The last back to back European races of the 202 Formula One World Championship will take place this weekend at another unfamiliar race track to the current drivers. The 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will happen on November 1, 2020, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy which is 25 miles east of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy.
The race will be the 13th race of the truncated 2020 Formula One World Championship and it will be the first Grand Prix a the venue since 2006 when the San Marino Grand Prix was removed from the F-1 schedule.
Return to Imola
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy was built in March 1950 and was ready for testing in October 1952. The first race at the circuit was held in 1953 while it hosted its first non-championship F-1 race in 1963. It debuted in the Formula One scene at the 1980 Italian Grand Prix and because it was a success, the San Marino Grand Prix was established the following year to include Imola in the F-1 calendar. It went on to host a total of 27 Grand Prix until 2006.
Last July, Formula One officials announced the return to Imola along with the Eifel Grand Prix and Portuguese Grand Prix. The event at Imola would be different as it is only a two-day event with only one practice session before the qualifying. Here is the schedule of events for this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix:
|Date||Activity||Time (track time)|
|Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020||Practice 1||10:00-11:30|
|Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020||Qualifying||14:00-15:00|
|Sunday, Nov 01, 2020||Race||13:10-15:10|
The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will be raced over 63 laps or 309.049 KM around the 4.909km racetrack which has been described as a thrill ride. It’s going to be a great compliment to last weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao which witnessed Lewis Hamilton make history.
History at Portimao
Hamilton was just an 11-year old karting star when the last Grand Prix was held in Portugal. 23 years later, he would break one of Formula One’s toughest records in Portimao. Hamilton entered last weekend’s race tied with the legendary Michael Schumacher with 91 career F-1 races won. He left Portugal with the record in his sole possession.
Hamilton started from pole for the 9th time this season. For the seventh time in 2020, he won a race while being the pole sitter. He lost the lead early as his tires didn’t warm up in the cool temperature at the Algarve International Circuit. But once he found his grip, he chased teammate Valtteri Bottas and passed him one-third of the way. Hamilton would never look back as he cruised to his 8th win of the season and his 92nd win overall, one more than Schumacher had during his legendary career.
With the win, Hamilton increased his lead in the driver’s standings to 77 points with only five races to go and 130 points to earn. If he keeps the lead, he will go on to win his seventh Formula One world title, tying him with Schumacher for the most by any F-1 driver in the history of the sport.
These are the current leaders in the 2020 Formula One World Championship
- Lewis Hamilton 256 points
- Valtteri Bottas 179 points
- Max Verstappen 162 points
- Daniel Ricciardo 80 points
- Charles Leclerc 75 points
- Sergio Perez 74 points
- Lando Norris 65 points
- Alexander Albon 64 points
- Pierre Gasly 63 points
- Carlos Sainz 59 points
These are the odds to win the 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Odds were taken from BetOnline as if 10/27/20:
Who Are The Favorites?
Lewis Hamilton has been the betting favorite of every race this season and it’s no surprise he’s favored to win at Imola. He is coming off a record-breaking 92nd career Grand Prix win and has won eight out of the 12 races this season including three out of the last four. Hamilton has not finished outside the podium except in Austria and the other race in Italy. With how he’s dominated the season, he is a sizeable favorite to win this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas is coming off his best season ever in Formula One when he finished second to Hamilton last season. Bottas has won two races this year and has finished in the Top 3 in all but three races of the season. The Finn finished second to Hamilton last weekend and would have easily figured in the Top 3 had he not suffer engine trouble at Nurburgring.
Max Verstappen is the only non-Mercedes threat to Hamilton. But when we say threat, we mean only winning the race because he is almost 100 points back in the standings. Verstappen has nine podium finishes this season with one win and five-second place finishes. The Dutch-Belgian driver is coming off a third-place finish in Portimao. He was second in the two races prior to the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez has finished in the Top 10 in all ten races he’s started this season. The 30-year old Mexican has five Top 7 finishes in his last seven starts and is coming off a 7th place finish at Portimao. If a Top 10 finish betting market comes along, it might be a good idea to bet on Perez.
Charles Leclerc is having a disappointing season for Ferrari. The Monegasque driver has finished in the Top 8 in the last four races of the season. Leclerc has finished 11th or worse in five of the 12 races this season. The Ferrari driver is coming off a 4th place finish at Portimao.
The usual suspects are on top of the odds board and just like in the previous races, the bet makers are looking at a three-man race between Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and Max Verstappen. Unless the weather plays a big factor, there is no reason to believe that that order will be shaken up.
As with every other race this season, Hamilton has been the betting favorite. And while he may be expensive at -250, he’s won eight out of the 12 races of the season and has started from pole position in nine of 12 Grand Prix. The defending world champion is having a dominant season and would want to get that 7th world title in the bag as soon as he can so he can start focusing on his contract which ends after the season. Lewis Hamilton has been so dominant. I’m picking him to win the race.
Prediction: Lewis Hamilton -250
- Hamilton’s had the fastest lap in three out of the last five races of the season including the last one at Portimao. If you’re brave enough to trust his current form, the Brit is a +110 to record the fastest lap.
- Carlos Sainz has not finished two of the last four races but in three of his last five starts, he’s finished in the Top 6. Not including the Belgian Grand Prix which he missed due to COVID-19, he has four Top 6 finishes in his last six races. For as long as he doesn’t suffer any problems with his car, I like Sainz to finish in the Top 6 at +175 at BetOnline.