F1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Cancelled due to Heavy Floods in Italy

F1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Cancelled due to Heavy Floods in Italy

The sixth round of the F1 Grand Prix will not take place this weekend after heavy flooding in northern Italy. On Tuesday Formula 1 personnel were instructed to leave the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari paddock and later advised to vacate after heavy rains continued to pour on Wednesday.

This is after Italian officials confirmed that at least 8 people had been killed and thousands evacuated from their homes. 

Local authorities and race organizers made the decision after Italy’s severe red weather warnings were in place for landslides and flooding.

“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.

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.”

Will the Race be Rescheduled?

Floods in Italy
Courtesy: Sky Sports

The race is unlikely to be rescheduled because of the congested sports calendar but organizers say they will try to weigh any potential options. The Emilia Romagna GP was to be the first triple headset of European races, with Monaco coming the next weekend and Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.

So far, Red Bull is 122 points clear in the constructor’s standings with Max Verstappen leading the driver championship by 14 points from teammate Sergio Perez.

F1 fans had high anticipation for the race because of the major upgrades that teams like Ferrari and Mercedes had put in place hoping to reduce their deficit to the RB19.

Drivers and Teams Messages 

Following the events in Imola, Italy, teams and drivers also took to social media to express their disappointment and heartfelt messages to people affected by the floods. AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda who lives in Faenza appealed for donations after sharing the horrifying situation in the city. 

The seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton supported the F1 decision stating that safety comes first.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Courtesy: Planetf1

“Hoping everyone in Emilia-Romagna is able to stay safe and look out for each other right now. Thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy and the amazing emergency services working on the ground. I know we all understand that safety comes first. Can’t wait to see you all at the next race.”

Verstappen also wished for strength and safety for the people affected by the food.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the severe rainfall and flooding in the greater Emilia-Romagna region. We wish you all strength to ensure your safety throughout this period.”

The Ferrari F1 team was not left behind to release a statement on Twitter as the floods destroyed their home.  

“Scuderia Ferrari fully supports the decision of Formula 1 and the FIA to cancel the Imola GP. Even though it’s our home race and therefore even more important to us, the main priority at the moment has to be the safety of all those living and working in the affected areas.”

Frederic Vasseur, team principal of Ferrari also expressed similar heartfelt messages to people affected.

Frederic Vasseur
Frederic Vasseur
Photo Courtesy: Motori

“On behalf of everyone working at Scuderia Ferrari, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. Emilia Romagna is our homeland and it’s heartbreaking to see what people are going through at the moment.”

Fans to Receive Refunds

F1 Fans
Courtesy of Paddock Magazine

Emilia Romagna GP organizers have confirmed that fans meant to attend this weekend’s race will either get a refund or have their tickets moved to next year’s race. The race track is halfway flooded hence making it hard for fans, teams, and organizers to access the area for safety reasons.

“All buyers who have purchased tickets through the sales network and the ticketone.it purchasing platform are informed that the opportunity to convert the tickets purchased with tickets for the 2024 event or alternatively the economic reimbursement.

Given the ongoing emergency in the region, the methods and timing of the refund will be announced with a subsequent communication that will be sent by e-mail in the next few days by ACI Sport, a company of the Automobile Club of Italy, through the provider official ticket office Ticketone.it.”

The next race will be held in Monaco at the Circuit de Monaco track. Free Practice one and two are scheduled on 26th May, with Free Practice three and Qualifying to be held on 27th May. The main race will be on the 28th May at 16:00 GMT.   

On behalf of C.O.K our thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by the floods.

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