It's Thursday and the Imola track's not yet 'live'. It's lightly populated: scooter-mounted drivers doing reconnaissance, often with their race engineer on the back; photographers seeking out locations; marshals; the occasional race official's car.
It's a beautiful day, wispy strings of white in an otherwise blue sky, the track protected by a canopy of green, a light breeze blowing wave upon wave of cotton wool dandelion seed up the straight, past Tamburello and the fresh flowers laid there in memory of Ayrton. You can smell the pollen. The trees are dense with birdsong.
On the track's infield at Tosa the vineyard is being tended and the washing's flapping in the breeze round the back of the farmhouse. It's a big, steep hill the track follows out of there, climbing, climbing, climbing up to a flat Tarmac horizon. Just over that brow lies Piratella, the very fast left leading to the stretch that takes you back down the valley to where the stream flows unseen behind the barriers. It's darker here, the trees overhanging the track favouring it with shade.
Acqua Minerale © LAT
At the bottom of the hill lies the first right-handed part of Acqua Minerale, still slightly downhill by the time you make the apex. There was a time - not long ago - when F1 cars braked and changed down for this. Tell that to the young kids of today - Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso - and they just won't believe you. With a good '06 car, this part will be flat on entry.