Imola dropped from F1 2023 calendar as organisers fail to find new slot

Sam Cooper
Swollen Santerno River near the Imola track. Emilia-Romagna Italy, May 2023.

Rising water levels on the Santerno River near the Imola Circuit. Italy, May 2023.

PlanetF1.com understands the 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will not be rescheduled after it was cancelled earlier this year.

The race in Imola was called off during the build-up after heavy storms in the region left people stranded from their homes and took the lives of 17 residents.

Deciding that emergency services were better utilised elsewhere, F1 and the FIA in collaboration with the Italian government cancelled the race for that weekend, raising questions as to whether it was likely to return to the calendar later in the year.

The packed nature of the 2023 schedule meant that always seemed unlikely and PlanetF1.com understands that the sport’s organisers have decided against rescheduling it for later this year, meaning the current season will be made up of 22 races.

The news comes after feeder series Formula 2 and Formula 3 decided to drop the race from their schedules, taking them down to 13 and nine events respectively.

FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel said: “First, I am very sorry that we could not race to Imola this year, but obviously this was the right decision, and our thoughts are with those who have been affected.

“Since then, we have looked at several options, but ultimately, we have decided that we will not add a new venue to this year’s calendars. With a total of thirteen F2 rounds and nine F3 events, I believe we still have enough races to deliver two amazing and competitive seasons.”

At the time of the postponement, Formula 1 said the decision was taken as they were unable to guarantee the safety of the fans, the teams and F1 personnel.

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Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula 1, said: “It is such a tragedy to see what has happened to Imola and Emilia-Romagna, the town and region that I grew up in, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding and the families and communities affected.

“I want to express my gratitude and admiration for the incredible emergency services who are working tirelessly to help those who need help and alleviate the situation – they are heroes and the whole of Italy is proud of them.

“The decision that has been taken is the right one for everyone in the local communities and the F1 family as we need to ensure safety and not create extra burden for the authorities while they deal with this very awful situation.”