REASON BEHIND CHANGE IN NAME FOR F1 RACE AT IMOLA FROM SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX.
F1 is back at Imola this weekend, but why is the race not called the San Marino Grand Prix? Why has it changed to Emilia Romagna?
Between 1981-2006, Imola held the San Marino Grand Prix, meaning there were two F1 races in Italy.
In 1980, Imola held the Italian GP – the only year in the world championship it has not been held at Monza – and it went so well that Imola was interested in joining the calendar.
Two Italian races was out of the question, so a compromise was reached with the Imola race being called the San Marino Grand Prix – named after the small country located about 75km away from the circuit
Why is Imola’s F1 race no longer known as the San Marino Grand Prix?
NO SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX
The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – aka Imola – is located within Italy’s Emilia Romagna region – near the northern city of Bologna.
Hence when the race was shoe-horned onto the 2020 calendar as F1 tried to fill slots that year, it came back at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Stefano Bonaccini, president of the region, said that name was to pay tribute to the people of the region.
Officially, the race is called Gran Premio del Made in Italy E Dell’Emilia-Romagna 2022.
Or Emilia Romagna Grand Prix for short.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS AT IMOLA
The last San Marino Grand Prix was run in 2006 as Imola fell off the calendar for ’07.
That final race was won by Michael Schumacher for Ferrari at its home track – in his final season with the team.
In 1989, the bubbling cold war between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost went hot after the former broke a first lap agreement with Prost about overtaking after a restart.
Five years later, Roland Ratzenberger and Senna would both be killed during the 1994 race weekend – the first fatalities at a race weekend since 1982.