The Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna GP has been canceled due to the storm that is plaguing the region, in northern Italy, and the forecast of rain for the next few days. This was announced by Formula 1 a few minutes after the Vice President of the Italian Government and Minister of Infrastructure, Matteo Salvini, considered this Wednesday that, given the climate emergency that the area is experiencing, it was “opportune” to postpone the grand prix scheduled in the Imola circuit this weekend. The objective is to focus attention on rescue tasks in a storm that has cost the lives of at least nine people. Salvini’s statement comes after the torrential rains that hit a large part of the country on Tuesday forced the evacuation of the circuit, in which part of the F1 circus had already landed.
“The F1 community thinks of the people affected by the storm in the Emilia-Romagna region,” says the note sent by the organization. And he adds: “We also want to highlight and thank the work of the emergency services that do everything possible to help those who need it.” The note explains that the decision to cancel the event responds to the impossibility of ensuring the safety of fans, teams and competition personnel. “It is the right thing to do and the most responsible thing to do. It would not be right to put more pressure on local authorities and emergency services in such difficult times, ”say the people of Liberty Media.
The Italian authorities, through their Civil Protection department, had sent a red alert to the population on Monday in the face of possible floods that are expected over the next few days in the area of Emilia-Romagna, a region that gives its name to the sixth stop on the Formula 1 World Cup calendar. The Government has decreed the closure of the schools in the province, which just a few weeks ago was already punished with a violent storm that caused several rivers to overflow and left several deaths (nine to the date), and rail transport has also been interrupted. Salvamento has had to rescue several people in Riccione and Rimini, two towns on the Adriatic coast, and interventions have also been carried out in Faenza, Cesena and Forlì.
On Tuesday afternoon, the personnel from the F1 teams that had already arrived at the track, the vast majority of them truckers, mechanics and people linked to the hospitality divisions, were ordered to evacuate the paddock, Depending on the areas, it was already beginning to accumulate considerable levels of water if we take as a reference some photographs posted on social networks. The forecasts estimate amounts of up to 150 millimeters of rain for the next few hours, and the possibility that the Santerno river, adjacent to the track, could overflow its banks, is also not ruled out, a circumstance that has also been assessed to make the final decision to cancel the race. even if the weather prospects were somewhat better as of Thursday.
The hope is “that the race can be recovered later”, explained the sources of the Ministry of Infrastructure, who took it for granted that “Fans of Formula One will understand and share this choice”. Salvini’s objective this Wednesday at noon was to “concentrate all efforts to deal with the emergency, also avoiding traffic overloads in a highly affected area.” That was the priority and that is how F1 has assumed it.
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