Wolff expecting compressed Imola format to 'spice things up'

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is expecting this week's shortened Emilia Romagna GP schedule to "spice things up" at Imola where F1 returns for the first time since 2006.

With teams facing a double-header after last weekend's Portuguese GP, F1 has eased the logistics somewhat by reducing the week's event to just two days.

Teams and drivers will therefore only have a single practice session, scheduled on Saturday morning, to prepare for qualifying and Sunday's race, a constraint that will leave everyone with little room for error.

"We showed good pace in Portimão once we got the tyres into their window and left Portugal with the maximum number of points, building the gap in both championships on the way to our ultimate goal this year," said Wolff in Mercedes' Imola preview.

"Now our focus moves onto Imola, which is another F1 venue that we haven't visited for a long time.

"It's a track with lots of history but one that the Mercedes works team has never raced on before, so there are quite a few unknowns heading into the race weekend, and it's great to be back in Italy once again for our third different race there this season.

Weather conditions at the Eifel GP earlier this month led to the cancellation of Friday's running at the Nürburgring, providing teams with a little bit of a heads up on what to expect at Imola.

"We'll also be experiencing an unfamiliar schedule, with no running on Friday and just one practice session on Saturday morning," added Wolff.

"We had an unexpected preview of what this would be like at the Nürburgring after Friday's running was cancelled because of the rain.

"We can expect a busy practice session where teams will try to maximise their running on track to prepare in the best way possible for Qualifying and the race; achieving the fastest possible rate of learning will be important to maximise our competitiveness for qualifying and the race.

"We've seen exciting races on the new tracks this year and the shorter weekend format will spice things up even more, so fans have an interesting weekend to look forward to."

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