Extreme weather warnings for Imola ahead of Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Mark Scott
Valtteri Bottas' Alfa Romeo heads a train of cars. Imola April 2022.

Valtteri Bottas' Alfa Romeo heads a train of cars during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola April 2022.

Imola is continuing to be bombarded with rain as the Italian Met Office issued new flood and landslide warnings for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The rain has been relentless in northern Italy of late and has already forced hundreds to evacuate from their homes, whilst two people have sadly passed away as a result of the extreme weather.

And there is no let-up this week either with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix fast approaching this weekend.

The latest weather models show that Imola is going to be subject to excessive rainfall in the next 24-48 hours with as much as 100mm falling up until Wednesday night.

The severe weather could disrupt the team’s initial set-up plans ahead of the first leg of a busy triple-header, which will also include visits to Monaco and Barcelona.

But, with the Imola circuit so far escaping the damage caused by this brutal weather, the race weekend is firmly expected to go ahead as planned.

“We confirm that, at the moment, the storms that hit our region this week haven’t caused any disruption to our track and to the event,” a spokesperson told PlanetF1.com last week.

Rain is going to linger, though, throughout the rest of the week with a possibility of lighter showers on Thursday and Friday for media day and the first practice sessions respectively.

More unsettled weather is in store for qualifying and there is even a chance of thunderstorms on race day.

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The forecast could scupper the plans to trial a new qualifying tyre format at Imola with only the hard tyres due to be used in Q1, the mediums in Q2, and then finally the softs in Q3. It could well be a case of having to use the intermediates and full wets instead.

On the subject of the wet tyres, a new full wet tyre compound will be introduced this weekend.

Pirelli’s motorsport director, Mario Isola, confirmed: “Starting from this grand prix, a new compound of full wet tyre will be introduced which will not require the use of tyre warmers beforehand.

“Track tests have shown even better performance than the previous Cinturato Blue full wet, even without the electric heating of the tyre.

“The result of studies carried out by Pirelli, it is the first concrete step towards the use of dry tyres without preheating.”