Ex-F1 driver Jarno Trulli was delighted to see Imola feature again on the 2021 calendar, saying drivers “love” the circuit.
After last appearing in 2006, then host of the San Marino Grand Prix, Imola made its Formula 1 comeback in 2020 to host the first Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in what was a re-worked calendar triggered by the global pandemic.
And the event will be back for 2021, with Imola kicking-off the European phase of the season as Round 2 on the calendar, following on from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“After the organisational success of a few months ago, having Imola back on the calendar of the world’s top motorsport category means re-embracing one of the most iconic circuits in Italy and beyond,” said Trulli in an interview with the ilrestodelcarlino.it.
“A circuit that has a well-deserved place in the history of Formula One thanks to a series of splendid snapshots unfortunately interspersed with some less beautiful memories.”
Trulli is a veteran of the Formula 1 paddock, having made 252 starts across a career which saw him work with the likes of Jordan, Renault, Toyota and Lotus.
His only victory in Formula 1 came at the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, though the Italian racer added 11 further podiums to his name.
And Trulli says a circuit like Imola, an old-school track for sure, presents a real challenge for drivers, and one which they “love”.
“It is a technical, demanding track. Even though I like it a lot and I go quite fast, it has never brought me luck,” he said.
“That’s how racing is, anything but an exact science. In my first Grand Prix on the banks of the Santerno, with the Minardi, I couldn’t even start. My gearbox broke during the reconnaissance lap. But the drivers love this track because they love a challenge.
“I have wonderful memories of the contagious passion of the Romagna crowd.”
Imola now has a new president in the form of Giancarlo Minardi, founder of the Minardi team which gave Trulli his Formula 1 debut.
And Trulli believes his former boss, and now close friend, was a fantastic appointment.
“It is the name of a friend, one of the first to give me confidence by bringing me to the big stage of Formula One,” said Trulli.
“I was aware of his possible appointment because I had met him a short time before. It is good news, he will bring a wealth of enviable experience with a deep knowledge of that world that he has been involved with for many years.”