Károly Méhes looks back on his last visit to Autodromo di Imola, a circuit he visited regularly for the San Marino Grand Prix. Imola made an unexpected return to the F1 calendar in 2020 as host of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – the race returns in 2021.
Images © Károly Méhes
From my first visit in 1993 to my last in 2006, my Formula 1 year nearly always started with a trip to Emilia Romagna. My yearly routine was the same: I would leave my home in the south of Hungary at around 6am and drive through Croatia and Slovenia, crossing the Italian border at Trieste before hammering down towards Bologna and Imola. If the traffic wasn’t too bad, I would be strolling into the Paddock around 3pm. Always held in April, the San Marino Grand Prix opened the European Formula 1 season and often attracted celebrities and big names – it was not unusual to bump shoulders with Piero Ferrari or Luca di Montezemelo in the overcrowded Paddock.