This September Formula 1 will race in Mugello for the first time, and on the occasion of Ferrari’s 1000th race no less. Here’s what you need to know about the spectacular Tuscan venue.
Where is it located?
In the beautiful region of Tuscany, in northwest Italy, just 35 kilometers from the historic regional capital of Florence.
When was the Mugello Circuit built?
Although the ‘Mugello’ name had been associated with racing in that area of Tuscany since back in 1914 – having previously referred to a fearsome 38-mile road racing course – the Mugello circuit properly opened in June 1974. Ferrari then purchased the track, based on a 75-mile drive away from their Maranello headquarters, in 1988.
Road races were held on public streets (road racing) around Mugello since the 1920s. Giuseppe Campari won there in 1920 and 1921, Emilio Materassi in 1925, 1926 & 1928.
The Mugello GP was revived in 1955 and from 1964 to 1969 as a Targa Florio-like road race consisting of eight laps of 66.2 km each, including the Passo Della Futa of Mille Miglia fame. The anticlockwise track passed the towns of San Piero a Sieve, Scarperia, Violla, Firenzuola, Selva, San Lucia. It counted towards 1965, 1966, and 1967 World Sportscar Championship season. The last WC race was won by Udo Schütz and Gerhard Mitter in a Porsche 910. After two Porsche wins, the local fans could celebrate again in 1968, when the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 driven by Luciano Bianchi, Nanni Galli, and Nino Vaccarella prevailed over the Porsche driven by Rico Steinemann and Jo Siffert, and in 1969 when Arturo Merzario won with an Abarth 2000, and he won again in 1970 with the same car, where Abarth prevailed 1–2–3 with Leo Kinnunen and Gijs Van Lennep finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. The 1970 event brought about the end of the 66 km Mugello public road circuit; a seven-month-old baby was killed when local racer Spartaco Dini crashed his Alfa Romeo GTA into a group of people at the village of Firenzuola during a private test there when the roads were open to the public (the roads were only closed on race day and for qualifying, and left open for every other day including open practice for the event). Four other people, including two young children, were seriously injured. Although there had only been one previous fatality at the original Mugello circuit (Günther Klass in 1967), this incident put a bad stain on the entire event and the 1970 race turned out to be the last one held on the public road circuit, which was won once again by Merzario. After this incident, Dini spent two months in prison, and after his time served he left Italy and did not return for years.
The present-day closed Mugello circuit was constructed in 1973 and opened in 1974, about 5 km east from the easternmost part of the original road circuit.
The circuit was used over 1–3 May, for the in-season test during the 2012 Formula One season, by all teams except HRT. The track was praised by Mark Webber, who stated that he “did 10 dry laps today around Mugello, which is the same as doing 1000 laps around Abu Dhabi track in terms of satisfaction”. Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel was impressed too, saying that “unfortunately we don’t have this track on the calendar. It’s an incredible circuit with a lot of high-speed corners”. It holds a grade 1 FIA license, meaning it meets the standards to host a Formula 1 race. An unofficial track record of 1:21.035 was set by Romain Grosjean during the test.
When was its first Grand Prix?
Despite having been a fixture for several international series over the years, most notably MotoGP, 2020 will mark the first time that Mugello will host a Formula 1 World Championship event. F1 has tested at the circuit several times, however, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc pounding around the high-speed track at the end of June, as Ferrari prepared for the first race in Austria.
|Group C||1:39.07||Riccardo Patrese||Lancia LC2||1985 1000 km of Mugello|
|DTM||1:43.079||Timo Scheider||Audi A4 DTM||2008 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season|
|F2||1:43.92||Mike Thackwell||Ralt-Honda RH6||1984 Mugello Grand Prix|
|MotoGP||1:45.519||Marc Marquez||Honda RC213V||2019 Italian motorcycle Grand Prix|
|GT1||1:48.436||Andrea Bertolini||Maserati MC12||2006 FIA GT Mugello 500km|
|Moto2||1:51.514||Sam Lowes||Speed Up||2015 Italian motorcycle Grand Prix|
|Moto3||1:56.615||Danny Kent||Honda||2015 Italian motorcycle Grand Prix|