Imola circuit bosses have set their sights on returning to Formula 1 in the future, after the Italian circuit recently received top billing from the FIA following major renovation works undertaken since it left the F1 calendar.
The circuit last played host to a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2006 (pictured), but a combination of its (then) substandard facilities and ever-increasing sanctioning fees forced it off the following years’ calendars.
Since then, circuit bosses have funded major changes, including completely rebuilt pit and paddock facilities and a reprofiled start/finish complex as part of a project overseen by F1’s omnipresent circuit designer, Hermann Tilke.
Of late, the track has played host to major motorsport events, including Le Mans, World Touring Car Championship, GP2 and motorcycle races.
It was recently awarded the FIA’s top ‘1’ category after an inspection by the governing body’s safety delegate Charlie Whiting, making it eligible to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the future.
“We are proud of the objective reached, which is a clear sign that we are working in the right direction,” beamed circuit boss Walter Sciacca.
“With this approval we are in a position to once again host a formula one grand prix. So we don’t limit ourselves; if we experience the right economic conditions, we are ready to face any challenge.”
But the venue would need to rely on considerable private funding to support such a measure as Italy’s financial situation verges on a major crisis as part of the broader European economic slowdown. The country’s national debt currently sits at over 115% of its GDP, the government certainly won’t be in a position to step in and provide any kind of financial support…
[Image via The Cahier Archive]