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F1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix called off

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Posted on May 17, 2023 Tags:

Severe weather and deadly floods lash Northern Italy

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix has been called off due to severe flooding in northern Italy.

The region has been inundated by heavy rain for the second time this month, leading to widespread flooding in Imola and nearby towns, blocking road and rail access through the Emilia-Romagna region.

Report courtesy Fox Sports

On Wednesday local authorities confirmed five people had died. At least two more are still missing.

“The Formula 1 community wants to send its thoughts to the people and communities affected by the recent events in the Emilia-Romagna region,” F1 said in a statement.

“We also want to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services who are doing everything they can to help those in need.

“Following discussions between Formula 1, the president of the FIA, the competent authorities, including the relevant ministers, the president of the Automobile Club of Italy, the president of Emilia-Romagna region, the mayor of the city and the promoter, the decision has been taken not to proceed with the grand prix weekend in Imola

“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.”

Tributes Pour In

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, who was born in Imola, paid tribute to the efforts of those helping to restore order to the area.

“It is such a tragedy to see what has happened to Imola and Emilia-Romagna, the town and region that I grew up in,” he said. “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 on 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.”

Entire area under Red Alert

The entire area is on red alert, the maximum level for severe weather conditions, and will remain at the elevated level until at least Friday night. Rain is expected to continue through the week and into the weekend.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister had earlier on Wednesday called for the race to be postponed following meetings with local associations to focus efforts on recovery.

Faenza, home of the AlphaTauri team, has emerged as one of the worst-hit towns, with parked cars completely submerged by water rising through the streets.

Several Alpine mechanics had to be relocated from their hotels overnight owing to building damage in Imola.

Though F1 personnel have been banned from travelling to the circuit, photos appear to suggest the track itself is largely undamaged, though the paddock area is underwater.

The circuit precinct sits on the southern bank of the Santerno River, which has risen considerably in the last two weeks, and there is concern the sustained high water level has weakened the embankments, which could lead to further flooding and landslides.

Imola’s cancellation is the second of the season, following China’s withdrawal from the calendar with COVID-19 concerns, and reduces the schedule to 22 rounds.

There have been suggestions that the sport would look into rescheduling the race later in the year, though that would appear unlikely considering the packed calendar.

The season will resume next week with the Monaco Grand Prix.

ACM’s earlier post

I WOKE UP TODAY to the ABC reporting Formula One personnel were forced to evacuate the Imola circuit – where this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is scheduled – due to fears of flooding.

Fortunately cars are not due to be on track until Friday, with Practice 1 scheduled for 19:30, Western Standard Time, when less rain is forecast. Saturday’s Practice 3 and Qualy are looking dodgy, though.

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola circuit turned 70 this year and, not surprisingly, is a recognised “old school track” – narrower than many modern ones, making overtaking is particularly challenging. But it frequently delivers spectacular racing, set in the gorgeous Italian countryside.

This year F1 has introduced a number of changes to its race format, and the 2023 Made in Italy and the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is no exception.

After Miami, the championship is delicately poised with Max Verstappen just ahead of Mexican teammate Serio Perez, with the wily and rejuvenated Spaniard Fernando Alonzo hot on their hammers.

Primed to strike

Meanwhile newbie Oscar Piastri and his McLaren mate Lando Norris are desperate for improvement at Imola.

“We’ve done a full review of Miami and taken as many learnings as possible into the upcoming weekend,” he said. “I’ve been back at the factory with the engineers and on the [simulator] to ensure I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

We’re a quarter way through the season, and the young Aussie has only four points of McLaren’s total of 14 from the opening five races, following his eighth in hometown Melbourne. He and Lando are locked in a battle for fifth in the all-important constructors’ championship, as the British team continues its struggle to get back to where it once was.

Remember, constructors is where the money is. Years back one point equated to US$1m. I have no doubt it’s now way ahead of that figure.

The Alternative Tyre Allocation 

A new qualifying format is being tested during the Imola weekend. In each of the three qualifying sessions, teams are required to use only one type of compound: in Q1 the hards, in Q2 the mediums and in Q3 the softs.  

The so-called “Alternative Tyre Allocation” (ATA) will make it possible to reduce the number of sets of dry-weather tyres supplied by Pirelli to 11, compared to 13 per car on race weekends where an F1 Sprint is not held. These will be divided into three hard, four medium and four soft. The number of sets of wet tyres remains unchanged: four sets of Cinturato Green intermediate and three sets of Cinturato Blue full wet.  

Each driver will have a total of seven sets of tyres available for Sunday’s race, including at least one of each of the mandatory compounds: hard and medium, as usual. Of the remaining four sets available, one will be returned after FP1, one after FP2, and two after FP3.

The asphalt, despite having been re-laid several years ago, is moderately abrasive on tyres. The track is smooth and lateral and longitudinal forces are balanced. The downforce and the evolution of the track are also average.

Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

In 2022 Imola was held on the penultimate weekend of April, a month earlier than this season: theoretically, there should be higher temperatures, but latest outlook is for rain during Saturday’s qualifying and weekend forecasts that barely exceed 20°C.

Despite summer just around the corner, early reports are heavy rain has led to rising water levels in a nearby river to the Imola circuit, in Italy’s north.

Images and video on social media showed the swollen waters churning past the circuit, with some standing water in the paddock.

At this stage, Saturday’s Practice 3 and Qualy look to be interesting!

Tyre Guru ready for no tyre warmers

“The first European round of the 2023 season features two important innovations in terms of tyres, both aimed at improving the environmental sustainability of our sport. “The first centres around qualifying: at Imola Pirelli is testing a new regulation that requires teams to use a different type of compound for each of the three sessions, with the hards fitted for Q1, the mediums for Q2, and the softs for Q3. “This means a reduction – from 13 to 11 – of the sets of dry tyres that each driver has available for the entire event, therefore decreasing the environmental impact generated by the production and transport of the tyres. “Then, with the same aim, 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.”

MARIO ISOLA – Pirelli Motorsport Director

The Tyres on Track

•             Pirelli has opted to bring its softer range of compounds to the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, which means the C3 P Zero White hard), the C4 Yellow medium and the C5 Red soft) are made available to teams throughout the weekend.

The Imola circuit is the second on the 2023 calendar – after Baku – to feature the three softest tyre compounds.

According to Mario Isola, the greater softness of the compounds could open up more racing strategies.

Imola is traditionally a one-stop race but with a trio of tyres that are likely to degrade less than those used in the past, the teams will have more alternatives.

Isola, Italy – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

May 19-21 (WST)

Practice 1 Friday – 19:30 Practice 2 – 23:00

Practice 3 Saturday – 18:30 Qualifying – 22:00

Race Sunday – 21:00

Next up: Monaco the Magnificent – Circuit de Monaco, May 26-28.

The Pirelli company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

In case you’re wondering?

Image Daniel

Daniel Ricciardo – back where he belongs! Image courtesy Dan Mullan/Getty Images.

Daniel Ricciardo will get his first drive in Red Bull’s all-powerful RB19 in July, five years after he first climbed behind the wheels of the stunning RB14.

Since he departed McLaren to make way for fellow countryman Oscar Piastri, Daniel’s driving time has been in the simulator, definitely not the same as the real thing.

Now it’s time for reality to kick in for the loveable Perth superstar as he is destined for the real thing soon after the July British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.

He’ll renew his passion for real in a Pirelli tyre test at the legendary English circuit following the race.

“I’ve been in the simulator, but I will drive the RB19 in July after the Silverstone race – I’m getting a Pirelli test,” Ricciardo said in Miami. “Then maybe I’ll get another one after Monza as well in September. A couple of months away but I’ll get to feel what it’s like.”

Since those heady RB years, Daniel Ricciardo has driven for Renault and McLaren, and now is firmly ensconced back home as the team’s third driver.

The Aussie is also poised to pilot a Red Bull F1 car around the famed German Nordschleife in September, although we’re not sure yet what model he’ll be driving.

The RB19 currently has won every race of the 2023 F1 Grand Prix season and is a far cry from the early model Daniel’s used to.

But he’s quick to tell us that even in the sim the 19 felt familiar to him.

“I’m certainly excited to drive a fast car, but also a car that maybe still feels familiar for me – it does a little bit in the sim. But I’m just excited to drive again and to just try to remind a team obviously I once had a lot of success with that I can still turn a fast lap.

“I’m definitely still in a really good place – I’m very happy with this [his reserve duties]. Does it mean that I’m happy doing this for the next two or three years? Probably not. But I think for this year it’s certainly a good thing for me.

“Right now, I do want to get back on the grid next year. I do feel like there’s certainly some unfinished business. I’m staying like in the loop and staying prepared and whatever!”

Aussie Jack Doohan sits back in 13th on 24 points in the F2 world standings, after as horror race in Miami.

Théo Pourchaire arrives at Imola at the top of the F2 drivers’ standings with 65 points. The Frenchman, driving for ART Grand Prix, is only three points clear of Prema Racing’s Frederik Vesti and will be aiming for a strong weekend to ensure his championship advantage remains intact. Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS) is third with 58 points, ahead of another Prema Racing driver, Oliver Bearman with 41 points. The Imola round comes after a test session held at Barcelona in Spain.

After the race weekend in Melbourne, F3 returns to action for the fourth round of the season. Leading the drivers’ standings is Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto with 58 points, with Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) chasing him, 20 points away. Behind the top two is Dino Beganovic of Prema Racing who is level on 28 points with the Italian Gabriele Minì of Hitech Pulse-Eight.

Supercars Launches Gen3 on Tassie

Repco Supercars Championship star Cam Waters has circled this weekend’s NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint as a prime opportunity to get his championship challenge back on track, with three races scheduled for this weekend’s event at Symons Plains, just outside Launceston.

Melbourne-based Waters won the opening race of the 2023 Supercars season on the streets of Newcastle, but the Tickford Racing pilot has yet to return to the podium in what has been and up and down start to his campaign, where he currently sits seventh in the standings.

MA cops battering over Finke

Motorsport Australia copper quite a pummeling

Jordan scores double podium in UK

It was a great weekend for Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver Jordan Love with a double class podium to begin his Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup – Powered by AWS campaign at Brands Hatch.

The Perth driver teamed up with Frank Bird to pilot the #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Haupt Racing Team, in the Silver Cup classification, qualifying an impressive P2 in class for the opening race and P3 for Sunday’s second race.

A great performance in the opener saw the #77 car cross the finish line in P3 to secure a podium finish.

It was an even better Sunday as a top effort from both drivers saw them finish first in class, before a 10 second time penalty for contact with a rival car relegated them to P2.

Despite the penalty, they finished just one second behind the class winners after 41 laps of the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit, allowing them to step up to the podium for the second time.

Jordan now sits second in the drivers standings following the season opener.

The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup is the weekend of July 15th, and will see Jordan travel to Misano, Italy.

Jordan, right, with co-pilot Frank Bird.

•             The young gun’s next race is this weekend’s prestigious ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring – for Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein.

Rally Western Australia

19-May-2023 To 21-May-2023

RallyWA – Round 2 – Forest Rally



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