Formula One said it made the decision for safety reasons and to avoid any extra burden on the emergency services, after consulting with Italian political figures.
This weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in northern Italy was cancelled on Wednesday because of deadly floods in the region.
“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams, and our personnel and because it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region,” Formula One said in a statement.
”It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”
F1 personnel had earlier been told to stay away from the track after floods affected large parts of the Emilia-Romagna region. Some residents of the nearby city of Imola were warned to move to higher floors of their homes. The Santerno River runs right next to the track.
Matteo Salvini, the infrastructure minister in Italy’s government, had requested that the race be cancelled to favour the flow of resources and aid to the hardest hit areas of the flooding.
It is the second race on the 2023 calendar to be cancelled. The Chinese Grand Prix was scheduled for April but was cancelled in December amid concerns about pandemic-related restrictions.
If the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is not rescheduled — something which appears unlikely given F1’s packed calendar — the season will have 22 races, the same as last year, rather than setting a record for most F1 races in a year with 23.
The AlphaTauri team, which is based in nearby Faenza and is the closest team to the circuit, issued an appeal for donations to help local people on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, our town of Faenza has once again experienced significant rainfall and subsequent flooding,” the team said on Twitter.