It’s Ferrari’s home race, 55 miles down the road from its Maranello factory, and it’s a certainty that the tifosi will be euphoric as the Scuderia targets a third win in four races to cement its position as this year’s leading team.
But Ferrari’s long-term fans will know that nothing can be taken for granted, and especially not this weekend. Each of its main rivals are likely to bring major upgrades to the race: Red Bull will be looking to edge ahead of the red cars, while McLaren and Mercedes aim to close the sizeable gap to the front of the grid.
With unpredictable performance and the prospect of more contenders joining the battle for victory, it’s a fitting weekend for more on-track competition in the first sprint race of the year.
Drivers will face off in qualifying before racing in the 30min sprint on Saturday, which will set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
The rules have been tweaked this year, so the sprint race carries more weight: the winner earning eight championship points instead of the three last year, with the top eight finishers now all being awarded points.
We’ll see how teams change their approach with the greater rewards on offer, and how the upgrades change the title race — all staged on the historic, narrow, Imola circuit.
How to watch the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Tune in live, or catch the highlights: here’s when you’ll need your TV or device ready for the key sessions. Times are GMT.
TV channel (live) Every session will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1
Live stream Sky Sports F1 subscribers can stream the action using the Sky Go app. A Now TV sports membership will also allow you to access Sky’s live coverage.
Highlights Channel 4 is showing evening highlights of the sprint race and Grand Prix
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
|From 3pm, Sky
|From 2.30pm, Sky
|From 12.30pm, Sky
Where to watch every session
All sessions will be live on Sky Sports F1, including pre- and post-race coverage. If you miss the live coverage, Channel 4 will be broadcasting the highlights of the sprint race and Grand Prix after both have finished.
Both Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event will start coverage of the race at 12.30pm. Highlights on Channel 4 will start at 6.30pm on Sunday afternoon.
Sky Sports F1 – Live
Friday FP1 – 12pm | Qualifying – 3pm
Saturday FP2 – 11.15am | Sprint race – 2.30pm
Sunday Grand Prix – 12.30pm
Channel 4 – Highlights
Saturday Sprint race – 6.45pm
Sunday Grand Prix – 6.30pm
How to stream
Sky’s live coverage of each session is available on Now TV with a sports membership, and you can stay up-to-date with the action regardless of your location. The app can be downloaded on mobile and tablet devices. Weekend passes are also available which give you access to all the live sessions including pre- and post-race coverage.
Existing Sky subscribers can watch on a mobile device using the Sky Go app.
Who will win?
Overall, Ferrari has had the fastest car this season, along with reliability that Red Bull has lacked. As well as the peerless form of Charles Leclerc, the team also has Carlos Sainz, buoyed by a contract extension signed in the lead-up to the weekend.
So it’ll take a strong package to defeat Ferrari. Something like Max Verstappen in an upgraded Red Bull….