It’s fair to say Olli’s first season in the Formula Regional European Championship has brought mixed fortunes. Although Olli has adapted to F3 very quickly he has not always been rewarded for his performances with a gearbox software failure robbing him of a fifth podium at the Red Bull Ring. It capped off what had been a difficult weekend for Olli, but he will be looking to bounce back at Imola and get his season back on track.
Prior to the last round Olli had got himself on an incredible run with the rookie taking four straight podiums across rounds two and three. It was impressive for someone of his experience and after being inches away from a victory in Hungary many were predicting Red Bull Ring would see Olli on the top step.
Unfortunately, it became a weekend to forget which leaves Olli more determined than ever to get back on that podium and possibly the top step too! After a six week break the championship now makes its fifth stop of the season at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. It’s a track with so much history and takes us into the final four rounds which will play out over the next two months.
The track sits at 4.9km in length, one of the longest on the calendar and provides a busy lap for the drivers with a total of 17 corners! The track is very stop, start with the likes of Tosa Piratella, Rivazza and Villeneuve all being broken up by fast straights and curves. It should mean that the racing stays close, similar to Red Bull Ring, but unlike the afore there is much more challenging parts to the lap.
The first six corners are made of two fast chicanes before we reach the first heavy braking zone at Tosa. The rest of the circuit is made up of huge elevation changes which makes braking zones difficult to judge and the run down to Acque Minarali will see the cars reach high speeds and if you’re brave enough you may even be able to pick up a place to. Rivazza is probably the best overtaking opportunity on the track with both left handers providing chances to pass.
Qualifying will be a huge test for Olli and the rest of the field this weekend, with such a long lap providing lots of opportunities for mistakes. Hook up a full lap cleanly and there’s no doubt pole position could be Olli’s and on his quest to fight back that wouldn’t be a bad start to the weekend!
It won't be Olli's first visit to the circuit after he raced there last year in the Italian F4 Championship. Although unlucky at times Olli did finish second in race two and he will take that as a lot of confidence heading into the weekend.
Despite his share of misfortunes Olli still sits fifth in the standings and he is just 20 points back from David Schumacher in third. Olli will certainly be hoping to get back to where he was before Red Bull Ring and pick up on his podium run. Having come so close can Olli now take his first win of the season and return to the Imola podium?
All three races will be streamed live on - http://www.f3regional.com/STREAMING
Timetable (local time):
Free Practice 1 - 09:00 (40 mins)
Free Practice 2 - 12:25
Qualifying Practice - 17:30 (2x 15 minute sessions)
Race One - 11:50 (28 mins + 1 lap)
Race Two - 17:00
Race Three - 11:25