Formula 1, the FIA and organisers of the 2023 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix have agreed to cancel the race which was scheduled for this weekend, due to severe flooding in the Italian region.
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 is the region. It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.
F1 instructed paddock personnel setting up garages and hospitality units to leave the circuit on Tuesday afternoon as a precaution amid a threat of flooding from the adjacent Santerno river.
They were also instructed not to return to the venue at all on Wednesday. Meanwhile, some teams opted to relocated staff members to different hotels.
Italian deputy prime minister and transport minister, Matteo Salvini had called to postpone the race in order to “dedicate ourselves to relief work”. It is thought very unlikely that the Emilia Romagna GP will be rescheduled for later in the year due to the congested calendar.
It means the schedule for 2023 has been reduced by two rounds following the widely expected cancellation for the Chinese GP, which was set for 16th April but lost due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in the country, which created the four week gap between the Australian and Azerbaijan rounds.
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.Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1.