Northern Italy has endured its worst flooding in over a hundred years as unprecedented levels of rainfall have led to floods in the region of Emilia Romagna where the upcoming Grand Prix was set to take place. With the death toll rising to 13 at the time of writing, Formula 1 has logically decided to postpone the event to a later date if possible.
The Imola circuit was supposed to host the race, but now finds itself significantly submerged in places, as the track runs alongside a very swollen Santerno River. Authorities barred any F1 personnel from entering the circuit from Tuesday afternoon and only began allowing in F1 staff essential to packing up equipment as the weather eased on Thursday.
This allows for team garages, motorhomes and other facilities that had been put up earlier this week to get packed away and on the road to the Principality for the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, May 28. However, many displaced residents will also be leaving the region in search of drier land and the flooded roads will only make the logistical operation longer.
Emilia Romagna is home to two F1 teams, the AlphaTauri team based in Faenza and Scuderia Ferrari, who famously operate out of Maranello. A Ferrari team statement read: “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.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur said: “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 heart-breaking to see what people are going through at the moment.”
While earlier on Thursday there was speculation that the Monaco Grand Prix might be cancelled, by the end of the day F1 appeared confident it would go ahead as planned.
NEWS.MC has reached out to the Monaco Automobile Club for comment.
REUTERS: The paddock at the Imola Circuit