Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place on Sunday, May 21, as the sixth round of Formula One World Championship 2023, was cancelled, as confirmed by Formula 1 and the competent authorities on Wednesday, May 17.
The decision follows severe flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region, which effectively cancelled the long-awaited Grand Prix weekend at Imola.
F1 Imola 2023 Cancelled, And It Won’t Be Postponed
As confirmed by Formula 1, the severe flooding in Italy, which occurred days before Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2023 was supposed to take place, made hosting the race impossible due to safety concerns of the fans, personnel and drivers.
“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,” said Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula 1.
“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.”
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2023 will be rescheduled for later in the year due to the highly congested Formula One calendar. As a result, the 2023 schedule has already been reduced by two rounds.
Chinese Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place on April 16, was cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in the country, which effectively created a four-week gap between the Australian GP and Azerbaijan GP. This time out, the break won’t be as noticeable, with the next round (Monaco Grand Prix) scheduled to take place on May 28.
2023 F1 Title Race Is All But Finished
The cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2023 reduced the schedule to just 22 rounds, which is still plenty enough for the balance of power in the F1 title race to shift. However, according to the latest betting odds, it does seem highly unlikely that we’ll see any major surprises by the end of the season.
With 119 points and three victories to his name, Max Verstappen is the clear favourite to defend his F1 World Championship throne. The 25-year-old is priced at just 1.12 on the outright betting markets, which might not be too crazy – even though we’re just five rounds deep into the season.
His teammate, Sergio Perez, is priced (6.00) as the closest candidate to steal the crown from the Dutch driver, with Fernando Alonso (51.00) and Lewis Hamilton (51.00) the only two drivers priced at under triple digits.
We still have months to go before the new F1 world champions are officially announced, but based on what has happened over the first five rounds, it’s tough to doubt Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
Red Bull has won every single race to now, with Max Verstappen claiming the checkered flag in Bahrain, Australia, and Miami, while his teammate, Sergio Perez, won in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan. There were some close calls, with Fernando Alonso collecting three bronze medals and Lewis Hamilton finishing second in Australia, but the deeper we get into the season, the clearer it is that the Red Bull duo might be too strong to stop.
What’s Next For the Formula One 2023 Season?
The cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2023 will give F1 teams and drivers a bit of free time to rest and figure out where to improve ahead of the next round, which is slated for May 28 at Monaco.
The 2023 Monaco Grand Prix will now take over as the sixth round of the 2023 F1 season in what should be another fascinating race on Monaco streets. It will mark the 80th edition of the Monaco Grand Prix, which is notoriously difficult to win, but according to the current betting odds, all the eyes will be on Max Verstappen, who is billed as the man to beat.