Breaking: F1 Cancels This Week's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola
Formula 1 has called off this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to extreme weather conditions in the region.
Torrential rain has battered the town of Imola and the surrounding regions, with extensive flooding and landslides, causing residents to be evacuated.
Formula 1 personnel were instructed to leave the Imola paddock on Tuesday afternoon and barred from returning to continue preparations on Wednesday before the cancellation call was made.
While the circuit itself has not been directly affected, despite high levels of water in the support paddock and TV compound, Formula 1 has been concerned with the surrounding areas, access, roads, as well as hotels.
Organizers were also concerned of holding a major international sporting event, with thousands of spectators in attendance, in a region where a serious recovery operation is ongoing.
In a statement, issued on Wednesday lunchtime, Formula 1 outlined that “it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams, and our personnel.
“It is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and the cities in the region. It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”
It has not yet been outlined whether the Grand Prix weekend will be rescheduled in 2023 owing to the congested nature of the calendar.
“It is such a tragedy to see what has happened to Imola and Emilia Romagna, the town and region that I grew up in and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding and the families and communities affected,” said Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, who hails from Imola.
“I want to express my gratitude and admiration for the incredible emergency services who are working tirelessly to help those who need help and alleviate the situation – they are heroes and the whole of Italy is proud on them.
“The decision that has been taken is the right one for everyone in the local communities and the F1 family as we need to ensure safety and not create extra burden for the authorities while they deal with this very awful situation.”