The Formula 1 race at Imola on Sunday has been cancelled. BILD answers the top questions about race cancellations.
Why was the race cancelled?
In the area around the track in Imola, heavy rains have fallen in recent days, resulting in severe flooding and landslides. Large parts of the Emilia-Romagna region were affected, and significant damage occurred in the towns and villages surrounding the road. As of Thursday afternoon, nine people have died and many others are missing. Several roads around the track are closed due to flood damage, and many buildings are underwater, including team hotels etc. The area around Venza and Cesena, southeast of the track in Imola, was hit particularly hard.
How is the situation around the track now?
BILD was on the track and in the ring on Thursday morning. Nothing is currently flooded there, but the traces of the floods of the previous days are still clearly visible. There is mud in the tunnel under the track, the floors are wet. Thursday will be partly dry and sunny. The teams are currently getting ready to leave for Monaco where the race will take place this weekend.
What are the financial consequences of cancellation?
Natural disasters such as floods are considered force majeure. In such cases, the organizer does not have to pay the entry fees that Formula 1 may have owed. In the case of Imola, it is around 20 million euros. In addition to direct flood damage, there will likely be significant income losses in the area due to canceled hotel reservations and so on. The organizer has to bear the costs of assembly, disassembly, personnel, etc.
Do fans get tickets back?
This is in planning. The organizer announced that fans had already been contacted and that a refund had been announced. The exact situation has not yet been clarified. However, it is planned that fans will either be able to get a refund or get a ticket for the 2024 Imola race as an alternative.
When is the race now?
The remaining racing calendar for the 2023 season is very tight and leaves no room for substitution.
“Given the complexity of the calendar, one can safely assume that the 2023 edition will take place in 2026,” says the president of the Italian Automobile Association, Angelo Stecci Damiani. This corresponds to information from BILD. In fact, the circuit’s contract only lasts until 2025. It can be assumed that it will be extended if a new date is not found this season.
It is unlikely that there will be an alternative to racing this season, whether at Imola or on another track such as Germany, which currently does not have a fixed race.
Scheduling an event on an alternate route for the same weekend is logistically impossible.
Where are the teams headed now?
Parts of the teams are currently engaged in dismantling work in the ring, and parts are already on their way home or have arrived there. Others didn’t even come.
This is also the case with Mercedes, for example: part of the team traveled to Great Britain on Wednesday. However, the engineers had not even started their journey because the race was canceled before they left. The crew currently packing in the paddock will go straight to Monaco. Likewise with Haas: the mechanics traveled to England on Thursdays, and the engineers stayed there.
Red Bull and Aston Martin will also bring large parts of their teams to England over the course of Thursday. Tire maker Pirelli moves near Milan where they own a factory. From there he goes to Monaco.
Where are the cars?
With several other trucks full of equipment already on their way to Monaco, where the race will take place on May 28th. The track there is already over anyway. Formula E was a guest there two weeks ago.
Who would have loved the track at Imola?
As with most tracks, the Red Bull was the favorite at Imola. The track may have been difficult for Mercedes and Ferrari, for example. The reason for this is the notorious high restrictions.
Does that change anything about the World Cup standings?
The racing calendar will likely shrink from 23 to 22 races with the cancellations, so there are fewer points to be awarded overall. Max Verstappen (25) misses an opportunity to extend his lead in the world championship standings – and his rivals a potential opportunity to reduce the lead.
Is the Monaco Grand Prix now on YouTube?
As part of the rights package agreed with Formula 1, rights holder Sky must show four races for free this season. The station decided to do so on its own YouTube channel. RTL had acquired the sublicense the previous year. In fact, the Imola race must be the first Sky has shown on YouTube. Nothing came of it.
As of now, the Galactic Race will be live on YouTube as planned. Sky will announce more information later. But one thing is already clear: According to Sky, the Monaco Grand Prix will not be shown on YouTube.
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