Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions in the region.
Persistent rain saw the paddock at the circuit in Imola, northern Italy, evacuated on Tuesday because of the risk of flooding, with F1 personnel told to stay away on Wednesday.
Although the track is not under water, the surrounding area is struggling to cope with the extreme weather.
And following an emergency summit with the promoter and local authorities, Formula One has confirmed the sixth round of the season will not take place.
The PA news agency understands the event is unlikely to be rescheduled.
The decision has been taken not to proceed with the Grand Prix weekend in Imola#EmiliaRomagnaGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/4taauGnFEA
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 17, 2023
An F1 statement read: “The Formula One community wants to send its thoughts to the people and communities affected by the recent events in the Emilia-Romagna region.
“We also want to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services who are doing everything they can to help those in need.
“Following discussions between Formula One, 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, the decision has been taken not to proceed with the Grand Prix weekend in Imola.
“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region.
“It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”
Although the circuit has not yet been flooded, there were concerns over the safety of transporting spectators to and from the venue, and also having to divert emergency services to stage the race.
The grid’s 10 teams were also facing a scramble to get ready for the event following the evacuation on Tuesday, and the advice by local authorities not to travel to the circuit on Wednesday.
The Emilia Romagna region has been badly affected by torrential rain which caused extensive flooding, killing two people and forcing hundreds to be evacuated from their homes, earlier this month.
Max opens up the gap to Checo ↔️#MiamiGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/KNUziMMS16
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 7, 2023
The race in Imola had been due to kick off F1’s first triple header of the season, with races to follow on consecutive weekends in Monaco and Spain.
Due to complexities of the sport’s packed schedule, at this stage it is not thought it will be possible to reschedule the race for later in the year, dropping the number of races from 23 to 22.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen holds a 14-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings after the opening five rounds.