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Formula 1: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Betting Preview

Formula 1’s popularity rose further after Lando Norris drove to his first Grand Prix win in Miami a fortnight ago. 

Formula 1

Formula 1’s popularity rose further after Lando Norris drove to his first Grand Prix win in Miami a fortnight ago. 

McLaren’s victory in the Sunshine State, their first since 2021, offered a glimmer of hope for at least one more team to challenge Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. 

This weekend sees the first European race of the season and the first of a double-header with the Monaco GP next weekend. It also signals a return to Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari aka Imola for the first time since 2022 for the Emilia-Romagna GP. Last year’s race was canceled due to floods in the Bologna region. 

The Track

Imola is synonymous with the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger who were killed in separate crashes during a single Grand Prix weekend in 1994. 

That tragic event led to a flurry of changes to the circuit to make it safer for drivers. 30 years later Imola is still one of the fastest and most demanding tracks on the calendar and only features one DRS zone. 

The anti-clockwise circuit is 4.909km long and boasts corners like Acque Minerali and Piratella. It has been likened to riding a rollercoaster as it has several sweeps and elevation changes. The cars will max out at around 325km/h and last time out there were only 22 overtakes, so we’ll be hoping for a lot more in 2024. 

Lewis Hamilton still holds the lap record at Imola with a 1:15.484 he set back in 2020. It’ll be interesting to see if that time will be broken this weekend. 

Can McLaren Maintain Their Competitive Edge?

Norris’ win in Miami was premature in the sense that McLaren sees Imola as a better circuit to get the most out of the heavily upgraded MCL38. 

Oscar Piastri whose car only had 50% of the upgrades kept pace with Verstappen in the beginning stages of the Miami GP. Imola will be a good test for McLaren to see if they have the raw pace to keep the pressure on Red Bull. 

Ferrari feels they have a strong chance of winning at Imola as they prepare to unveil their most significant upgrade of the season. Charles Leclerc finished third last time out and Carlos Sainz showed good pace across the weekend. 

The weather in Italy will be a lot cooler than what the drivers experienced in Miami and therefore extending the life of the tyres could prove crucial to gaining an advantage. We truly have a three-horse race on our hands this weekend. Max starts as the favourite, but don’t discount Norris and Leclerc. 

It’s worth remembering that the last two GPs have been Sprint weekends. The teams will have three practice sessions to complete long runs and short runs and check data. It means they’ll be more prepared for the GP on Sunday. 


Winner: Verstappen

Podium: Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris

Winning Margin: Under seconds 

Fastest lap: Perez

Pole position: Leclerc

First to retire: Logan Sargeant

First car to retire: Alpine

Most Team Points: Ferrari

Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: RB

Practice 1/2/3 Winning Car: Leclerc/ Ferrari 

Safety Car: Yes

Top 6: Hamilton, Alonso, Albon

Top 10: Tsunoda, Zhou, Stroll

Fastest pit stop: Red Bull

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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