In the round-up: Inclement weather is causing problems for Formula 1 in Europe and IndyCar in the USA.
Imola paddock evacuated due to flood risk
Although Formula 1 has already said it plans to go ahead with this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola amid severe weather warnings in the region, there is now a possibility that the decision could be taken out of its hands.
On Tuesday the Santerno river which runs alongside the track burst its banks, and the water level was actually higher than the paddock. Perimeter barriers prevented that water from flowing down into the paddock, but rain still left some work areas surrounded by water and the track was evacuated in the afternoon. At the time of writing, with the situation regarding the river being monitored, paddock personnel have been told they will not be allowed back into the track first thing on Wednesday morning.
Two Alpine team members had to change hotels in Imola due to the heavy rain, but the majority of their staff located elsewhere were unaffected.
The series expects conditions will begin to improve tomorrow and is confident the race weekend will be able to go ahead.
Indy 500 practice put on hold due to rain
Drivers sat tight throughout the day as rain fell and then eased at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The start time for second practice went by and finally confirmation came that “today’s on-track activity has been cancelled”.
IndyCar also confirmed a revision to today’s schedule, with a rookie orientation session for the debuting Abel Motorsports team and its driver RC Enerson taking place at 10:15am ahead of a six-hour practice session for the whole field starting at 12pm.
Ocon: “We can take the fight to the top teams”
After an Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend in which Alpine were far from the top ten in qualifying, the sprint race and the grand prix itself, company CEO Laurent Rossi criticised his team and made it clear improvements had to happen.
The response was immediate, as at next weekend’s Miami Grand Prix the team’s cars qualified fifth and eighth, then finished eighth and ninth. Heading to Imola there is confidence within the team that a repeat of Miami is now more likely than a repeat of Baku.
“I think we are still not quite where we’d like to be but there are signs that we can take the fight to the top teams and challenge for higher positions up the grid,” said Esteban Ocon, whose ninth place in Miami was only his second points finish of the season.
“The upcoming triple-header will be a good test for us to show what we can do and we must target extracting maximum performance.”
Alpine conduct Pirelli tyre test
Pirelli’s latest F1 tyre test took place last weekend at Paul Ricard, with Alpine called up to help develop a future wet compound tyre. Both of the team’s drivers were in action, and Pierre Gasly said the running was as useful for the Alpine as it was for the tyre supplier.
“That was a productive day, some interesting learning for us and Pirelli and now I’m ready to go to Imola feeling determined for a good weekend where points is our aim,” he said.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Motor racing links of interest:
Asmer: Juri Vips could have a long career in IndyCar (ERR)
'The president of the Estonian Motor Sports Association, Toivo Asmer, said on the Vikerraadio programme 'Sports Sunday' that the former Formula 2 driver Jüri Vips, who was removed from the Red Bull Junior Team last year, has not disappeared and can continue his career in IndyCar.'
Blood, sweat and gears: Abel's '500' dream becoming reality (IndyCar)
'Back at the garage area at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a silence drowns out an area once buzzing with energy and the winding of air tools. Then comes the occasional clattering sound off in the distance from one of the bays. There is no sign above the door, only red banners hanging on the back wall as a handful of members dance around a Dallara chassis with wrenches and screwdrivers in hand. This is Abel Motorsports.'
Is this Europe’s most eligible bachelor? (The Times - subscription required)
'History denied him an archduchy, but Ferdinand Habsburg is motor racing royalty. His family don’t need their empire back, he tells Oliver Moody,'
Stanek hopes testing 'new items' lead to F2 performance improvement (Formula Scout)
'Roman Stanek’s rookie Formula 2 season has got off to a difficult start. Notwithstanding, the Trident driver is not giving up. He has scored a singular point in the first eight races of 2023, primarily held on temporary circuits, and hopes to turn around his fortunes as the series enter the European tour.'
Renault's sporty Alpine brand eyeing all-electric US launch by 2028 (Motortrend)
'Renault CEO Luca de Meo has confirmed the company is looking to make a return to the United States, most probably with its sporty sub-brand Alpine, and possibly by 2027 or 2028.'
Gian Carlo Minardi: 'Imola already has 170,000 tickets sold' (Minardi)
'Last week Imola president Gian Carlo Minardi revealed 'we have already sold more than 170,000 tickets for the three days (30,000 more than 2022).''
We always endeavour to credit original sources. If you have a tip for a link relating to single-seater motorsport to feature in the next RaceFans round-up please send it to us via the contact form.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
I really hope all the people who live in the Emilia-Romagna region stay safe in the next few days🙏
— 角田裕毅/Yuki Tsunoda (@yukitsunoda07) May 16, 2023
people’s home can and probably are destroyed right now.
We are fortunate enough to watch F1, there will always be next race… but for some people there might not even be their home tomorrow.
We are in no real position to complain if we can’t watch a race, In my opinion.
— Brendon Leigh (@BrendonLeigh72) May 16, 2023
Man, I'm not sure I know how to explain this one:@IndyCar averaged an audience of 715,000 viewers for Saturday afternoon's GMR Grand Prix on NBC, well down from last year's (998,000).
Both don't include NBC's digital/Peacock audience.
— Nathan Brown (@By_NathanBrown) May 16, 2023
🚨 INDY 500 Special helmet reveal 🚨
This year I’m going “John Player Special Ronnie Peterson” inspired colours and design.
The black with sparkles and gold chrome looks amazing 🔥🤩.
The helmet is designed by @seanbulldesign and painted by Corby Concepts #ME8 #INDY500 pic.twitter.com/jNonu0mh7K
— Marcus Ericsson (@Ericsson_Marcus) May 16, 2023
Almost that time @TakumaSatoRacer! Check out the No. 11 @Deloitte #Indy500 livery 👀 pic.twitter.com/mMcBYBdQYq
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) May 16, 2023
Kids who grew up in the 90’s will appreciate a few of the small details. Can you pick them all out? 😎 this #Indy500 helmet is one of my favorites! @BellRacingHQ pic.twitter.com/sWWKt105lt
— Conor Daly (@ConorDaly22) May 16, 2023
Honestly, way tougher being here with cars imminently on track than I expected. Caught me off-guard.
AMAZING to have so many race fans come up to chat and see so many familiar faces, and I’ve now taken my physical, so, when the time comes, I’m ready to f***in’ go. 😎 pic.twitter.com/ckI2lJO154
— JR Hildebrand (@JRHildebrand) May 16, 2023
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
- Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory
Comment of the day
After four years of construction, Hungary’s new Balaton Park circuit has opened. The 16-turn layout has been built to the standard required to host F1 races, but has opted instead to apply for a second tier FIA Grade 2 licence, and pictures of the new venue have not really left much of a positive impression on RaceFans readers.
Why a completely flat track? Elevation changes make a circuit so much better. I’m tired of the flatness of so many tracks, most of them completely expendable.
Happy birthday to Ponzonha and Tenerifeman!
On this day in motorsport
- 20 years ago today Michael Schumacher took pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix at the A1-Ring (now known as the Red Bull Ring)
14 comments on “Rain disrupts F1 preparations at Imola and washes out Indianapolis 500 practice”
17th May 2023, 0:36
“Although Formula 1 has already said it plans to go ahead with this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix… there is now a possibility that the decision could be taken out of its hands”
“The series expects conditions will begin to improve tomorrow and is confident the race weekend will be able to go ahead”
Jim from US (@jimfromus)
17th May 2023, 1:39
Rock-paper-scissors to determine the grid. One lap behind the safety car. Call it a race, full points. Don’t refund the fans because they saw a race.
17th May 2023, 7:20
@jimfromus No Liberty Media will buy rights to sunshine to every racing weekend and raise the prices by 2x because they can promise a race in every raceweek. To all those critiques they will say F1 has to keep up with the modern times and even though rain races were a cool thing in the past they are now behind us. Let us all enjoy sunshine and racing!
17th May 2023, 10:55
I want my sprinklers back!
17th May 2023, 10:13
In case of no qualifying session, the points standings should determine the grid.
Other than that I agree 100% with you proposition. I would see it this way:
– a parade lap as the quali + podium celebration with medals
– a parade lap as the race + podium celebration with trophies, champagne and a performance by a local pop group
They could actually throw in a mandatory pit-stop during the parade race lap to make the spectacle even greater and mix it up for the fans.
17th May 2023, 6:20
I thought all given team members would stay in the same hotel on race weekends, but apparently not or not always this way if only two Alpine members went separately from others in the same team.
Alpine should be able to take the fight to top teams, but unfortunately, they never seem to achieve this in reality, which is why I’m skeptical.
I couldn’t agree more with Brendon Leigh.
Nice helmet designs, especially Connor Daly’s.
17th May 2023, 9:48
These were Alpine’s “set up ” team.
The main team members, mechanics and engineers are in a different hotel in a nearby town, and at the moment are unaffected.
17th May 2023, 7:34
Those flood barriers can be great and keep the paddock from flooding, but that water still has to go somewhere. Brendon Leigh is right in that in contrast to homes, infrastructure and lives, F1 is very trivial.
If the race can’t go ahead, rather than race cars, with the huge manpower the F1 circus has it’d be nice to see it chip in and help. I remember Carlisle in the north of England flooding and the football team helping evacuate residents, and with no pitch to play on the players worked on the clean up instead.
F1 has three races on the bounce so I can’t see that happening. But it’d be nice if F1 turns it’s eyes towards helping. Perhaps it will in some way.
Though Yuki might have to get a snorkel.
Red Andy (@red-andy)
17th May 2023, 8:35
Italian F1 journalist Giuliano Duchessa is saying that there will be “an important update” later this afternoon about the Grand Prix weekend.
Apparently the support race paddock is currently flooded and teams have been told to stay away from the circuit today.
At this stage I wouldn’t be surprised if the race were to be cancelled.
17th May 2023, 12:06
There’s zero chance of the race taking place this weekend. It’s time for F1 to cancel it and focus on helping the town. Sending hundreds of people into a dangerous flood zone where it’s impossible to race is just a pointless and dangerous waste of money.
Red Andy (@red-andy)
17th May 2023, 12:18
Cancellation has just been announced.
17th May 2023, 12:22
Good news. Even better if they return the hosting fee for remediation.
17th May 2023, 11:14
Couldn’t agree more with Brendon Leigh. F1, for the moment, has to be on the backburner until the much more serious situation is resolved. I personally wouldn’t mind too much if the race was cancelled, some things are just more important at the moment.
Sato’s livery is alright, although I still love the retro McLaren liveries. Ericsson’s Peterson helmet is nice though.
Regarding Nathan Brown’s comment, I also don’t really understand why viewing figures (I’m assuming it’s US only) were down so much. For what it’s worth, as a European viewer, my attention was split between the Indycar race and Eurovision :-)
17th May 2023, 12:03
Absolutely zero chance the race is taking place this weekend. The town is completely under water and more is predicted. It’s time for F1 to announce the race is off and put priority onto saving people / putting less in danger than trying to stage a washout which will never happen. Spa was a farce, this is life threatening. Hopefully teams will make a stand on safety if F1 isn’t going to do anything.
Comments are closed.