The Grand Prix in Imola has been called off due to life threatening flooding in Italy and Italian officials have said that around 5,000 people have been evacuated.
For the first time ever officials in Venice have activated their mobile sea barrier and in nearby towns and cities in northeast of Italy rivers have swollen and flooding has burst banks flooding those areas.
Rescue operations are underway and there has been severe weather warnings that more bad weather could be on the way.
#ImolaGP 🇮🇹: All teams present on the Imola Circuit have just been asked to evacuate the premises within 30 minutes. ⚠️
Risk of flooding is currently high. pic.twitter.com/ZrUnjo0pci
— deni (@fiagirly) May 16, 2023
Italy’s Deputy Minister has asked for the Formula 1 race to be postponed this weekend to avoid an overload of traffic in the area.
Matteo Salvini said it was “imperative to concentrate all efforts on coping with the emergency.”
Imola update pic.twitter.com/Gdgdudpuxr
— Aston Martin F1 updates (@startonpole) May 17, 2023
An F1 statement says, “The Formula 1 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.
From severe drought to devastating flooding.
At least five people have died and many others are missing after heavy rain slammed Italy's northern Emilia Romagna region. The 2023 Imola GP has officially been cancelled by Formula 1. Rescue operations are underway. pic.twitter.com/cQczzijzEV
— Nahel Belgherze (@WxNB_) May 17, 2023
“Following discussions between Formula 1, 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.”