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Race cancellation due to bad weather: “It’s heartbreaking what people are currently having to go through”

Formula 1 Race cancellation due to bad weather

“It’s heartbreaking what people are going through right now”

Stand: 18.05.2023

Heavy floods in northern Italy

After heavy rainfall, the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche experienced flooding, some of which were dramatic. The Formula 1 race planned for Sunday in Imola has been cancelled.

Formula 1 is deeply affected by the emergency in Italy and cancels the race in Imola. There will hardly be a catch-up date in 2023. The Formula 1 boss, who comes from the disaster region, finds emotional words.

Dhe terrible images of the floods in his home region tore the heart of Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali. The short-term cancellation of the Grand Prix in his hometown Imola and the loss of millions in revenue for the racing series were no alternative for the managing director. “To imagine welcoming the many fans in a devastated environment was an insult to common sense,” said Domenicali after canceling the European Formula 1 opener scheduled for Sunday.

The region on the Italian Adriatic coast has been hit by severe storms since Tuesday. At least nine people were killed. “Emilia-Romagna is our homeland. It’s heartbreaking what people are going through right now,” said new Ferrari team boss Frédéric Vasseur. Like all the other teams, the Scuderia backed the organizers’ decision, even if it means missing one of their two home races this year.

It is very unlikely that the Grand Prix in Imola will be rescheduled this year. The schedule is packed with 17 more races, and things will continue in Monaco next week. The teams are unlikely to agree to a shortened summer break.

160,000 spectators were expected in Imola

The makers of Imola are therefore hoping for a one-year extension of their Formula 1 contract. “Given the complexity of the calendar, it’s safe to assume that the 2023 edition will take place in 2026,” said Italian Automobile Federation President Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

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The current contract for races in Imola runs up to and including 2025. An extension of the contract because of the cancellation is “an option that is on the table,” said Formula 1 boss Domenicali.

The race track in Imola is under water, a Formula 1 Grand Prix is ​​out of the question

The race track in Imola is under water, a Formula 1 Grand Prix is ​​out of the question

Source: AFP/STRINGER

More than 160,000 spectators were expected at the race weekend this year. The cancellation was inevitable given the dramatic situation in the region, said association boss Sticchi Damiani. Because the cancellation was due to force majeure, the track operator in Imola at least does not have to pay the million-dollar fees for the race to Formula 1. However, tens of thousands of ticket holders will probably have to be compensated.

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Formula 1 also experienced a race cancellation due to a natural disaster in 1995, when the Grand Prix in Aida, Japan, was postponed from March to October due to an earthquake. In the previous year, the guest appearance in Sochi was removed from the calendar after Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine. Numerous races were canceled during the corona pandemic. The station in China was also canceled again this season due to the country’s long, very restrictive corona policy.

Paddock was already cleared on Tuesday

In Imola, the paddock had already been cleared on Tuesday afternoon for safety reasons on the instructions of civil protection. The nearby river Santerno burst its banks and parts of the track area were flooded. In addition, there were considerable concerns that the tens of thousands of fans would be able to travel safely given the flooding, evacuations and closed roads.

“I know we all understand that safety comes first,” wrote record world champion Lewis Hamilton on Instagram. “Much more important now: I hope that everyone in the Emilia-Romagna region will be safe in the next few days,” tweeted German Haas driver Nico Hülkenberg. World champion Max Verstappen wrote to those affected: “We wish you all strength so that you can get through this time safely.”

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