Formula 1 has cancelled this weekend’s Grand Prix at Imola due to flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region.
The decision not to stage the race – the sixth of this year’s series – was made following discussions between Formula 1, the President of the FIA, the competent authorities – including the relevant Ministers, the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, the President of Emilia-Romagna Region, the Mayor of the City – and the promoter.
F1 said the decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event and organisers feared it could put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services.
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, better known as Imola, can hold crowds of 78,000. No announcement has yet been made about how ticket holders can claim refunds.
Stefano Domenicali, president and chief executive of Formula 1, 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 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.”
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “My thoughts and those of the entire FIA family are with those affected by the terrible situation in the Emilia-Romagna region. The safety of everyone involved and recovery efforts are the top priority at this time.”