At least two people have died due to the weather conditions that have hit the area throughout May. Heavy rain caused more than a dozen rivers to burst their banks during a 24-hour period, while red weather warnings for flooding and landslides remain in place for this weekend.
This has led many locals to be displaced, while emergency flood relief fundraisers have been created.
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 relocate staff members to different hotels. Images and videos also emerged on social media showing that the support paddock and TV had been breached by water.
Now, following Wednesday morning discussions with the authorities and race promoter, championship chiefs have ruled that the race cannot proceed safely. Nor would it be compatible with the risk faced by the community and the enhanced strain on emergency services in the region.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali 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 on 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.”
Italian deputy prime minister and transport minister Matteo Salvini had called to postpone the race in order to “dedicate ourselves to relief work”.
Imola circuit banner
Photo by: Erik Junius
A statement from F1 read: “The Formula 1 community wants to send its thoughts to the people and communities affected by the recent events in the Emilia-Romagna region. We also want to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services who are doing everything they can to help those in need.
“Following discussions between Formula 1, the president of the FIA, the competent authorities including the relevant ministers, the president of the Automobile Club of…
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