The great Michael Schumacher is Formula 1’s King of Imola according to a study which puts legends Alain Prost second, and Ayrton Senna third, at the venue of this weekend’s Emila Romagna Grand Prix – the 30th edition of the race.
The venue in northern Italy has been on the F1 calendar since 1980, that year run as the Italian Grand Prix (Monza was being refurbished) then from 1981 to 2006, whereupon it dropped off the schedule for a decade and a half, before returning as a COVID-required substitute in 2020, and has remained since.
This weekend, Round 6 of the 2023 F1 World Championship, will be the 30th running of a Grand Prix at the venue. As F1 heads to the historic racetrack, the team at kelbet.it did a data analysis ranking all F1 drivers’ performances at the track across F1 history.
Worth noting, of course, is the absence of Imola on the F1 calendar from 2006 until 2020 means some prolific winners such as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel represent a generation that raced there far less than Schumacher, Prost and Senna, whose careers spanned a time when Imola was a permanent fixture on the schedule.
[The methodology used for the analysis is outlined at the end of this report]
Highlights of the research
- Michael Schumacher is the highest-scoring driver in Imola with 265 points
- Schumacher also has the most wins at the circuit – 7 from 15 races – and podiums – 12
- Schumacher has won 23.33% of all grands prix held at Imola
- Alain Prost is second on the all-time leaderboard followed by Ayrton Senna – both on three wins which is second-most
- Max Verstappen can match Prost and Senna’s win tally at Imola if he wins on Sunday – he already has 2
- Among current drivers, Verstappen has the most wins (2) but Fernando Alonso has more overall points (64) than him (50) or Lewis Hamilton (43)
- Alonso ranks 14th in the leaderboard, Verstappen, 20th and Hamilton, 23rd
The analysis also shows that if Red Bull driver Verstappen wins on Sunday, he will be on level with Prost and Senna when it comes to victories at Imola. This will be Verstappen’s fourth race at the circuit whereas Prost raced here 11 times and Senna, 10 times.
But the Dutchman would still be way behind Schumacher’s tally at the circuit. The German legend won seven times at the circuit during his illustrious career.
Senna may have won more times, but the legendary Brazilian driver was killed at the venue on 1 May 1994, driving for Williams in what will be remembered as the blackest weekend in F1 history. Roland Ratzenberger perished the previous day after crashing his Simtek during qualifying for the race.
The entire F1’s King of Imola research pies with detailed, searchable and sortable tables is accesible on kelbet.it.
Methodology used to analyse the results and assign points:
- We scraped the results of 30 races held at Imola from the 1980 F1 season to the 2006 season and from the 2020 season to the present day from the official F1 website
- The time period is such because Imola hosted the 1980 Italian Grand Prix in place of Monza, then it was the site of the San Marino Grand Prix from 1981 to 2006 and now hosts the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from 2020 onwards
- As F1’s scoring systems have changed over the years, for uniformity, we assigned points as per the current scoring system to all 30 races and 182 drivers that we analysed
- That means that in races where for example, only the top six scored points, we gave points to the top 10 finishers After assigning points to all drivers based on their results, we generated the leaderboard