What happens next? That’s the question everybody is asking following Formula 1’s decision today to cancel this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
It’s of particular importance to those who had already travelled to Imola before rainfall and a swollen river led to the local area flooding and prompting the cancellation decision on Wednesday. Many of the drivers, senior team figures and media members (including RaceFans’ Claire Cottingham) who were travelling to the track today were able to turn around mid-journey. Others who were scheduled to head out on Thursday, having spent much of this week in their team simulators doing laps of Imola, now don’t even have to worry about leaving their homes.
But it’s the opposite for those in Imola, particularly local residents who are continually worried they may have to leave their homes due to the flooding in the area. Many of them already have, while the hotels in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy have an increased stream of people going in and out.
Those wanting to check out four days earlier than they had originally planned are in a rush to get plane tickets back to their home countries before they sell out. Meanwhile some locals who have had to leave their homes will be heading to the hotels seeking somewhere warm and dry to stay for the night – and possibly longer. If those hotels flood and have to close, then everyone is in trouble.
F1’s paddock set-up had already begun so a number of personnel will have to remain to disassemble the various motorhome units and to pack all their gear back into their trucks. It’s not clear how long that will require given the track was closed today (prior to the grand prix being cancelled) and they have not been informed when it will be open again to those who need to get back in to pack up.
While some staff were able to gain access to the paddock yesterday before it was evacuated, teams in the support paddock were denied entry on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the rain. That has proved somewhat of a blessing as now all they have to do is move their trucks from their parking spots in nearby areas and drive them on to Monaco where they will race next weekend.
Some in the support series have been relying on journalists, social media and their friends in the F1 paddock for updates on the evolving situation over the last two days, while others were fully in the loop via private communications from F1 and the circuit itself. Despite evacuating the track on Tuesday,…
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