Imola F1 Race Canceled Due To Devastating Floods

Imola F1 Race Canceled Due To Devastating Floods

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The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola has been canceled due to torrential rain, and devastating flooding in the northern Italian region. Formula One and local organizers deemed it unsafe to hold the event this weekend, stating the decision was the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region. 

A new date for the Imola FI Race is yet to be announced but there’s a little scope for rescheduling on a crowded calendar that had a record 24 events but dropped to 23 when China got canceled. 

Italy’s civil protection agency issued a red alert weather warning to the region on Monday and it instantly prompted the Transport Minister Matteo Salvini to call for the rescheduling of the race. The Imola circuit, which attracted a weekend crowd of 129,000 last year, faces rising water levels from the nearby Santerno River. While the paddock remained unaffected, surrounding areas including car parks and access roads have been heavily flooded.

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One and a former Imola resident with ties to the track, voiced his support for the race cancellation, acknowledging its necessity considering the prevailing circumstances. “We need to ensure safety and not create extra burden for the authorities while they deal with this very awful situation,” he said. Ferrari joined other drivers and teams to support the cancellation.

Tragically, the devastating floods in the region have claimed the lives of at least eight people and forced the evacuation of residents from towns and cities. 

Imola F1 Race Canceled Due To Devastating Floods

“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,” Ferrari said in a statement. Principal Fred Vasseur said it was “heartbreaking to see what people are going through”. While Mercedes seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton wrote online: “We wish we could be racing but this is definitely the right decision.”

The Grand Prix had been confirmed to be the first triple-header of the season, with Monaco and Spain following on successive weekends. Red Bull has practically won every race so far and double-world champion Max Verstappen is 14 points clear of teammate Sergio Perez. The team also wrote on Twitter, “We support the decision… safety to all those involved and in the region is paramount and has to take priority.”