Rain and flooding in the region forced Formula One to cancel the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in northern Italy. The race scheduled for this weekend is unlikely to be made up this season.
F1 ordered teams and media out of the paddock in Imola in an evacuation order on Tuesday because of the risk of flooding, with more heavy rain expected near the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on Wednesday.
“Following discussions between Formula 1, the President of the FIA, the competent authorities including the relevant Ministers, the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, the President of Emilia Romagna Region, the Mayor of the City and the promoter the decision has been taken not to proceed with the Grand Prix weekend in Imola,” F1 said in a release.
“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region. It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time. The Formula 1 community wants to send its thoughts to the people and communities affected by the recent events in the Emilia-Romagna region. We also want to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services who are doing everything they can to help those in need.”
Emergency crews and fans already impacted were central to the decision not to stage the race, with events scheduled Friday through Sunday. Torrential rains have created a critical situation in the Emilia Romagna region due to extensive flooding this month. The circuit for the race, scheduled to be the start of the first triple-header of the season, has not yet been overtaken by flooding. Evacuation orders began earlier this month.
“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,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, who is from the region.
The upcoming F1 races scheduled in Monaco and Spain were not impacted by the decision Wednesday.
–Field Level Media