The Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello is a permanent racing circuit near Scarperia e San Piero, in Tuscany. The track opened in 1974, replacing a 66.2 km road course that had been in use since 1919. The track measures 5.245 km/3.259 miles with 15 turns, and has grandstand seating for about 50,000.
On 10 July 2020 it was announced that Mugello would host its first FIA Formula One World Championship Grand Prix on 13 September 2020 as the ninth round of the 2020 season. The Tuscan Grand Prix as it was to be known would be notable as the 1000th factory entry for Ferrari in F1, at a circuit owned by the Italian manufacturer.
Racing began on a 66 km public road circuit in 1919. The circuit, going through the scenic hills of Tuscany, was a popular one with competitors and spectators alike. The advent of the Mille Miglia, often passing through or near the area, diminished the circuit's popularity somewhat, but after the demise of that event in the late 1950s, Mugello once again became popular.
A local custom of the events later collided with the growing demands of safety. While the public roads were closed off during qualifying and races, ordinary practice was run with the roads astonishingly open to the public. This came to a head in 1970 when a competitor crashed into a group people walking, killing a young baby and seriously injuring several others. The road circuit was immediately closed, and what had been hypothetical discussions of a permanent circuit gained a level of urgency.
Various plots of land were examined, and a small narrow valley was chosen. The new track opened to much fanfare in 1974, and soon became a regular stop for many types of cars and motorcycles. Indeed, overall motorcycles have been more popular here than cars. And this led to a difficult situation. In the late 1980s, the track was having financial issues, and the rumor was that the valley would be flooded for an alternate water supply for nearby Firenze. Eventually Ferrari came to the rescue, and purchased the facility, to be used as a testing track, in addition to the spectator events. The track was repaved and upgraded, and it re-opened in 1991.
The track has a compact layout, looking somewhat like an elongated capital "J". Set in a valley, there are several elevation changes, making it a favorite track for both spectators and drivers. The circuit is virtually unchanged since its opening.
The main straight measures 1.141 km/0.709 miles in length, with the start/finish line at the midpoint. Just after the start the circuit bends gently right while simultaneously cresting a low rise. This is promptly followed by a gentle left, with the entire section taken flat out.
At the end of the straight is a sweeping 170° right, known as San Donato. The corner is wide, with multiple racing lines and room for passing. San Donato starts slightly downhill, but midway through it starts a longer uphill section. After a short straight, continuing uphill, is the first of several "S" bends. The left is called Loco, and arcs about 80°. But it is a setup for the 110° uphill right that follows immediately, named Poggiosecco ("dry rest") and the 1⁄4 km straight beyond, which is one of the high points of the circuit.
And the end the track hits the second "S" bend, also a left-right. Both corners are sweeping 60° bend, the first called Materassi (where the track starts to drop downhill) and the second is Borgo San Lorenzo, leading onto another shorter straight. The cars are almost flat out through a downhill 45° right, called Casanova, quickly followed by a wide 80° left called Savelli. Savelli is also where a cutoff road turns right and rejoins the front straight just before the pits, making a shorter circuit of about three km. But this option is almost never used.
Another short straight and the track levels out at the lowest part of the circuit, in a corner known as Arrabbiata 1, a wide and fast 100° right. A very short straight climbs slightly to Arrabbiata 2, which an ever wider 70° right, and climbing more sharply uphill starting about halfway through. The next straight is about 1⁄4 km, and the steepest uphill of the track. This ends with the fourth (of five) "S" bends in the track, starting with a slower and tricky 70° right (Scarperia), that shifts from sharp uphill to slight downhill. A straight that is barely long enough to allow for a direction change has the cars entering Palagio, a 70° left, and once again heading uphill, but much more gradually.
After a moderate straight, the cars hit arguably the trickiest corner of the circuit. Correntaio is a slight downhill right bend of more than 200°, and one of the slowest points on the circuit, but with a wide enough arc to put enormous strain on the left side tires. another squirt of a straight takes them to the final "S" bend, a left-right of fast 30° bends called Biondetti 1 and Biondetti 2. The final 1⁄4 km straight takes the cars to the final and most critical corner. Bucine is a 220° downhill left, with an increasing radius, making it almost a mirror image of the Parabolica at Monza. After the cars leave Bucine, they are once again on the main straight.
Since the track was opened, there has only been one real modification to the track, and that was actually a rebuilding and lengthening of the pit lane.
Grand Prix Winners at Mugello
Videos and Images:
- 'Formula 1 adds Mugello and Sochi to revised 2020 F1 race calendar', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 10/07/2020), https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.formula-1-adds-mugello-and-sochi-to-revised-2020-f1-race-calendar.2tpfQ80LAax8Q0j0OIxdct.html, (Accessed 10/07/2020)
|V T E||Tuscan Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello (2020–present)|