Former F1 driver Mark Webber is looking forward to the prospect of racing at Mugello this year, warning that drivers’ “necks are going to snap in half”.
The Italian track is a contender to join the F1 calendar for 2020 if the series decides to add more European rounds to the eight already confirmed to extend the season.
Webber has experience of the Mugello circuit after testing there for Jaguar in 2003 and Red Bull in 2012, and after the first day of running with Red Bull back in 2012 he tweeted that 10 laps “is the same as doing 1000 laps around Abu Dhabi in terms of satisfaction”.
— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) May 1, 2012
That’s thanks to the fast, flowing corners which create a serious amount of G force, while the main straight which is over 0.7 miles long adds to the demand.
So Webber is certainly up for an F1 race at Mugello in 2020, but warns drivers’ “necks are going to snap in half”.
“What I do know is it will probably be 40 degrees,” Webber said on the F1 Nation podcast.
“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.”
And with drivers going from no F1 action since February to being straight into the thick of it from July 3 in Austria, Webber says getting on a run of form early will be crucial.
A handful of teams have organised private test sessions for their drivers to prepare for the season, but Webber doesn’t expect that to have much of an affect.
“They’re like caged lions at the moment, they’re ready to go,” he said.
“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.
“If your confidence is high, bring it on, bring the races on, if you’re flying, you’ll have one every weekend.
“But if you are a little bit on the back foot I think the guys will say ‘yeah well it’s getting a bit tricky, it’s hard ‘ or whatever.
“They’re all in the same boat, that’s the great thing about It – no-one’s coming back from an injury or [starting] mid-season or whatever.
“Yes, there’s been a few guys been able to run old cars and whatnot but ultimately, when they drive out the pitane in Austria and have basically what is a serious test session with a race on the end of it, and world champions points stake, it’s going to get real very, very quickly.”