Andrea Kimi Antonelli is excited to witness the “incredible” atmosphere at his home race in Imola, with the PREMA Racing rookie hoping it helps him and the team achieve a special result this weekend.

With three flyaway rounds to start his rookie campaign in Sakhir, Jeddah, and Melbourne, Antonelli – who revealed that he is living at home “next door” to the track for the race weekend – returns home for Round 4 and the Italian cannot wait to get going.

“I'm really looking forward to it to be honest,” he said. “It’s a home race, obviously it's a track that I really like, and the atmosphere is going to be incredible. So, I am really looking forward to that and hopefully we can get a good result.

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“It's one of my favourite tracks, it's pretty unique, all the corners are different, so obviously there is a challenge as well. Every corner has a different angle, different speed, so once you get into a rhythm, you feel good with the car and with the track, it's really good fun.”

Helping his goal of achieving that result is the fact that he has previous at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, with Antonelli having finished on the podium in Imola during his 2023 Formula Regional European Championship title winning campaign.

Antonelli says Imola is track that requires you to stay focused at all times
Antonelli says Imola is track that requires you to stay focused at all times

Explaining how to be successful around the venue, Antonelli said: “It's a very old school track so there is very little margin for a mistake, especially this year because they added gravel everywhere out of the chicanes.

“So now there is even less margin for a mistake because it’s really easy to go off. It's obviously a fine line to find the right limit in Practice. It's a really technical track and also, it's really important to stay focused.

“You don't really have quiet moments as apart from the main straight, there is no real long straight, so you always need to be focused and try to get it all right. Practice is going to be really important to find the right line with the limit because that's going to help a lot around Qualifying.”

Imola Preview: Back down to business

Imola does not just represent a return home for Antonelli, but it also kicks off the start of the European section of the season. Most importantly for the Italian it means he will now be racing at tracks he knows well.

He however does not see that changing the competitive order much, expecting the teams who have been quick to continue to be so. But he does feel it gives him a much better platform to build from going into the race weekends.

“On the one side for me it's going to be better because now I will go to tracks where I have driven,” he explained. “So obviously that is going to be helpful because out of Europe, it was my first time at those tracks, so it was a bit tricky in Practice.

Antonelli is hoping to score a good result in front of his home crowd this weekend
Antonelli is hoping to score a good result in front of his home crowd this weekend

“Now I know these tracks so it will be a bit easier to find the limit. I think that the strong guys will be the same even though we are back in Europe, but hopefully we can get a good result, I have a good feeling about the weekend.”

Does that feeling mean a first Formula 2 podium for Antonelli? He hopes his and PREMA’s constant improvement since Round 1 will give him a chance to achieve just that in front of his home crowd.

READ MORE: Antonelli on his fast start to F2, working with Oliver Bearman, and his title aspirations

“We’ve been improving already from Jeddah,” he said. “So obviously we are getting closer and closer every time, so I feel like a good result can come this weekend. That's the goal, just to kick off the European season the right way.

“Of course, in front of a home crowd and just the fact that I am next door with my house, it's a great feeling. It would mean a lot to me to get a good result, I will really try my best to bring home a good result.”