Team Mercedes Excited But Weary Of Challenging Race In Imola

F1’s Mercedes has expressed a weariness about this weekend’s event in Imola. The team are looking forward to the event but are also wary of the challenges.

Mercedes Anticipating Challenging Imola

With Formula 1 heading to Imola this weekend for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the pressure is on for Mercedes as they prepare for a “challenging” sprint.

While they’ve experienced a difficult season so far, they’re currently seated second in the constructor’s championship. According to the eight-time F1 champions, they’re feeling hopeful of a possible turnaround to the season at the weekend’s big event.

Team-Merc will be arriving in Imola after an Australian GP that resulted in them finishing as lead constructors after George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished in third and fourth positions. Even so, the Motorsport Strategy Director for Mercedes, James Vowles, this week admitted that the race in Imola will be a challenging one for the team – and even more so considering the lack of practice time available on Sprint weekend.

No Time For Mucking About

While commenting on the team’s prospects for the weekend on YouTube, Vowles said since Imola will be the first sprint event of the 2022 F1 season, there won’t be much time for testing and improving the car. He said with only a single free practice session available, the team will be severely limited in terms of making last-minute changes and improvements.

Team principal Toto Wolff, too, clearly has a realistic view of what to expect in Imola. He said this week the team had put a great deal of hard work into preparing for the event, but also at the same time acknowledged that it is important to be sober about their chances given they’re still trailing Red Bull and Ferrari.

Wolff said while Mercedes doesn’t have the same level of pace as their main contenders right now, the experience of seeing everyone pull together has been motivating. He added that much hard work had gone into improving the car over the Easter Weekend, and that this shows incredible commitment from the team and its support structure to turn the season around.

For Mercedes, the goal will be to kit the track running on April 22-24.

Imola In Hindsight  

The past two years at Imola have seen Mercedes dominating the grid from both pole positions claimed.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will however this year be searching hard for what will be his third pole of the season. And in camp Red Bull, Max Verstappen will be eager to show himself to be worth the money invested in him by his team after he finished a massive 0.286s after Leclerc during the qualifying race ahead of Australian GP.

A factor everyone will have to keep tabs on is the weather. Heavy rain has been forecasted for Friday, which could completely change the game during the qualifying contest.

Rain could even mean a challenging Sprint grid for Saturday and even Sunday making the race as exciting as online blackjack games.

Taking into account all the variables at play right now, Ferrari will be holding the advantage during one of their two home races for the year. Ferrari certainly appears to enjoy the edge overall, but then again, Red Bull has shown a definite lead in terms of end-of-straight speeds.

For all involved, engine performance will be a significant and race-defining factor as the F1 action heads to Imola.


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