This rumor is now upgraded to ‘fact.’
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 at 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.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “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 and the families and communities affected.
“I want to express my gratitude and admiration for the incredible emergency services who are working tirelessly to help those who need help and alleviate the situation – they are heroes and the whole of Italy is proud of them.
“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.”
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “My thoughts and those of the entire FIA family are with those affected by the terrible situation in the Emilia Romagna region. The safety of everyone involved and recovery efforts are the top priority at this time.”
It is very unlikely that the Emilia Romagna GP will be rescheduled for later in the year due to the congested calendar.
May 17, 2023
–by Mark Cipolloni–
This rumor is upgraded to ‘strong’ this morning.
The Imola support Paddocks are now flooded and officials are meeting to discuss postponing the event to a later date, if a date can be found in the schedule.
Italian deputy prime minister and transport minister Matteo Salvini has called for the race to be postponed as well.
F1 personnel were told to not try and go to the circuit today.
One option that is being discussed is holding the race without fans in attendance, or cancelling the event altogether.
May 17, 2023
(GMM) A giant rain cloud has moved above this weekend’s running of the grand prix at Imola.
Multiple international journalists report that they were asked to evacuate the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit on Tuesday due to the risk of the nearby Santerna river breaking its banks.
“Sky (Deutschland) employees report that they were not rushed and there was no danger,” a report from Germany read.
“They are currently in the hotel and have been asked not to leave again for now.”
For now, however, Formula 1, the FIA and the local race promoter insist that the race is still scheduled to go ahead.
“Some roads near the circuit were closed on Tuesday afternoon,” Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport reports, adding that one of the roads leads to the Tosa bridge – near the corner with the same name.
“The circuit is basically surrounded by water,” the sports newspaper added. “Many of the green spaces and fields normally used for parking during the grand prix are flooded and will not be usable.”
The president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, was quoted as saying: “We are coming out of difficult days and the weather forecast is almost worse than 10 days ago.
“But the grand prix will go ahead.”
Italian automobile club (Aci) chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani added: “We are concerned above all about the wellbeing of the Emilians and the problems they have at the moment.
“For the grand prix, we hope with all our hearts that the situation will normalize on Thursday,” he said.
“It should be a better day of weather and the Santerno should return to the riverbed.”
May 16, 2023
Circuit bosses have evacuated the paddock at Imola ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to flood risks.
Heavy rain has hit the region, which has been given a red alert weather warning with wind and rain expected to continue.
Storms have already triggered flooding and the circuit is perilously close to the river Santerno, which is rapidly rising.
In some areas cars have been submerged by water and emergency services are out in boats to help people in need.
F1 chiefs face an anxious wait to see if the river will burst its banks, sending water flooding into the paddock just meters away.
Staff in Imola were sent back to their hotels as officials monitored the situation.
#ImolaGP 🇮🇹: All teams present on the Imola Circuit have just been asked to evacuate the premises within 30 minutes. ⚠️
Risk of flooding is currently high. pic.twitter.com/ZrUnjo0pci
— deni (@fiagirly) May 16, 2023
May 16, 2023
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix could be in trouble this weekend with severe weather warnings declared.
The race weekend in Imola is due to start this Friday with the first two free practice sessions, followed by the third practice session and qualifying on Saturday before the race on Sunday. And, with just a few days to go, red weather warnings have been released.
“There could be no Imola GP this weekend.
“The entire region of Emilia Romagna has been declared by Civil Defense in conditions of Red Weather for the next 2 days (May 16-17), but the weather will most likely remain the same for the rest of the week.
“Should the weather remain the same / worsen and should the Civil Defense declare the region in conditions of Red Weather for the weekend as well, there’s nothing Formula 1 can do and the weekend would be cancelled.”
There is yet to be any announcements from the event holders over whether the grand prix will be called off but it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days.
Footage released by Italy’s national fire service gives a glimpse of the aftermath of the extreme weather.
One person drowned after being swept away by floodwaters while riding a bicycle, and another died near Imola when a residence collapsed.
The President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini, described the situation as unprecedented. Levels of the Lamone River jumped by over 10 meters in less than 24 hours. Areas of Bologna Province recorded more than 190 mm of rain in 24 hours.