New Delhi: The San Marino Grand Prix at Imola this Sunday is in the heart of Ferrari country, a stone's throw from Modena, and all eyes will be on Michael Schumacher as he attempts to clinch yet another title. A Schumacher has won at Imola for the past five years - Michael in 2003, 2002, 2000 and 1999 and Ralf in 2001. Schumacher has the best record at Imola. Apart from five wins, he has also been runner-up four times. Last year he won from pole and also had the fastest lap. Remembering Senna This year's race marks the 10th anniversary of the death of three times world champion Ayrton Senna in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Senna won three times at Imola and no Brazilian has won there since his last success in 1991. The 1994 season saw one of the darkest weekends of F-1 history. On Friday morning, Rubens Barrichello was knocked unconscious and on Saturday, Ratzenberger, the much loved Austrian rookie, was tragically killed with minutes of qualifying left. On Sunday, Senna was being harried by a young Michael Schumacher when he left the circuit and met with a fatal accident as his car smashed into a wall. The Villenueve legend BAR-Honda driver Jacques Villenueve's father Gilles Villenueve was a Ferrari driver in the early 80s. In 1982 at Imola, Ferrari driver Gilles Villenueve was determined to win the race. However, after a titanic battle his teammate at Ferrari, Didier Pironi, took the lead and won the race. Villeneuve was incensed as he claimed Pironi had broken team orders. He swore never to speak to him again. At the next race in Zolder, Villeneuve was killed in a horrifying accident in qualifying. The following year, Villeneuve's friend Patrick Tambay raced at Imola for Ferrari and took Villeneuve's number 27 to victory. Legend has it that Tambay recalled the car doing things he was not asking it to do. He said it was as if Gilles had been in the car with him. Despite its dark past, Imola is still a marvellous circuit with corners such as Acque Minerale providing real challenges for the modern Formula One driver. And for the Ferrari aficionados, Imola's the place which gives the real Ferrari feel.
Topics : Formula 1