Formula 1 has ended the suspense and canceled this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix celebrations. The climate emergency the region is facing has forced it. The FIA, now, was faced with a major problem: find a place on the calendar for the race or cancel it permanently. Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the Automobile Club d’Italia, has confirmed that it will not race there in 2023.
“Hopefully the race can be recovered later,” explained sources in the Italian ministry of infrastructure even before the cancellation of the test. Following an emergency meeting between Mohammed bin Sulayem, President of the FIA; Competent authorities including concerned ministers; The Automobile Club d’Italia, regional and local managers and promoters made the announcement.
“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to hold events safely for our fans, teams and our employees, and given the state of the cities in the region, it is a responsibility to do so. It would not be right to put it on hold.” There is further pressure on local authorities and emergency services in these difficult times,” said the letter shared by F1.
The weather has forced the suspension of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which is held at the Imola circuit, one of the most historic in Formula 1. In 2020 it returned to the calendar after a 14-year hiatus (it previously hosted the San Marino GP) and has been in force since then with a contract running until 2025. With no races this year, the deal will automatically extend until 2026 as announced.
Following its cancellation, it was impossible to re-establish a year that initially began with 24 tests on the calendar and the fall of the Chinese Grand Prix due to restrictions against Covid-19 at the first Asian Games. was reduced. Without a race in Shanghai and without Imola, the longest World Cup in history has once again become impossible.
In recent years there has been controversy over Liberty Media’s insistence on adding tests to the calendar. There has never been a World Cup that has had more than 22 tests and this happens again another year as there is no gap in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
It was an impossible mission to find them among the 17 races to be held. Logistics also had to be taken into account and that is that if you run in Imola it must take advantage of the Great Circus stop in Europe. Therefore, the season finale, scheduled to start in mid-September in Singapore and run until November 26 with the course finale in Abu Dhabi, was ruled out entirely.
Formula 1 calendar in 2023
The calendar is very tight, it is visible. That is why the most viable option, if one can say so, was to fit in at the Imola race in August. Out after the SPA-Francorchamps Grand Prize (30 July) or just before Zandvoort (27 August). It is the month dedicated to summer vacations and the only time that allows for some laziness so as not to chain together multiple tests in a row.
The biggest problem here was with the drivers and the teams. The break focused on the pilots being able to take a respite later to face the end of the season and the teams having space in their factories to implement improvements and, in parallel, already working on next year’s cars. We do. The reduction of time was a big blow to all and that is why it has been ruled out.
Multiple races in a row
Beyond that, and with the conditions we’ve already discussed, there was no more stagnation. Only one week left. Fitting Imola meant up to four consecutive races: between Canada and the United Kingdom, between Austria or, even more bizarre as it was, between Austria and Belgium, between the United Kingdom and Hungary, plus five tests.
There were already problems with chasing three consecutive races in two different sections of the season, one being played now (Imola, Monaco and Barcelona) and one in October–November (USA, Mexico and Brazil). Will happen. Therefore, the effort was unlikely to balance four Grands Prix in a row with what it takes to be on track in terms of travel and work in the pits and with weekends that would eventually also include qualifying and sprint races. The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been canceled entirely and amid the storm that punished so many people, it says goodbye until 2024.