The Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio Della Toscana Ferrari 1000 will take place at the Mugello track owned by Ferrari on September 13 – the ninth round of the 2020 F1 World Championship and the Scuderia’s thousandth race in the pinnacle of motorsport.
For the first time in its history, the Mugello Circuit will play host to a race that counts towards the FIA Formula 1 World Championship™. As part of a season calendar that has been shaken up following the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus, an opportunity has arisen to bring motorsport’s leading competition to a circuit that leads the way in terms of standards for safety and sustainability. It is also a track that is as spectacular as it is demanding for drivers and cars.
The official name of the event pays homage to the region that will host the race and to the historic anniversary that will be celebrated that day by Scuderia Ferrari – the only team to have taken part in all of the 70 Formula 1 seasons so far. The Mugello Circuit is located just 35 kilometres from Florence, one of the world’s richest cities for history and artistic masterpieces which is visited by millions of people from all over the globe.
Founded in 1974 as an evolution of the old “Circuito Stradale”, the track was laid on the hills of the municipalities of Scarperia and San Piero a Sieve. Long considered one of the circuits that are most appreciated both by drivers, riders and everyone involved in motorsport, the Mugello Circuit has been owned by Ferrari since 1988. It is among the few tracks that the FIA (International Automobile Federation) has certified with the 3-Star Level qualification. In fact, the circuit has passed the environmental test set by the federation, thus winning recognition for the outstanding policies it has adopted for sustainability.
Now the ninth round of the season will take place at Mugello, Italy will return to hosting two Formula 1™ Grands Prix for the first time since 2006. That year the calendar featured both the traditional Italian Grand Prix at Monza and the last edition held to date of the San Marino Grand Prix, which took place at Imola’s Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Both these races were won by Michael Schumacher, in his final season as a Scuderia Ferrari driver.
Mattia Binotto Team Principal and Managing Director Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow
To be able to celebrate an extraordinary anniversary like the thousandth Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari at our own home at Mugello is an incredible opportunity. Mugello is not just one of the most spectacular and challenging tracks for drivers and cars, it is also a structure that has made sustainability one of its priorities.
This commitment has taken it to levels of excellence both for Italy and the world. There are lots of people to whom we send thanks for turning this opportunity into reality – above all Formula 1’s Chairman and CEO Chase Carey, who knows and appreciates the value that our team represents for this sport, to the extent that he was prepared to recognise this anniversary in the official name of the event.
Then there are two partners who have been fundamental to achieving this goal. First, there is the region that will play host to us, Tuscany – one of the most beautiful in our country, rich with artistic treasures and breathtaking scenery. Then there is the city of Florence, a jewel that is unique in the world for its architectural beauty and for the masterpieces that can be enjoyed there.
For me personally, Mugello is linked to the memories of so many days of testing that I have worked at along with the rest of the team in a bid to improve the car, sometimes dreaming of taking on our opponents there. To think that today we are about to have an event like a Grand Prix there – and the thousandth in our Formula 1 history no less – is a wonderful feeling. I can’t wait for that dream to come true on September 13.
We are delighted to welcome Mugello to the Formula 1 calendar for the 2020 season. I want to thank the promoter for all their hard work to make this happen. I know all our fans will be excited to see us go racing at this amazing circuit and Ferrari Tifosi will be treated to a celebration of the team’s 1000th race.
Chairman and CEO, Formula 1
Enrico Rossi President of the Region of Tuscany
“The Region of Tuscany is delighted to be hosting Ferrari’s thousandth Grand Prix, a historic date for sport on four wheels. We are sure of the fact that contributing to this very important sporting event of global significance, promoting it through our channels as well as we can, will bring prestige to Mugello and Tuscany as a whole. We will thus give our region a positive boost after a very difficult period. It fills us with pride to be able to say that this will be the Grand Prix of Tuscany.”
Dario Nardella Mayor of the City of Florence
“To have Formula 1 at Mugello, in the metropolitan region of Florence, is a historic achievement that we have been chasing for years but never managed before. The fact that it is coming right now, at a moment of difficulty for our area, is even more meaningful and it will be a springboard to get our tourism and economy moving again. If we then add the anniversary of Ferrari’s thousandth Grand Prix then we can truly picture an event that will forever be part of the history of sport in Italy and Florence.
I’d like to thank the Formula 1 organisers, Ferrari, ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia) President Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the former Minister of Sports Luca Lotti, President Enrico Rossi, Mayors of the Mugello area, the Union of the Mugello Municipalities and everyone else who has been involved in bringing this event to our part of the world. The city of Florence that I represent will have an active role to play in this event alongside the region as a whole.”
Paolo Poli CEO, Mugello Circuit
“We are happy and proud to have finally achieved a goal that we have been chasing for a long time with the utmost determination: 106 years since the very first race took place on the street circuit, Mugello will host its first Formula 1 Grand Prix.
We will mark this historic event with the distinction of a track that is unique in the world and the effort of our finest professionalism. My thanks today go to all the men and women who, over the course of a history that has lasted over a hundred years, with their passion and love for racing, have allowed us to achieve the ambitious aim of representing our country and region at the highest level of the world of motorsport.”
Mugello Circuit: Putting environmental sustainability first
The Mugello Circuit has placed environmental sustainability first for years, to the point of being the first circuit in the world to receive the FIA’s blue riband “Achievement of Excellence” certification for its performance regarding the environment, the highest level of the scale created by the International Automobile Federation. To reach this standard, circuits must display serious work towards environmental management. To this end, performance is measured and monitored regarding the impact its activities have on the surrounding environment – parameters that are continually identified and quantified. The excellent sustainability of the facility has been recognised with the ISO14001 certification and the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) as well as by independent observers such as the “Playing for our planet” report produced by UEFA, WWF and Green Sports Alliance.
Furthermore, since 2013 programmes focused on sustainability have been carried out at the Mugello Circuit – such as “KISS Mugello” which reaches its peak towards the end of spring every year, when the circuit plays host to the Italian MotoGP™ Grand Prix. KISS stands for Keep it Shiny and Sustainable: the programme works towards making spectators aware of the importance of adopting suitable behaviour during major sports events, using their passion for motorsport as an incentive to inspire a similar passion for sustainability.
One of the objectives is to reduce the environmental impact of the event, with initiatives such as divided collection and recycling of waste products, in accordance with principles of circular economics – including used batteries, cooking oil and engine lubricants. Last year 39% of all the refuse produced at the circuit were managed in this way, 40 tonnes out of 101.
The cover of the main grandstand at the Mugello Circuit holds 252KW solar panels which supply up to 20% of the needs of the circuit, while the fittings of the terraces are made from an eco-active ceramic material that helps break down the most common pollutants from the air. Mugello Circuit is also a true ‘green lung’ which extends over 170 hectares, of which 120 are designated as green or forest.
A bit of history
On 3 February 1900 the ‘Club Automobilisti Fiorentini’ (Florence Motoring Club) was founded in Florence – the fourth such organisation in Italy after similar clubs in Milan, Turin and Padua. The first race organised by the association was the Pontassieve-Passo della Consuma, which later became known as the Coppa della Consuma, which was first held on 15 June 1902. In 1914 it was decided to organise a much more demanding race: the “Circuito Automobilistico Toscano” to be held on the Mugello loop: 67.5km of ups and downs around the province of Florence – which was completed four times by 36 cars in the first race on 21 June 1914. The first winner was Milan’s Eugenio Silvani in a Diatto. One week later Europe sank into the nightmare of the First World War and no further motor races took place until 1920 when the “Circuit of Mugello” was defined for the first time.
From that year onwards the best drivers of the age took to the 66 dusty kilometres that led from Scarperia to Firenzuola before turning back from Futa to San Piero a Sieve and finally returning to Scarperia: Giuseppe Campari, Gastone Brilli Peri, Antonio Ascari, Baconin Borzacchini plus, naturally, local idol Emilio Materassi. Among the winners in 1921 was a certain Enzo Ferrari, who prevailed at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo in the class of cars of 4.5 litres and less. Living in the shadow of the prestigious Mille Miglia, the circuit was finally abandoned after the 1929 edition. It wasn’t until 1955 that an attempt was made to bring it back to life, using a 19km course to host a race that was won by the Ferrari 750 Monza driven by Italy’s Umberto Maglioli.
The original circuit returned to action in the Sixties with a reasonable following of fans, but in 1970 a fatal accident forced the organisers to suspend competition on Mugello’s street circuit. In order not to abandon the tradition of motoring that had taken root in the region, the Firenze Automobile Club decided to invest and build a purpose-built circuit on an area of about 170 hectares. Work began in 1972 and the task of leading the new track project and all the associated works was assigned to the engineer Gianfranco Agnoletto. The first race on the new track took place in 1974: the ninth round of the European Formula 5000 Championship which was won by Britain’s David Hobbs, already a Formula 1 driver, at the wheel of a Lola.
In 1988 the circuit was bought by Ferrari, which began a major programme of restructuring, including the best existing infrastructure and continually adding to it while keeping the original design of the circuit unchanged – and very demanding for the drivers. The track became a temple of motorcycling but it also hosted many car races, both for tin-tops and for open-wheeled cars.
Starting in the Nineties Scuderia Ferrari used Mugello for long sessions of testing that had a major contribution to making the cars extremely successful during the era of Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher. The circuit also hosted various editions of the Ferrari World Finals, the date that marks the end of the Maranello company’s sporting season. This is a party featuring the stars of the Scuderia that sees the 5,245 metres of the Mugello circuit swarming with historic Formula 1 cars, prototypes from the XX programmes and cars from the three continental series of the Ferrari Challenge, the Prancing Horse’s single-make championships. For Ferrari, the Mugello Circuit is a kind of second home, so there could not be a better track on which to race for the thousandth Grand Prix of Scuderia Ferrari’s time in Formula 1.
A lap of the track at Mugello Circuit
In this video, Marc Gené accompanies us on a lap of Mugello at the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car. The first stopping zone, for the San Donato corner, is the hardest braking area of all, because you arrive there at top speed after the long start-finish straight. At the exit of Turn 1, you have to bear in mind that it leads straight into the esses made up of the Luco and Poggio Secco corners. A short straight leads to the second set of esses – the Materassi and Borgo San Lorenzo curves – which are soon followed by another two bends in the opposite direction: Casanova and Savelli. At this point, you reach the two most spectacular corners of the whole track: Arrabbiata 1 and Arrabbiata 2. The second corner is particularly dangerous because it goes over the top of a hill and it’s not easy to work out the best line to take. The next set of esses is made up of the Scarperia and Palagio corners. A short straight brings you to the long bend known as Correntaio after which there is the fourth quick set of esses made up of the Biondetti 1 and Biondetti 2 bends. The lap is nearly finished because before you reach the finish line there is only the Bucine corner remaining, a 180-degree curve that brings you back to the start-finish straight of this amazing circuit that is one of the most loved tracks by drivers.