San Marino Grand Prix
The San Marino Grand Prix forms a part of the Formula One Championship calendar each year. It has been held at the Autodromo e Dino Ferrari of Imola, Italy for several years, and as there was already an Italian Grand Prix when it was established, it was named the San Marino Grand Prix. A number of thrilling races have been recorded during the San Marino Grand Prix, which draws large numbers of Formula One fans each year.
Imola proves to be the perfect setting for Formula One racing. For decades it has been surrounded by numerous racing car manufacturers such as Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini. San Marino hosted its first car race in 1954, and several years later, in 1963, San Marino held a race with F1 cars. This non-championship race was won by Lotus’ Jim Clark and set a precedent for things to come. By the year 1980, the Italian Grand Prix was transferred to Imola from Monza after an awful startline pile-up in 1978. This amazing Formula One race was won by Nelson Piquet. The Italian Grand Prix moved back to Monza in 1981, with Imola creating its own race, namely the San Marino Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, the history of the San Marino Grand Prix was marked by 3 large accidents in 1994. That year was sadly marred by the death of F1 legend Ayrton Senna as well as great driver Roland Ratzenberger. However, there have been many exciting events at the San Marino Grand Prix. One of the most notable was the duel between Didier Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve in 1982.
The San Marino Grand Prix runs for 62 laps around the 4.93 km circuit of Autodomo e Dino Ferrari. Thus the race totals 305.61 km. Michael Schumacher has won the San Marino Grand Prix in the following years: 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000,1999 and 1994. Fernando Alonso gained victory in 2005 and Ralf Schumacher took the lead in 2001.
Unfortunately, the facilities at Imola deteriorated to the point that the San Marino Grand Prix was excluded from the 2007 calendar and has not featured since.