Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix called off due to weather


The Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at Imola will not be held this weekend due to extreme weather in the northern Italian region, organisers said on Wednesday.

At least three people died and thousands were evacuated from their homes as devastating floods hit the Emilia Romagna region, authorities said on Wednesday.

Transport Minister Matteo Salvini had earlier called for the race to be postponed "to concentrate all efforts on coping with the emergency".

The race was scheduled to be the sixth round of the season and the first in Europe.

"The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region," organisers said.

"It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time... We also want to pay tribute to the work of emergency services who are doing everything they can to help those in need."

Formula One personnel were asked to leave the circuit on Tuesday amid fears of flooding as water levels rose in the Santerno river that runs alongside the track. The paddock remained closed on Wednesday.

Cars were not due to be on track until Friday but advance team and technical personnel had arrived to set up the garages and hospitality.

The Grand Prix, a home race for Ferrari, was scheduled to be the first triple-header of the season, with Monaco and Spain following on successive weekends.

Red Bull have won every race so far and double world champion Max Verstappen is 14 points clear of teammate Sergio Perez.

Italy's civil protection agency had issued a red alert weather warning for the region on Monday.

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