F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has offered his thoughts on the floods that have badly impacted the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, which has forced the sport to cancel the grand prix at Imola for this weekend.
The area has been hit by heavy rain in recent weeks, causing severe flooding and tragically claiming the lives of several people, with emergency services stretched as they fight to protect those in the area and try and control the situation as best they can.
Indeed, this proved ultimately the crunch point for F1, with them not wanting to call on the resources required to help support a grand prix weekend, when it was quite clear they were needed elsewhere.
A race ultimately pales into insignificance when such a tragedy hits, and F1 has made the right decision by calling the race off for this weekend.
Hailing from Imola, Domenicali of course knows the region well and the Italian has released a statement, reflecting on recent events:
“It is such a tragedy to see what has happened to Imola and Emilia Romagna, the town and region that I grew up in.
“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.”
On the cancellation of the grand prix, Domenicali added: “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.”
The Imola circuit is very close to the banks of the river Santern and shots of the surrounding area showed the extent of the flooding and damage being caused by the extreme weather.
F1 simply had no choice but to stop this weekend’s event from going ahead, and hopefully now as much work as possible can be done to help the region recover from an incredibly difficult few weeks.
The F1 paddock will move on to Monaco next weekend, for the next round of the 2023 world championship, whilst Barcelona then follows in quick succession a week later.