A dutiful decision, that of canceling the Emilia Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix, an event scheduled for this weekend at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola. The meteorological situation in which the Italian region has been raging for several hours has caused several rivers to overflow, including the Santerno, which rises a few meters from the Imola track.
The water first submerged the paddock dedicated to F2 and F3, then that of Formula 1. At that point F1 gathered and Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula 1, decided to cancel the event.
This afternoon Domenicali himself wanted to explain himself – present at the Imola racetrack – to the microphones of Sky the reasons which led him to cancel the grand prix.
“These are difficult decisions which, however, in certain situations it is good to make. I think it is quite logical to give priority to what is happening in Emilia Romagna, chatter is zero. Priority must be given to emergency services which must be guaranteed to the population that is suffering. Only when you are in the middle can you understand tragedies like these”.
“We as Formula 1 will also collect money to give it to the Region and to AlphaTauri, because we know that some of their kids have nothing left. It is something that has also directly affected our community. We took this decision together with the institutions, with the authorities, the Prefecture, the Region, because the situation is really very difficult”.
“Honestly when you arrive, and I arrived last night because I understood how critical the situation was, you understand and it’s a matter of respect. Also linked to the fact that the organization of events like this is enormous. There are so many people who have to work, the logistics, services. The runway would probably have been accessible, but the context is much greater”.
“I informed all the teams and no one had anything to say. We are so sorry for the Italian fans and for the Imola fans, who are always so passionate. Let’s try to find the right situation. It will be difficult to make up for this race this year, but we have a moral commitment to those who worked so hard, also to the promoters who did an extraordinary job. We tried to race right up to the last minute, but it wasn’t possible.”
Domenicali, born in Imola, suffers personally from what is happening in Emilia Romagna. A decision, his, taken with conscience, without thinking about money but only to dedicate all possible resources to the population brought to its knees by a situation that has few precedents in the Emilia Romagna area, at least in recent decades.
“Emotionally it is a strong moment. My family and I are fine, we are safe, but I have friends involved and it is a very strong local theme. There is also this emotional aspect which, however, does not distract me from making important decisions in delicate moments like this one. They’re being taken hoping they’re right, but my conscience is clear. We’ve done the right thing for people who are suffering and we’ll try to do our part for people who are suffering.”
“We’re isolated here on the track, the bridges are closed and we can’t let people in to take things apart. We already have another appointment next Sunday (Monte-Carlo). We have teams evacuated tonight in the towns where they were staying. The car The logistics of a GP are complex, but it’s right to be here and try to get everyone going in the right way. Thanks to the Imola promoters, because they’re working hard in this very difficult situation.”
Finally, Domenicali confirmed what was already said by Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of ACI. The just canceled Grand Prix could be recovered in 2026 by means of an extension. The contract between the promoters of the event and F1 will end in 2025, but the term could be delayed by a year. The proposal is on the table and will be discussed in the coming days.
“What this land is experiencing is too big. And competing in a race in these conditions anyway would have been a decision that I could never have made and that I would never have felt mine. The GP, holding it in 2026 could really be a solution also in respect about what has been done to prepare this event, for F1. We will discuss it in the coming weeks, but it is an option that is 100% on the table,” concluded Domenicali.