Imola hopes to keep its place on the F1 calendar for 2021

Imola boss Uberto Selvatico Estense says he hopes that the circuit will not be a one-off on the Formula 1 calendar, and is aiming to remain on the bill for 2021

Imola hopes to keep its place on the F1 calendar for 2021

F1 formally confirmed on Friday that the Emilia Romagna GP will be run at the former San Marino GP venue as a two-day event, joining the Nurburgring and the Algarve on the calendar.

Imola offered to step in and host a race in 2020 as early as February, after the cancellation of the Chinese GP.

Plans lost momentum when Italy itself became a hotspot for COVID-19, and then after the situation improved Imola found itself in competition with Mugello for a second Italian race.

In the end, ongoing problems with scheduling flyaway events allowed F1 to sanction a third race in the country.

"We have been looking for this goal for many years," Selvatico Estense told Autosport.

"We talked with the F1 Management people for a long time, and now we've achieved the target that we tried to get.

"I think our heritage is so important, we are so famous for F1 that this opportunity came true not only because of COVID, but also because F1 needs to come back to the historical tracks, back to the real passion of F1 fans.

"We are trying to apply to F1 for an opportunity for next year, but there's everything to discuss after the race, I think.

"Our will is very clear, we are driven by our passion.

"[The two-day format] is something new.

"F1 informed me that they want to get this innovation at Imola, they want to try this new format, and I think it can suit well."

Selvatico Estense says that Imola did not require any major work to satisfy the FIA, and it has been approved in its current form.

Since it last appeared on the F1 calendar Imola's old pit complex was demolished and rebuilt, and the circuit also features a few changes to its layout - crucially, retaining the Grade 1 classification required to host F1 races.

"Michael Masi came to Imola for the inspection, and he was really surprised about our situation," Selvatico Estense said.

"We received compliments from him, and this obviously leaves us very proud. Right now we don't have to change anything.

"We have to improve some details, but nothing very heavy or very important."

Italy is currently considering measures to bring fans back to sporting events, and Selvatico Estense says that he hopes that Imola will too be allowed to welcome spectators.

"On Friday our minister of health announced that probably after September they will open the opportunity to get spectators into events," he added.

"So we cross our fingers and we hope that the grandstands will be available for spectators, but nothing is fixed.

"Everything changes every day, so it's very difficult to make a forecast.

"Obviously Italy in that period is not like in summer, but I think that it will be attractive for people in case there is a possibility to have spectators."

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