Major floods in Italy's northern Emilia-Romagna region have led Formula 1 organizers to cancel this weekend's planned race at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, located near the town of Imola.
The organizers said the safety of teams and fans couldn't be guaranteed and it would not be right to put further pressure on local infrastructure, including local emergency services.
“The decision that has been taken is the right one for everyone in the local communities and the F1 family as we need to ensure safety and not create extra burden for the authorities while they deal with this very awful situation,” Stefano Domenicali, F1's CEO and a native of the region, said in a statement.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that at least three people have died and thousands were forced to evacuate their homes due to the floods. The region, which is home to many of Italy's automakers, including Ferrari and Lamborghini, was also hit in 2012 by earthquakes that took 27 lives.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is the sixth of 23 rounds on the 2023 F1 calendar. The organizers haven't said whether the race will be run at a later date.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is one of F1's newest grands prix, having first joined the calendar in 2020 as a special race to fill in for an established race canceled due to Covid-19. Due to its popularity, the race has become a permanent fixture on the calendar alongside the more established Italian Grand Prix held at Monza.
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari where the race is held, more commonly referred to simply as Imola, has hosted both the Italian and San Marino Grands Prix in the past.