Lewis Hamilton makes shock selection of most iconic Italian F1 track ahead of Ferrari move

Lewis Hamilton has raced at Imola, Monza and Mugello in F1 for Mercedes ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP

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Lewis Hamilton snubbed Ferrari‘s spiritual home Grand Prix at Monza when asked to pick Formula 1‘s most iconic Italian race, instead opting for Imola ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Hamilton has also raced at Mugello, which hosted an action-packed race in the pandemic-affected 2020 F1 season, and has won at all three Italian tracks since he first raced at Monza in 2007.

However, Hamilton may have ruffled some feathers in his new Italian fanbase ahead of his move to Ferrari in 2025, picking out Imola as his favourite in a surprise move.

“Imola has always been the one that’s kind of the most iconic of the Italian races I would say,” Hamilton told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“I raced here in 2003, I can’t remember – it was raining back then as well. I mean, I watched it on TV, it was an awesome circuit, honestly it’s another great track to be honest, I don’t know much else to say on that.”

The scene of the tragic and shocking death of Hamilton‘s idol Ayrton Senna, the seven-time champion first raced at Imola in GP2 in 2006 but it didn’t prove to be a happy outing as he finished pointless from two races.

His first experience of racing in Italy was at the now-defunct Adria International Raceway though, in the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series, and he finally added Mugello to the list in 2020.

Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Miami Grand Prix | Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton during the 2024 Miami Grand Prix | Mercedes

Russell backs Hamilton in Magnussen Miami dispute

While Hamilton‘s selection may be controversial, it’s unlikely to cause the same backlash as Kevin Magnussen‘s no-holds-barred defence against the Brit in the 2024 Miami GP sprint.

Magnussen admitted he crossed the line – running Hamilton off the track on purpose and deliberately cutting a corner before crashing into the Mercedes – but justified it as defending for Nico Hulkenberg one place ahead in the last points position.

While Hulkenberg did score, Magnussen was given a hefty punishment and is now just two penalty points away from a race ban. As head of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, Russell was quizzed on whether the points system is still fit for purpose in a 24-race calendar, but refused to budge.

“I’m not really sure if it needs looking at or not, to be honest, I think if you look over for the last 20 years, I don’t know how many drivers have been given a race ban,” Russell said. “I can only think of one. I think it’s been in 20 years [Romain Grosjean].

“If you look at a football game, people are getting red cards quite regularly so you can look at it and say it would be an opportunity for a young driver to show what they’re capable of. If a driver is deserving of a race ban – maybe a race ban is a bit harsh – but things shouldn’t go unpunished.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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