The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be the fourth round of the exciting 2022 Formula 1 season, in which Ferrari and Red Bull have emerged as the main candidates to take the drivers’ and constructors’ titles at the end of the year.
Both Italians and Austrians have shown that they have single-seaters capable of going fast on any type of track and in any conditions. The long straights and hard braking points of Bahrain and the high-speed corners of Saudi Arabia and Australia are confirmation of how well the F1-75 and RB18 perform .
However, the team that has walked at will throughout the hybrid era until the radical change of rules, Mercedes, has experienced many problems in its revolutionary W13 , which is excessively affected by the porpoising effect.
The rebound of the German car has meant that its drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, have to settle for what, initially, is the third car on the grid, although closer to the middle zone than to the leaders.
In Imola they will have a new opportunity to take advantage of the failures of Ferrari and Red Bull to add at least one podium and minimize the damage until solutions to their problems arrive, but the team is aware that it will be a challenge.
The sprint format of the weekend, with a single one-hour free practice session on Friday, will make the teams work against the clock for the classification, which takes place that same afternoon and in which they enter Parc Fermé ( or parc fermé ). This makes it impossible for anyone to change the configuration of your car, leading to difficulties if you select something that doesn’t work.
“The main problem for the teams at Imola will be that they will only have an hour to set up their cars before qualifying, the sprint race on Saturday and Sunday,” Mercedes chief engineer Andrew Shovlin said .
The member of the eight-time world champion team indicated the complexity of facing a weekend different from the rest: “It’s not easy, we’re still in the learning phase of the new cars, and how to get the tires into correct operating window.
“That’s why the Imola weekend looks very difficult,” he continued. “If we can get the set up then we hope to have a good result, but if on track the driver sees that it’s difficult to control the car then it will mean total failure.”
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be the first of three with this format, which has been revamped to give greater rewards to those who take the most risks. The sprint race on Saturday will mark the starting positions for Sunday’s event, but will also see the winner add 8 valuable points, instead of 3 last season.
The rest of those classified up to eighth place will be able to savor the points, since it has gone from only the first three adding up to up to eight pilots feeling that there is a reward.