April 21, 2006

Practice at Imola

Okay, lets face it. The news that Alonso had fast lap in 2nd Practice isn't really news. Nor is it news, really, that Slappy Schumacher was second (and it seemed that he was first in 1st Practice); this is about as close to a "home track" for him (and Ferrari) as you can get without actually racing at Maranello.

No, the IMPORTANT news is that the course at Imola has been changed from last year, and it will be drastically different NEXT year.

This year, they tightened up the Variante Alta chicane. Last year, it was very much a straight with an almost diagonal link it in... about as wimpy a chicane as you could get. The curbs that seemed like they were a foot high made it difficult (and gave F1 UPDATE! it's favorite moment from last year's race: Patrick Friesacher's Minardi driving the line perfectly thru Variante Alta... sideways and airborne), however, and made Slappy's pass on Jense Button last year evern more amazing.

This year, it's almost like two hairpins, so sharp is the first part of it. It's absolutly a Z shape. Alas, they've lowered the curbs so the drivers don't have to worry about leaving the bottom of their car behind.

Next year, though... by this time next year, they'll have remodeled the entire track. In doing so, Variante Bassa will be removed. Other changes will be made to the pit lane, so as to make it wider (which is GOOD... Massa almost pronged himself into the wall coming out of his garage, the lane is so narrow). Other changes will be made as well, so as to remove any of the 'old' flavor of Imola. Which, of course, is best known for that miserable, tragic weekend in 1994.

Maybe now, 12 years on, we can start to put that behind us.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:00 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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