to avoid the kerb entirely if you wish.

Short-shift to 4th gear on exit for increased traction uphill.

Turn 8

For the blind kink of Turn 8, hug the inside white line whilst going flat out to make sure you are on the right going into T9. Keep the steering minimal and smooth for the shortest route and the least scrub. Use 7th gear.

Turn 9: Entry (Piratella)

Stay on the right as you approach the rapid Turn 9 of Piratella, remaining in 7th gear. Be careful as there is no entry kerb here so it can be easy to drop a wheel.

As you go past the 50m board, dab the brakes, downshift once to 6th gear and turn in confidently all at the same time to help rotate the car towards the apex. Make good use of the downforce.

Gently ride the brake and shift down again to 5th gear for extra engine braking and rotation before the apex.

Turn 9: Apex (Piratella)

Make a wide entry into Turn 9 and ride the brakes slightly towards the apex in 5th gear. Aim for the red part of the kerb with a late apex to avoid the sausage kerb.

Get back on the power as you come off the kerb and shift to 6th on the exit.

Turn 9: Exit (Piratella)

Carry the speed and downforce out by using all of the available track on the exit. Aim to place your left tyres on the white line.

Shift up to 6th gear and smoothly build up to full throttle before you get to the exit kerb so that the rumble strips have minimal effect on the car.

Begin to ease the car over to the left of the track on exit towards T10, continuing on a similar arc to the one that you were on to reduce scrub.

Turn 10

Smoothly transition over to the left side, aiming to reach the track edge as the kerb ends. This is the line of least resistance and it puts you in the correct place on the left for T11.

Stay flat out and use a single, very light steering input to get you around. Shift up to 7th gear as you round the curve.

Turn 11 (Acque Minerali)

Approaching the tricky Acque Minerali, turn in from the far left as the kerb ends without lifting. Miss the apex kerb slightly to keep the car stable in preparation for braking.

Take the turn flat out in 7th gear and then as soon as you begin to straighten the car, start braking for T12. Run out onto the T11 exit kerb a bit, but going too far will hinder your braking.

Turn 12 (Acque Minerali)

It is important to Modulate the brakes on the way into Turn 12 since you will be braking and turning. It can be easy to lock up the front so try to shift the brake bias towards the rear.

Make use of the flat part of the entry kerb under braking but too much will make the car unstable. Make a late turn in for a better drive up the hill on exit.

Use the red part of the apex kerb but avoid the sausage. Take the apex in 4th gear. You may wish to use 3rd for extra rotation but make sure to short-shift on exit.

Build the power soon after coming off the kerb and be careful not to run off on exit.

Turn 13 (Acque Minerali)

Turn 13 is the exit of Acque Minerali. Here it is important to keep the car straight as you take all of the kerb using full throttle. Get the right tyres onto the white line and hold the steering wheel straight when running over the kerb. Use 4th gear over the kerb and then shift up to 5th after coming off the kerb.

Continue to run straight out towards the right side of the track on exit until the downforce has built up, before moving back over to the left for T14.

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