After a weekend break, Formula One is back with the fourth race of the 2022 season. Drivers and franchises will head to Italy to Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after the excitement of Australia.
Charles Leclerc once again dominated and extended his lead at the head of the driver standings, taking his third win of 2022. Mercedes were showing signs of being back on the pace after disappointing results in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
George Russell took his first podium of the season and his first after a full race weekend. Lewis Hamilton came in a few seconds after to finish in fourth while McLaren also returned to the field with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo coming in after their engine partners.
Two safety cars featured in Melbourne with the first coming after Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz spun out from P14 on Lap two, ending his race after just one completed lap, and the second after Sebastian Vettel crashed on lap 23.
Leclerc did well to maintain his lead over closest rival, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, but Red Bull once again experienced engine difficulties after Verstappen’s engine caught fire on lap 39.
The Monegasque driver then cruised to victory with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez 25 seconds behind.
Williams driver Alex Albon completed a magnificent feat after he was forced to start last on the grid due to a collision with Lance Stroll in the previous race.
The Thai driver started on the hard tyres and made a last-gasp stop for soft tyres, fulfilling the requirement of using two different compounds and finished in 10th place, scoring his team’s first point of the season.
With Mercedes and McLaren seemingly back on the money, Emilia Romagna is all set for yet another thrilling episode in the 2022 season of the F1 as the first sprint qualifying of the year takes place.
Here is all you need to know ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix…
When is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?
The Race weekend begins on Friday 22 April 2022 and concludes on Sunday 24 April.
Friday 22 April:
- Practice 1: 12.30pm - 1.30pm BST
- Qualifying: 4pm - 5pm BST
Saturday 23 April:
- Practice 2: 11.30pm - 12.30pm BST
- Sprint: 3.30pm - 4.30pm BST
Sunday 24 April:
- RACE: 2pm - 4pm BST
Where is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?
The first Italian Grand Prix of the year takes place at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, in Imola - a town in between Bologna and San Marino.
From 1981, Imola was used and hosted 27 Grand Prixs up until 2006 but was then retired from use until 2020.
AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly has described the experience on track as one of the best he’d ever had in a Formula 1 car, while former teammate Daniil Kvyat remarked that “an F1 car through corners like Acque Minerali - the entrance is so fast, it’s so cool. It really gives you a lot of adrenaline.
Corners 12, 13, 14 and 15 will prove the sharpest turns heading round the track with straights between 1 and 2; 4 and 5 and 15 and 16.
How to watch Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
Every session from the start of the first practice session to the end of the race will be available to watch on Sky Sports. Sky Sports packages start at around £40/month.
What is a Sprint race?
This is essentially a shortened version of the race and will take place over a shorter distance with the focus being placed on speed.
They were introduced in order to amp up the excitement of a race weekend and provide fans with an extra dose of competition with the hope of improving the whole racing experience.
Each sprint race will be run over 100km, rather than a normal race distance of 305km and takes around 25-30 minutes.
Who will win the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix?
Once again Charles Leclerc emerges as the favourite to take the Italian Grand Prix. After such a flying start for Ferrari, Italian GP fans will hope that the Monegasque driver delivers in the Italian car.
Verstappen will hope to deliver consistency in the Red Bull after failing to finish in Australia and will look to continue the battle for the Championship once again.