PRIXVIEW – Tuscan Grand Prix

Features Prixview

Round nine takes Formula One to Tuscany in southern Italy for the first Formula One championship running of the Tuscan Grand Prix. The race was created this year as the replacement for the cancelled Singapore Grand Prix due to the Coronavirus, this weekend and celebrates Ferrari’s 1,000th world championship Grand Prix.

This race has previously been run as the Mugello Grand Prix in F2 and Formula 3000. Mugello is a circuit of 3.259m and features long straights and fast flowing corners. The circuit normally is home to the Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix, with this race being the effect replacement after it was cancelled due to coronavirus.

The origins of the circuit date back to a road circuit a hundred years ago when Giuseppe Campari took the victory. The founder of Materassi Emilio took three victories in the 1920’s. the race was revived in the 1950s and 60s, running around numerous towns in the area with sports cars. This was a round of the roads of the towns of San Piero a Sieve, Scarperia, Violla, Firenzuola, Selva, San Lucia.

Enzo Ferrari once won a race here driving an Alfa Romeo in 1921.

The modern Grand Prix circuit opened in 1974, it requires high downforce and speed, it seems to be a circuit which should favour Mercedes. This weekend, could be one where Mercedes and their customers are likely to be in control. The straight-line speed and the tow looking at the layout.

The circuit is based on the eastern part of the road circuit, it is one that the drivers will enjoy has it is undulating and swoops around the valley. Considered one of the best circuits in the world, Moto GP riders often enjoy the rollercoaster ride around the Tuscan countryside.

This weekend is Ferrari’s 1,000th entry as a constructor this will be anything but happy anniversary, the team are likely to be struggling to find performance and the team are going to face pressure from the Tofifi for the first time this season. Also, should Lewis Hamilton win at Monza, he can equal Michael Schumacher’s win record at Mugello.

Hamilton also has the first of four opportunities to build his record as the driver with the most wins at a different circuit and Grand Prix, looking at the layout and what I’ve seen in other series the circuit is one which requires attacking. There looks to be long sweeping corners, which could produce overtaking.

Its described as a rollercoaster ride, with the stomach-churning run through Casanova, Savelli and into Arrabbiata 1 and 2 a particular highlight. In other words, no first gear hairpins according to former F1 driver Paul di Resta, the drivers might not dip below fourth gear…

F1 last visited Mugello in 2012 for in-season testing, the drivers gave it much praise with Sebastian Vettel saying “unfortunately we don’t have this track on the calendar. It’s an incredible circuit with a lot of high-speed corners.” It has often been said that this circuit which drivers are going to enjoy, and should give opportunities for overtaking.

Facts and figures

Round 09
Race Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio Della Toscana Ferrari 1,000 2020
Venue Closed course, Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Scarperia e San Piero, Tuscany, Italy
Circuit Length 5.245km (3.259 mi)
Laps 59
Race Distance 309.455km (192.281 mi)
Lap Record 01:34.316 (Gary Hauser, Racing Experience, 2014, BOSS GP)

01:21.035 (Romain Grosjean, Lotus – Mercedes, 2012, F1 Testing, unofficial)

Most wins drivers

(Formula Two / Formula 3000)

Ricardo Zonta

Corrado Fabi (3)

Brain Henton

Most wins manufacture March (5)

Fast facts

  • The last Grand Prix race in what would become Formula One was won by Gastone Brilli-Peri in 1929
  • In years when both the Italian and Mugello Grands Prix were held in the 1920s and 1930s no team or driver have won both.
  • Italy holds it second Grand Prix of the year for the first time since 2006, it will also be the first country to hold three championship races since the United States in 1982 when we go to Imola in early November.
  • This weekend marks 100 years since the first running of the Mugello Grand Prix.
  • Mugello considered by many to be one of the world’s finest circuits – it’s also nestled in the hills of the beautiful Tuscan countryside, meaning that away from the track, picturesque villages and towns and incredible food and drink await you after a long day’s racing action.

Event timetable

Session

Local

BST

Friday

P1 11:00-12:30 10:00-11:30
P2 15:00-16:30 14:00-15:30

Saturday

P3 12:00-13:00 11:00-12:00
Qualifying 15:00-16:00 14:00-15:00

Sunday

Race 15:10 14:10

What to watch for?

This weekend is a step into the unknown we haven’t raced at Mugello before, teams will have limited data from testing in 2013. Looking at the type of circuit this is on paper it’s one where high downforce and one where there should be opportunities to overtake, but one where speed is still required. Mercedes are likely to be the favourites, but Red Bull could be their main challenger.

Mercedes and Red Bull had looked to be close, but you have to say in a normal race it’s likely, however, Mercedes retain the advantage. The team has won every new race since 2014, but the race is a big unknown.

But you have to say that Monza proved that teams can make mistakes, and we saw Alpha Tauri capitalise on that. Mercedes have always tended to come back stronger when they have lost races and they should be quick. This circuit is different from most of the new venues we go to, there isn’t much run off which is tarmac and that could effect the way drivers attack the corners.

On paper it looks like we can have overtaking, but we don’t know until we get into the race. Normally when we race at new venue we see more running in practice, I expect teams will be doing that. Ferrari celebrates its 1,000th race as a constructor, I think that this could be difficult for them as its similar to Monza and Silverstone where they struggle.

A lap of Mugello

You go to the inside to start the lap, before slowly moving towards the outside for San Donato with the braking point being about 50m and you see a quick switch towards the hairpin where you need to run the car close to the kerb. Then you rise up the hill to Luco, where you slightly lift of before putting the power down lightly before Poggio Secco. You put the power down going to the inside.

Crossing the track again as you go through Materassi and slowly on the run to Borgo San Lorenzo where you go to the outside before breaking downhill into Savelli hitting the apex. You then move the car across the track through Arrabbiata One running to the middle of the second Arrabbiata runs to the outside before again line up in the centre for Scarperia. Says on the outside going back downhill, taking the apex through Palagio.

The car then goes to the outside on the run towards the multi apex Correntaio, switching to the apex and downshifting through the corner. He then opens up the car running through Biondetti, and puts the power down on the exit. Goes to the outside before diving to the apex of Bucine a long corner lines up on the outside before running down the straight and across the line

Tyres

White Hard (C1)

Yellow Medium (C2)

Red Soft (C3)

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.