Featured Image by PROPOLI87 on Wikimedia Commons
Last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix was a hectic and action-packed race, which saw a shock victory for Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri. The race marked the first win for the Faenza-based squad in over 10 year, and a maiden win for the Frenchman.
This weekend, we remain in Italy, moving from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on the outskirts of Milan, to the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, better known as the Mugello Circuit, located in the outskirts of Florence. Ahead of the lights going green this weekend, we have compiled a list of things to watch out for ahead of the race.
The Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, more commonly known as simply the Mugello Circuit is located in the Scarperia e San Piero, Tuscany, Italy, on the outskirts of Florence. The track has a length is 5.245 km (3.259 mi), comprising of 15 turns and a 1.141 km (0.709 mi) long straight. The track is owned by Ferrari, and is no stranger to Formula One, having been used for a mid-season test in 2012.
The current Official Lap Record is 1:39.07, set by ex-F1 driver Riccardo Patrese in the 1985 1000km of Mugello, in a Lancia LC2 Group C prototype. The unofficial lap record, set by Romain Grosjean in 2012 during the test, was a 1:21.035. In comparison, the fastest lap set by Formula 1 this weekend has been a 1:15.144.
The Things to Watch Out For:
How much or how little overtaking will we see at Mugello? Ahead of the inaugural Tuscany Grand Prix, Formula 1 drivers have spoken out about a lack of overtaking zones on the track, with Lando Norris being one of the first drivers to raise the issue.
In late July, Norris had stated in an interview with Autosport that the quick corners would be a physical challenge for drivers, mentioned the lack of an obvious passing opportunity. He also expressed doubt that there would be any overtaking outside of the main straight, comparing the track to the Hungaroring.
Daniel Ricciardo was another F1 driver who chimed in on the issue of overtaking at the track, stating: “For racing, it’s difficult to know where it’ll be good to overtake in these current cars,” The Austrialian did, however, identify the long Turn 1 as a possible location for overtakes.
Antonio Giovinazzi & Sergio Perez were other drivers who chimed in on the issue, with Perez stating: ““In the race it will be difficult to overtake.”
Charles Leclerc’s 5th place starting spot on the grid today came as a surprise to the fans and media, and can perhaps be described as a wonderful surprise for the Scuderia. Leclerc had finished FP1 in third, but had fallen further down the timesheets in subsequent sessions, and many did not have high hopes for the prancing horses come Saturday afternoon.
Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel failed to reach Q3, which did not come as a surprise to many, and one could perhaps remarked that Leclerc making it into Q3 was a fluke. However, no one could have expected what was to come. Leclerc’s final lap, which took him to P5, could only be described as a lap executed to perfection.
While Mugello has seen plenty overtakes in the lower-tier feeder series this past weekend, many drivers have expressed doubt about the possibility of seeing much overtaking today. This could potentially bode well for Ferrari, who could luck their way to the podium with Leclerc today…
The Faenza-based team may have left Monza on high spirits last week, courtesy of a surprise win by Pierre Gasly, but fast forward to less than a week, and the team found itself dismayed with its qualifying performance yesterday. Despite having both cars finish in the top 10 across all FP sessions, bar FP2, where only a single car made it into the top 10, AlphaTauri failed to reach Q3, with one car failing to exit Q1.
Throughout Free Practice Sessions this week, Pierre Gasly had consistently been the faster of the 2 drivers, coming in the top 10 in each session. However, he failed to reach Q2, and only finished Q1 in 16th, narrowly missing out.