ITALY: In a gesture of solidarity, Formula 1 has announced a €1 million donation to the disaster relief fund in Emilia-Romagna following severe flooding that has wreaked havoc in the region.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled to allow emergency services to focus on aiding those affected by the catastrophe.
The area has been grappling with adverse weather conditions since the beginning of the month, leading to the Santerno River adjacent to the racetrack, bursting its banks and causing extensive damage to the paddock area.
Tragically, the situation is even graver in other parts of the region, with at least nine lives lost and thousands of residents evacuated from their homes.
Formula 1’s donation will be channelled through the Emilia-Romagna Region’s Agency for Territorial Safety and Civil Protection, matching the generous contribution made by Ferrari.
Moreover, Formula 1 management has redirected food and water for the Paddock Club, circuit facilities, and team/F1 hospitality to a food bank organization to aid those affected by the flooding.
Expressing his heartfelt concern for the region, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1, said that Emilia-Romagna is experiencing some of the saddest moments in its history.
He added that the situation in the region is terrible, but he firmly believes that the resilience and passion of the people will prevail through the crisis.
Domeniciali pledged support to the region and said Formula 1 management would do everything to support the affected people during this difficult time.
Formula 1 is not alone in its support, as Ferrari pledged an identical amount earlier in the week. AlphaTauri, based in the region, has urged people to contribute to relief funds, and their driver, Yuki Tsunoda, was spotted helping with the cleanup efforts.
The cancellation of the Grand Prix came after Italy issued its most severe red weather warnings due to the devastating floods and landslides that have ravaged parts of the region.
The officials prioritised the safety of fans, teams, and personnel following discussions between Formula 1, local authorities, and race organizers.
The organisation recognised the difficulties the towns and cities in the area were experiencing and decided it was inappropriate to put more pressure on the local government and emergency services during this trying time.
As the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix bows out this year, Formula 1’s compassionate donation and cancellation underscore the significance of supporting communities in times of crisis.
The racing world stands united in providing relief and aid, sending a powerful message of compassion and solidarity to those affected by the devastating floods in Emilia-Romagna.
Also Read: Precautionary Evacuation at Imola: Imminent Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Threatened by Severe Weather