2022 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

2022 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.jpg

Who will win the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?

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Formula 1 returns to Europe for the 2022 season for the first time, with the field taking on Imola for the Emilia Romagna GP.

Last minute venue changes became common place for Formula 1 in 2020 due to COVID, and this led to the return to a popular circuit in both real life and sim racing, Imola.

This weekend, F1 is back in action at the Italian site for the 2022 Elimia Romagna GP, or Formula 1 Rolex Gran Premio Del Made In Italy E Dell'Emilia-Romagna 2022 as the kids like to say.

Ferrari flawless​

Ferrari and Charles Leclerc's nearly flawless start to the 2022 campaign positions them as the obvious favourite for this weekend. A slight pace advantage, and a significant reliability advantage have put them comfortably ahead of Red Bull what looked to be a two-horse race after Bahrain. Leclerc has amassed an impressive 71 points over three races, with George Russell of Mercedes in second place with just 37 points.

Mercedes being second in the constructor's championship after three races wouldn't have been a bold prediction last year, but an obvious deficit in race pace have left the silver arrows at the mercy of Red Bull's reliability, which to date has worked out favourably for Mercedes.

Hamilton and Verstappen​

Similarly, a prediction in 2021 of Lewis Hamilton being three points ahead of Max Verstappen entering the fourth race of the season wouldn't have shocked many people, but the fact that the points gap separates them in fifth and sixth positions in the driver's standings might have been harder to comprehend.

An exciting mid-field battle full of surprises has emerged so far this season, with McLaren, Alpine, Alfa Romeo, Haas and AlphaTauri all being within 14 points of each other in the championship.

Sprint races​

This is the first F1 Sprint weekend of the year. Friday's sessions include one practice, and qualifying for the sprint race. Saturday will see the drivers take to the grid of the second and final practice session, followed by the sprint race. And finally, on Sunday the race will take place, with the starting order having been determined by the results of the sprint race.

The added race time on Saturday will put even more pressure on the teams who have yet to establish reliability with their 2022 cars. Add to that a weather forecast calling for a mix of sun, cloud and rain, and this should be a very exciting race weekend.


  • Free practice 1 - 22 April | 13:30 - 14:30
  • Qualification - 22 April | 17:00 - 18:00
  • Free practice 2 - 23 April | 12:30 - 13:30
  • Sprint - 23 April | 16:30 - 17:00
  • Race - 24 April | 15:00 - 17:00
What are your predictions for this race? Let us know on Twitter at @RaceDepartment or in the comments below.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604


Only problem I have with the sprint is that it's now worth a few too many points now proportionately speaking (36 vs 102 total the grand prix, and the sprint sets the grand prix grid). Otherwise it's hard to complain about seeing the cars race for longer over a weekend, especially since as the cars got faster over the decades, grand prix distance got shorter and the race is often done in under 90 minutes after all that build up.
I have no real issue with the sprint race. I just question the layout of the weekend. Having FP1, qualification, THEN FP2... Would make more sense to have all of practice on day 1 IMO.
This is the race where the truth comes out. Merc's points haul comes to an end due to another constructor's reliability issues. That pig they put together is going to oink the rest of the season. '
Albon's car suddenly realised that brakes only slow you down and dealt with the "problem" :D
I feel for Russell, I really do. He thought he was heading for a top tier car, but it's like he's gone from a Williams, into a (marginally better) Williams.
He should thank his dear friend Toto for keeping him way too long on that Williams just to keep his star driver happy.
I feel for Russell, I really do. He thought he was heading for a top tier car, but it's like he's gone from a Williams, into a (marginally better) Williams.
I very much feel the same sentiment, one very critical piece to success in Formula 1 is timing and Russel has not had any luck on that front. It's very plausible that Mercedes can turn things around given their resources but they seem to be further off the pace this weekend. I must admit I am slightly surprised because I thought the slower characteristics of Imola would have helped them.

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Mike Smith
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