With Monza out of question, a few other Italian venues are queuing up to host the F1 Italian Grand Prix. One of them is the Mugello Circuit, though former Red Bull driver Mark Webber sent a warning to drivers. According to him, drivers’ “necks are going to snap in half” at Mugello, though he confessed that a grand prix at the Italian track would be “brilliant”.
Back in 2003, the Australian tested for Jaguar at the Ferrari-owned track, and again in 2012 for Red Bull. However, he rarely used the full circuit, which is characterised by many long, quick corners.
In 2012, he wrote on Twitter that 10 laps of Mugello was equivalent to “1000 laps around Abu Dhabi in terms of satisfaction”. The subject of Mugello cropped up because it is a candidate to host a grand prix in place of Monza. Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast, Webber also warned about soaring temperatures, especially in the month of September.
“What I do know is it will probably be 40 degrees,” said Webber. “Not one driver’s head is going to stay on around that track. If they race in Mugello their necks are going to snap in half with those cars around the back – it’s so, so quick. I think it will be brilliant. I tested there [in the past] and it’s very, very, very, very quick. So good – bring it on.”
Of course, a circuit of Mugello’s calibre will add a physical challenge. However, Webber believes that the strongest drivers won’t be run down by the season.
After being away from an F1 cockpit for so long, it is understandable that drivers are all ready to go racing at last. Already, a couple of drivers have begun to scratch that itch with a few tests to shake off the rustiness.
“They’re like caged lions at the moment, they’re ready to go,” said Webber.
“It’s going to go from rustiness to being super-sharp and then to be tired or tired-ish mentally because you’re going to have to come out of the gates well in terms of your confidence in the car, tyres, aero.
“In Formula 1, we like to have a bit of time to get ourselves settled. That’s also on the engineering and technical side, but they are going to come at you pretty quick.