George Russell has declared it "impossible to race" at Imola after a number of drivers struggled to gain ground in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Imola hosted the first sprint weekend of the F1 season, with the circuit providing a tense 63-laps of action despite overtaking being at a premium.
The venue is known for being one of the tighter layouts on the calendar with few passing opportunities and although the new generation of cars followed closely, its old problem remained.
This was, in part, due to the grand prix taking place in drying conditions with the track remaining damp throughout off the racing line. Even during Saturday's sprint race, however, on completely dry asphalt, passing was minimal.
“The track is just such an amazing circuit with so much character but it’s just impossible to race, and especially in these mixed conditions," reflected Russell.
“One overtaking opportunity, one dry line. There’s just nothing you can do.”
Russell's Bottas flashbacks
Russell's 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix ended in dramatic fashion after the then Williams driver collided with Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes.
In the closing stages this year, the two men again found themselves locked in combat, albeit with Russell ahead of the Finn's Alfa Romeo.
“[It was] definitely reminiscent a little bit of last year," grinned Russell.
"But we had an issue at the [first] pit stop, we couldn’t get the front wing flap on the car and [the car was] just massively understeery. The front right was just falling to bits.
"We were so far out of bed with the set up so I just had to manage it and be ready at the end to defend."
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes
GP Fans Stewards' Room podcast
Max Verstappen closed the championship margin to Charles Leclerc to just 27 points after completing a stunning grand slam victory at Imola.
GPFans editor-in-chief Ian Parkes, deputy editor Sam Hall and F1 correspondent Ewan Gale join Oliver Wilson for this week's roundtable.
Verstappen's grand slam triumph saw him claim pole, sprint win, the fastest lap, as well as leading all 63 in the grand prix.
With Ferrari toiling, the gap has shrunk significantly as Red Bull closed to within 11 of the Scuderia at the top of the constructors' championship
At Mercedes, the picture was again bleak for Lewis Hamilton, even if Russell's fantastic drive to fourth did at least put some gloss on the weekend. This and more on the Stewards' Room Podcast.
Listen to the GPFans Global team as they digest all the action from Imola, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and don't forget to subscribe for more regular podcasts.