The 2024 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will be held at Imola

Emilia-Romagna GP to go ahead despite warnings due to heavy rain this week

2023 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weather

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The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is expected to go ahead despite a severe weather warning being issued ahead of the race due to the possibility of flooding.

The area has already been hit by weeks of floods and extreme conditions. Every day this week Italy’s civil defence service has issued weather alerts for the region of northern Italy which is home to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

The highest possible weather warning – a red alert – has been put out for tomorrow with “floods, landslides and instability” expected to the west and north of the town of Imola where the grand prix is held.

The heavy rain has led to warnings that rivers in the area may burst their banks. The Santerno river flows nearby the Imola track and its paddock where the Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams will be based.

Weather reports indicate the conditions will not worsen later in the week. F1 is committed to going ahead with its plans to race but is aware that such extreme wet weather could pose some organisational difficulties.

Last year Imola had the lowest ambient temperature and lowest track temperature of any F1 race, and it is set to be the coolest race of the 2023 season so far. The FIA’s own weather report (which will not be updated until an hour before the first practice session on Friday) anticipates the first few days in the paddock to be gusty and wet, but for conditions to be calmer by the time drivers take to the track.

Friday could be as cool as 11C but if the rain clouds move away then it could be as warm as 17C when first practice it scheduled to start at 12:30pm. There is a 40% chance of rain, however, and potentially some 20kph winds too.

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Similar temperatures are expected for third practice and qualifying on Saturday. Warmer conditions are expected in the afternoon but the risk of rain during qualifying remains.

A sunny morning means the track temperature should be at its highest when it comes to the race on Sunday, and the wind will continue to ease. However that also means any rainclouds which drift in are unlikely to blow away quickly.

NB. Includes San Marino Grand Prix 2005-06

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For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on RaceFans Live and the RaceFans Twitter account.

2023 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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37 comments on “Emilia-Romagna GP to go ahead despite warnings due to heavy rain this week”

  1. Maybe the Mercedes canal barge design will finally show its worth.

    1. Post of the day :)

      1. Taking the art of porpoising up a notch.

  2. There always has to be one and today it is you. Why mock Merc when they are 3rd in the standings? Why not Ferrari or Haas or some other team?

    1. Touchy. Because even their drivers intensely dislike the car? And if they are third, that’s largely down to those drivers.

    2. “mock” cuz they can’t go “Mach”?

    3. Because, unlike Ferrari or Haas, Mercedes’ struggles are extremely funny.

      1. @red-andy using the flood events to make jokes about Mercedes is perhaps rather less amusing when you realise that this article has not mentioned that these same floods have also killed two people and around 500 people have already seen their homes destroyed due to a combination of flooding and landslides triggered by that rain.

        Furthermore, it has also been confirmed that, given the rapidly rising level of the Santerno river, the local authorities have ordered an emergency evacuation of the circuit due to the potential risk to life. In light of the loss of life and the destruction being caused by the floods, it comes across as disrespectful to ignore and trivialise the losses of those in the area by treating those floods as the punchline to a joke.

        1. Ethics regarding jokes on flooding aside, Mercedes have been touting this GP as the one where they bring their “game-changing” upgrades, so the joke is more of a topical nature rather than Mercedes-bashing IMO.

        2. Well now you mention it very self-righteously, I guess so anon. Though as you said, the article didn’t mention that fact. The joke was in reference to the ‘heavy rain’.

        3. Aren’t all those developments something that emerged only AFTER this article though Anon?

          1. @bascb no – that information was already being reported before this article was posted.

          2. Maybe you saw it anon, but not necessarily everyone else, especially those living outside Europe where the news may not be reported. You could have made the observation without the snide moralism – and said so directly in response to my post, instead of lurking behind your anonymous ‘anon’ as usual and replying indirectly in another post.

  3. Isn’t this the race where they’re going into Q1 in qualifying only able to use hard tyres? This could be a very interesting session if they end up having to use those tyres in very cold and green conditions.

    1. @slowmo Yes, but possibly no slick running in qualifying anyway, which would postpone the intended experiment for a later event. Nevertheless, hard compound on a dry, cold, & green track would be interesting.

      1. @jerejj how many times have you seen a predicted wet weekend ever materialise in F1. F1 makes a mockery of weather forecasters constantly. I kind of hope we get a dry qualifying to see the new format and then a wet/drying race.

        1. @slowmo Sometimes, yes, sometimes, not, but I also hope for a fully dry qualifying as always for absolute lap time, but in this case, also for the tyre compound experiment.
          Race also preferably dry, but slightly more indifferent as long as any possible rain would only be light.

  4. The Santerno river flows nearby the Imola track and its paddock

    Blimey, you’re not joking, I’ve just looked at a map and the Santerno hugs the North side of the track from Tosa to Rivazza! Can easily see that if it overflows, the track and the paddock are right in the firing line.

    1. Maybe they can build a barrier for the river with all the full wet tyres they’ll not be using this weekend given how dire they are.

      1. Finally wet tyres might became useful for other thing than driving behind the Safety Car, good idea.

    2. That was the main reason the tamburello corner didn’t have a bigger run of, there wasn’t any space left due to the river.

  5. The race will definitely go ahead in any case, even if this meant mostly running behind the SC.
    Full cancellation because of rain is highly unlikely unless lightning strikes in the circuit vicinity or the track gets properly flooded.

      1. @Simon You again.

  6. We do not want deluge.
    We do not want “Rain stops play”

    We want scattered, intermittent, showers that cause the drivers, and the team strategists, to be constantly thinking about and updating their game plans.

    That’s what I want anyway :)

    1. @nullapax sounds good to me but unfortunately we cannot order the weather.

      Well F1 has not quite gotten to the stage of watering the circuits….yet. Give Liberty time though.

    2. Actually I want full wet races, races like the ones you said are also interesting, I think back about indianapolis 2003, which I really liked and it was also an important race for the championship, which was coming towards the end, but I prefer stuff like spain 1996, monaco 1997, spa 1997, spa 1998, fuji 2008, suzuka 2014 (nothing to do with bianchi, I’m talking exclusively about the rain), interlagos 2016, I don’t think we ever had seriously wet conditions in which they raced since then but I’ll throw in monza 2017 quali as well, that was very wet!

      1. I’m struggling to remember a fully wet race that ran uninterrupted. I feel like it should be possible but they throw a safety car at the drop of a hat so I am not holding my breath.

        If anyone has been watching the Giro (cycling) then you know the weather in Italy has been awful for the last few days.

  7. They are really not going to race in the rain anymore are they? I remember some real downpours at Imola. Prost even went off on the pace lap in ’91. At least we will see some nose to tail running albeit behind the pace car.

    1. @darryn the amount of rain that is currently falling in the area is significantly more extreme than those historical events.

      The latest records indicate that there are parts of Emilia Romagna where they’ve been seeing around 50mm of rain in places over a 12 hour period yesterday, with the next 24 hours expected to see between 50 – 100mm of rain (and over 100mm in the more mountainous regions, which is the main source of water for the Santerno). To put those figures into context, the normal total monthly rainfall for that region is about 45mm.

      1. Fair enough. I live in the past as far as F1 goes.

  8. Circuit was closed and evacuated today due to the severe risk of flooding apparently.

  9. @darryn I don’t think it would be possible to race if the track becomes part of the river which apparently is a realistic possibility right now.

    This was the paddock today.

    And while you can say thats not the track remember that surrounding roads are also flooded like this which makes it hard/impossible for emergency vehicles to get to/from the circuit if needed and road access for a road ambulance has to be available incase the medical helicopter can’t fly or there’s transportation for multiple people required.

    1. Yeah, I saw pictures of what the nearby towns look like , with water at about 2-3 m in some streets. Hard to imagine they can get everyone in and out of the track even if they do it without most spectators, cancel the support races (the support paddock is flooded by about half a meter of water) etc.
      Surely even if helicopters can fly, where would they fly to?
      Not to mention it would be a horrible idea IMO to go racing at this place and time with what is going on. I get corporate “needs”, but right now, it would be most beneficial to give the airtime to do some small scale event to support help for the region, maybe install a phone bank where drivers and prominents from the paddock take donation calls for money or something like that.

  10. Surely the emergency services could be put to better use this weekend than waiting for racing drivers to crash.

  11. playstation361
    17th May 2023, 3:46

    I hope the excitement is intact and there is more sound coming to dance.

  12. Señor Sjon
    17th May 2023, 10:36

    Get the Bridgestone inters and we could race. ;)

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