The Formula 1 race scheduled for Sunday in Imola has been canceled due to heavy rainfall in northern Italy. This was announced by the racing series on Wednesday, preceded by talks with the world automotive association FIA and regional authorities.
“The decision was made because it is not possible to guarantee a safe event for fans, teams and our staff,” the statement said. It was also a “responsible” decision: “It would not be right to further increase the pressure on the local authorities and rescue workers in these difficult times.”
The Santerno river, which is close to the race track, has burst its banks. According to official information from Wednesday morning, 14 rivers in Emilia-Romagna are flooded. Several roads have been closed, at least two people have died, and more people are missing.
After storms: Formula 1 race in Imola canceled
The Formula 1 race planned for the weekend in Imola was canceled due to the severe storms in the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna.
The Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport Matteo Salvini had previously called for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to be canceled.
Since Tuesday, the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna has been plagued by heavy rainfall, which has led to severe flooding. According to the Italian disaster service, 14 rivers in the region burst their banks, and many people had to be evacuated or lost their homes. In addition, the first fatalities had to be mourned, several people are still missing.
The Grand Prix was to start on Friday with the two free practice sessions, on Saturday the third practice session and qualifying were on the agenda. The race was scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The paddock at the track in Imola had to be cleared on Tuesday after the nearby Santerno river threatened to overflow its banks.
F1 Statement: “Impossible to run event safely for our fans, teams and staff”
“Following discussions between Formula 1, the President of the FIA, the competent authorities – including the competent ministers, the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, the President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Mayor of the city and the organizer – it was decided to launch the Great Prize at the weekend in Imola,” says the Formula 1 website. “The decision was made because it is not possible to hold the event safely for our fans, teams and staff and because, given the situation in which the towns and municipalities of the region find themselves is right and responsible.”
Whether the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna can still be made up for this season given the tight program seems rather unlikely. In its statement, F1 did not specify whether and, if so, when the Grand Prix will be rescheduled this year. Originally, 23 races were supposed to take place this season for the first time, now it could be “only” 22 again.