F1's Upcoming Italian Race Could Be Washed Out

Photo:  Alessio De Marco/LiveMedia/NurPhoto (Getty Images)
Photo: Alessio De Marco/LiveMedia/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

This weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is expected to be the first wet race of the Formula 1 season. In the isolated realm of F1, the potential of a wet race usually excites the sport’s fans. Though, severe rainstorms are also posing a threat to transportation infrastructure across northern Italy. F1 is preparing for the show to go on, but Mother Nature and local authorities might say otherwise.

Emilia Romagna, the Italian region where the Imola Circuit is located, was forecasted to see four inches of rain today and six inches of precipitation tomorrow. According to, the rain is expected to continue until Sunday. The region’s rivers have already seen dramatic increases in water level and might overflow their banks in the coming days, including the Santerno running next to the race venue. F1 teams were asked by local authorities to evacuate the paddock as they set up for the race weekend. The video and photos taken by journalists already on-site in Imola showing the differences so far are startling.

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Earlier this month, storms in Emilia Romagna killed two people. Reuters reported that an elderly cyclist was swept away by flood waters and another elderly man was found in a collapsed home. Local authorities are taking no chances with the ongoing extreme weather as schools and bridges were closed. Residents were also advised to minimize travel as much as possible.

Formula 1 believes the weekend’s weather conditions will allow the race to be still held. However, the race would draw tens of thousands of fans to the flood-impacted area. Rainy conditions usually offer the opportunity for skilled drivers to shine regardless of their car’s performance capability. However, there can be a point where conditions can’t allow spectators to reach the track responsibly.

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