This weekend will mark Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher’s first time experiencing Imola in an F1 car for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
However, both have previously raced at the venue – Mazepin in the European Formula 3 Championship in 2016 while Schumacher won at Imola in the Italian Formula 4 category back in 2016.
The F1 rookies will be looking to build on the vital experience gathered during the season-opening Formula 1 race weekend in Bahrain, translating it across to this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher says the biggest learning for him following the Bahrain GP – where he finished in P16 – is how to manage the tyres.
“I think in general I’ve learned a ton of new things, and we’ve seen that come through in all the meetings we’ve had”, he said.
“It’s always different talking about it and feeling it. There are a lot of things I learned about the tyres, that’s probably the biggest new thing to me.
“Also, on things like how much downforce we lose at the start of the race. It’s like going from 100 percent downforce to 20 percent downforce the moment you’re turning into a corner.
“There were definitely lots learned and lots to look at before heading to Imola. I feel I have a lot more knowledge, a lot more comfort, but I was also really surprised at how quickly the weekend was over.
“It all happened in the blink of an eye – it was a case of little time and lots to learn, let’s put it like that.”
As for Nikita Mazepin – who finished in P20 after retirement on lap one – he said he’s continuing to come to grips with the intense nature of Formula One:
“I feel like the biggest thing to get used to is learning the schedule, and the weekend is much more intense with all that’s going on and the sessions on track.
“It’s about keeping concentration and learning the schedule – that’s the biggest thing.”
Speaking about the team’s trip to Imola this weekend Mick then said:
“Obviously, Imola is known for a lot of kerb riding. You have the two corners up in the chicane where you have to take a lot of kerb.
“We have some long corners which follow into long straights. Everything’s basically very twisted. In all the junior categories that I’ve raced there, it was always very fun, and a track I enjoyed driving.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot better in a Formula 1 car. It’s amazing to drive a Formula 1 car, so to do that on a super cool track will be even more special.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. Regarding preparation, I’ve been speaking through it all with the team and going through the notes I made there when I was young.”
Meanwhile, speaking about his preparations for round 2 of the 2021 Formula One Championship, Nikita said:
“Some simulator driving has been very important as I haven’t raced at the circuit in five years.
“It’s a circuit where the qualifying lap is very important because there are very little overtaking opportunities.
“So, getting that one push – that good qualifying lap, it’s key. Being on it from the first minute, that’s the key factor for the race weekend.”
Lights out at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be at 2:00 pm Irish time, on Sunday, April 18.