Formula 1’s Emilia-Romagna Returns After Last Year’s Cancellation

Formula 1 is back at Imola, in Italy, for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, a year after the 2023 race was canceled because of the extensive flooding in the region.

Over half of the annual rainfall deluged the area in just 36 hours in mid-May 2023, falling on land that had been hit by drought. A total of 23 rivers overflowed, landslides destroyed roads and bridges, and the area was paralyzed.

“The weather forecast was bad, but we were not foreseeing anything like this with the magnitude it had at the end of the day,” said Otello Valenti, the human resources and legal director of Visa Cash App RB F1 Team.

Imola is a classic, old-school circuit, a world away from some of Formula 1’s newer space-age venues. Imola’s narrow track sweeps through the Italian countryside, bisecting residential avenues dotted with red-brown houses from whose balconies fans have track views.

“Imola was recognized around the world because of the track and because of Formula 1,” said Stefano Domenicali, the chief executive of Formula 1, who is from Imola. “This is the reason why this event for Imola is special.”

Imola held the San Marino Grand Prix from 1981 to 2006. It then dropped off the schedule, but it had a surprise return in 2020. Formula 1 has held the Emilia-Romagna there ever since.Credit…Miguel Medina/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
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