The Formula One circus was thrown into chaos when the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix — the sixth round of the 2023 Formula One season — that was to be held in Imola on May 21 was cancelled due to heavy rainfall and flooding in Northern Italy.
After a double-header in Azerbaijan and Miami, the F1 circus was getting ready for a triple-header with races in Imola, Monaco and Barcelona.
However, extreme rainfall in the region in the early part of the week meant the area surrounding Imola came under water.
Even as team personnel and tv crew were arriving at the venue to set up the facilities trackside on May 17, F1 decided that going ahead with the race weekend was impossible after people were displaced and the whole region was severely affected. The personnel were soon forced to evacuate the track.
The resources needed to hold the race would have stretched the local government, which had to focus on relief and rehabilitation work.
F1, in a statement, said, “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. It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, in the world of two-wheeler racing,
MotoGP marked the 1000th race since the championship started in 1949 at the French Grand Prix held at Le Mans.
Italian Marco Bezzecchi took his second win in the premier class. He is just one point behind reigning champion and leader Francesco Bagnaia who had another non-finish in the main race after colliding with Maverick Viñales.
1000 for MotoGP: Marco Bezzecchi celebrates with his trophy on the podium after winning the MotoGP.
| Photo Credit: REUTERS
Baganaia, who has 94 points, was able to hold on to the championship lead thanks to finishing third in the sprint race on Saturday, but the reigning champion needs to keep an eye on his compatriot. Baganaia has now retired from two of the last three races and has only been able to stay in the lead thanks to his performances in the Saturday sprint events. He will quickly need to sort out his Sunday performances, as losing 25 points on a Sunday could soon bite him in his title defence.
With this win, Bezzecchi, who is only in his second year in the premier class of MotoGP, has shown that he is a serious title challenger.