The organisers of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix have cancelled the race dute to the recent flooding in the region. The circuit’s paddock seemed to be flooded on Wednesday moring, and teams were advised not to apporach the Imola track.
Rain is one of the equalisers in Formula One, as when the water element is present, everyone believes that the cars matter less and the drivers become the genuine heroes.
However, when the amount of water is excessive, it poses a risk to the lives of the drivers, and delicate decisions have to be made.
The severe floods affecting the Emilia Romagna region in Italy, where the fifth Grand Prix of the season was supposed to take place, have forced the FOM, FIA, and the country’s authorities to cancel the race. There hasn’t been a need to cancel a race in the same week it was scheduled since the 2020 Australian Grand Prix, although that was for a totally different cause.
Faenza, also affected
The rains, however, have not just impacted the city of Imola, where the track is located. Another adjacent city with a well-known name among Formula One fans has also been seriously affected. Faenza, where the AlphaTauri team’s headquarters is located, has been forced to evacuate many of its people. Images supplied by Yuki Tsunoda, the team’s Japanese driver, show the city fully flooded and firefighters wading through knee-deep water.
“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, as well as the families and communities affected,” Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said. I’d wish to express my gratitude and admiration for the wonderful emergency services that are working diligently to assist those in need and alleviate the situation – they are heroes, and the whole of Italy is proud of them”.
Uncertainity about the potential future celebration
The top category had 23 dates this season, many of which were continuously connected, making it extremely difficult to relocate the Grand Prix to a later weekend.
Neither Formula One nor the FIA have made a firm statement about the prospect of rescheduling the race, but it appears to be rather difficult. However, in an interview with Sky Italia, Stefano Domenicali hinted that racing in Imola will be extremely difficult this season.
“Given the tight schedule in 2023, it is difficult to think we can make up for it this year, but we have a moral obligation to those who have worked so hard, and we will see,” Domenicali stated. The Italian, who formerly served as Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, has also hinted at the prospect of renewing the deal with the circuit and holding the event in 2026.