Why F1 still misses Imola

Why F1 still misses Imola

The roar of grand prix cars might be a distant memory at Imola, but the circuit remains one of the most revered in F1. A decade after it last held a grand prix, ANTHONY ROWLINSON visits a track steeped in history for our sister publication F1 Racing

The Tannoys are silent today. Perched on top of tall white poles, like seagulls on street lights, they wait to shout to a crowd that will never arrive - not to watch Formula 1 cars anyway. Deserted grandstands, a dormant track, row upon row of empty wooden benches mounted on the parkland banking that surrounds the circuit: this is Imola in winter, 10 years after it last hosted a grand prix.

Routine maintenance goes on around the fringes: there is paintwork to be touched in, verges and run-off areas to tend and, more substantially, a media centre under construction to complement the swish new circuit offices and museum that were erected in 2008. But it sure is quiet at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari: even a leaf blowing across the Tarmac is loud enough to be heard.

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