With the cancellation of the 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Formula 1 seems to have changed course compared to the past, when they competed during the pandemic and even raced under the threat of missiles, this time the World Championship Circus acted by placing humanity and common sense before the power of money, for a change.
These are really difficult and delicate days that the Emilia-Romagna region is experiencing, due to the bad weather and the floods that are gripping the area, which do not seem to give a break either to the citizens or to the relief efforts for the affected population. A tragedy which, in fact, is having a very hard impact on many cities and beyond.
For days, in fact, the rain in the region of central Italy has shown no sign of abating causing, as mentioned, many difficulties and a great deal of damage: fourteen victims (total still provisional), about 15 rivers flooded, over 20,000 people evacuated, motorways not passable in some stretches, over 20 flooded municipalities, countless landslides, destroyed roads and some totally isolated villages with no connections to neighbouring territories. Damages, to date, only been estimated (not counting those in cities, homes and commercial activities) at almost 500 million euros.
A situation which, in addition to the local population, personally involved, and was told, also by F1 driver. Nyck De Vries, through his social profile, ahead of the Imola weekend he retraced what he experienced on Tuesday when, to go to the Alpha Tauri headquarters, he was blocked for a night in a small town in the region, seeing with his own eyes many displaced people.
De Vries: I was stuck in a small town with a fully booked hotel
His story serves, even if only in part, to make people fully understand the tragedy affecting the population of Emilia-Romagna: “I was going to Faenza for a day of marketing. It was raining heavy, Faenza was flooded, I couldn’t get to the hotel. I was stuck in a small town with a fully booked hotel.
“The next morning the lobby became a refuge for people forced to flee their homes in the night. I had only one option to go home: to go through Florence. After a journey through the mountains, with the help of the population and the authorities, I got home safe and sound.”
A situation which, as mentioned, had a very hard impact on the region, on the population and which, logically speaking, also involved the Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna Formula 1 GP originally scheduled for this weekend on the Imola track.
A race that, after the initial assessments (after the Imola paddock was evacuated on Tuesday due to the risk of flooding of the Santerno river, adjacent to the track), the promoters, organizers and institutions have decided to cancel.
Travelling a few kilometres took hours in and around Imola
Gian Carlo Minardi revealed that to travel about 10 kilometres of road from the Imola racetrack it took more than two houts. But, above all, the event would have removed a large number of doctors, ambulances and police forces from the rescue operations for the neediest, as well as creating a festive atmosphere in total contrast with the rightly negative mood that is experienced in the region.
Assessments which, fortunately, the FIA, F1, the team and all the parties involved have carried out, choosing the path of common sense (unlike, for example, what was done by Bruce Springsteen who, unlike F1, decided, in any case, to carry out his concert in Ferrara, sparking a great deal of controversy). Assessments which, as is well known, led to the wise decision to cancel the GP.
This time in fact, unlike in the past, the world champion Circus has finally chosen to follow the path of common sense and make a decision shared by all, without controversy and without debates, showing a commendable change of course compared to the past.
After trying to organize a GP, in Australia, in the midst of the Covid-19 emergency and while the world was closed at home, or having competed, in Jeddah, with missiles falling a few hundred meters from the track, F1 put unanimity and logic before the power of money.