Update 17 May – 3:30PM Local Imola Time : The 2023 Emilia Romagna GP is officialy cancelled
Update 17 May – 12AM Local Imola Time : Matteo Salvini has called for the Imola Grand Prix to be postponed
Update 17 May – 9AM Local Imola time : F1 will publish an official update for the general situation at Imola at 2PM Local Imola time, will update the article with the informations.
The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is under serious threat this weekend due to extreme weather conditions.
Images on social media reveal that the Santerno river, located next to the circuit, is already overflowing.
As a result, Formula 1 personnel have been instructed to evacuate the area, according to multiple reports. Teams are already at the track, preparing their garages for the race.
Concerns for the race itself have grown after the Italian Met Office issued a flood warning for the region, including a red alert.
This indicates that there will be 100mm of rain through Tuesday and a total of 150mm by late Wednesday.
Nonstop torrential rain in northern Italy has already caused riverbeds to flow, resulting in landslides, two reported deaths, and hundreds of evacuations.
More downpours expected this week
Emilia-Romagna is expected to be hit by more rapid downpours early this week. Rain is also forecasted to continue throughout the entire weekend, with storms previously predicted to hit the track during qualifying.
While no damage has been done to the Imola circuit yet, F1 chiefs are confident the event will go ahead as expected. The full timeable is available here
However, race fans could face significant issues as car parks and spectator areas are at severe risk of being waterlogged. In preparation for the race, Pirelli is expected to introduce a new wet weather tyre that will not require any tyre-warming blankets.
Emilia-Romagna GP expected to proceed despite weather warnings
Despite the severe weather warnings and potential for flooding, the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is expected to go ahead.
Italy’s civil defense service has issued weather alerts for the region of northern Italy, where the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari is located, every day this week.
The highest possible weather warning, a red alert, has been issued for the area, with “floods, landslides, and instability” expected to the west and north of Imola town.
Heavy rain has led to warnings that rivers in the area may burst their banks, including the Santerno river, which flows near the Imola track and paddock where Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3 teams will be based.
Although weather reports indicate that conditions will not worsen later in the week, F1 is committed to proceeding with its plans to race but recognizes that extreme wet weather could pose organizational challenges.