Formula 1 on Wednesday canceled this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix after heavy rain and deadly flooding in northern Italy made it unsafe for the race to continue at Imola.
Italian authorities have warned residents of the region to seek higher ground this week after rain-swollen rivers overflowed their banks, flooded towns and knocked out electricity and cellphone networks. At least eight people have died and more than 5,000 have fled their homes.
Some of the worst-hit areas received nearly 20 inches of rain in 36 hours, and nearly two dozen rivers have already burst their banks.
Given the extent of the damage and the ongoing rescue efforts, Formula 1 said in a statement that it had no choice but to cancel. He said that the decision was made for our fans, teams and staff, and it is an appropriate and responsible action considering the situation in the cities and towns of the region due to the inability to hold the event safely. .
“It would be unfair to put more pressure on local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”
The Imola race would have been the sixth of today’s Formula 1 season, a globe-trotting circuit that took place in Miami two weeks ago and moves to Monaco at the end of the month. It is not clear whether the canceled event can be rescheduled; Formula 1’s packed schedule offers little flexibility given the time and hassle involved in moving from country to country.
If the Imola race is not postponed, Formula 1 will have 22 races this year instead of the record 23 it planned.
Earlier this week, it became clear that the race was in jeopardy. Scenes of dramatic rescues of residents from flooded towns – on the backs of helicopters, small boats and emergency workers – have dominated Italy’s national news broadcasts over the past two days.
Schools in the region have suspended classes, train services have been suspended, and roads and highways have been closed. Aerial photos show submerged fields, mud-covered roads and flooded cities.
Formula 1 had earlier ordered its teams to stay away from Imola’s track, which runs alongside the Santerno River, and residents who had not evacuated the city were warned to move to higher floors. Photos from the track The paddock area posted by reporters was flooded.
The entire Emilia-Romagna region is under the threat of heavy rain and flooding this week and months of cleaning and maintenance.
Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali said: “It is very sad to see what happened to Imola and Emilia-Romagna, the city and region where I grew up.” “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims. The floods and families and communities were affected.
“The decision that has been taken is the right one for the local communities and everyone in the F1 family,” he added.