Formula 1’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is likely to be disrupted by rain this weekend, with the region currently under a red weather alert.
With Italy already facing a spell of bad weather this month, which triggered storms and flooding, the situation showed no signs of improving this week.
Things became more critical on Monday evening when the Civil Protection Department issued a red weather alert for the Emilia-Romagna region, the location of the Imola circuit which will host this weekend’s F1 race. .
The alert, which currently lasts through Tuesday and Wednesday, warns of high winds, downpours and thunderstorms that pose a risk of flooding and damage to infrastructure, including the possibility of landslides.
The regional government also warned that up to 100mm of rain could fall in the worst affected areas on Tuesday. By the end of Wednesday, the average accumulation is forecast to be around 150 mm.
With serious risks of flooding, and following a meeting of the National Crisis Unit, local mayors were asked to close schools as well as roads that were at risk of being left under water. Citizens were asked to avoid travel as much as possible.
The difficult situation has inevitably opened up the risk that the Imola F1 weekend will be impacted, either for spectators going to the track or even having an effect on the running of the event.
While the red alert status has sparked speculation that the Emilia-Romagna GP could even be cancelled, F1 sources are adamant the event is not going ahead. Teams and officials travel as scheduled.
Operational plans to deal with the wet weather have been put in place and race organizers are working hard to ensure spectator facilities, including car parks, remain usable.
Aston Martin removes water from pit lane
Photo by: Erik Junius
F1 itself is no stranger to bad-weather racing events, and this weekend’s race at Imola will see the launch of a new Pirelli rain tire that doesn’t need to be preheated.
Mario Isola, Head of Motor Racing and F1 at Pirelli, said: “Track tests showed even better performance than the previous Cinturato Blue full wet, even without the electric tire heating.
“Resulting from studies carried out by Pirelli, this is the first concrete step towards the use of dry tires without preheating.”