F1 Drivers Back Imola Cancellation | Hamilton: Safety Comes First
Formula One racing has always been a thrilling and dangerous sport, but when it comes to the safety of drivers and fans, should there be a limit to the risks that are taken? The recent cancellation of the Imola race has reignited the debate over what should take priority: the excitement of the race or the safety of those involved. The decision to cancel the upcoming Formula One race at Imola in April is receiving strong support from the drivers, with world champion and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton leading the charge in carrying the message.
The cancellation of the race will be a big disappointment for the team behind the Imola track as they were preparing to host their first F1 race after 14 years. The venue has seen many famous racers such as Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, and even Lewis Hamilton himself. The cancellation also means a great loss of revenue for the circuit, where teams and investors had already invested in the infrastructure and other related equipment.
Reasons Behind the Cancellation
The decision to cancel the Imola Grand Prix came after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi declared a nine-day lockdown in Italy amid the rising Covid-19 cases. Italy was among the worst-hit countries last year due to the pandemic and the situation worsened in recent weeks, prompting the government to take the drastic step of lockdown.
On Wednesday, Italian officials verified that the devastating flooding occurring in Emilia Romagna had resulted in at least eight tragic fatalities. Moreover, the situation compelled thousands of individuals to abandon their homes. The public reaction to the announcement was one of solidarity, with numerous drivers and squads communicating their prayers and backing to the local citizens via social media.
Hamilton Emphasizes Safety as a Priority
Hamilton and the other drivers strongly backed the unanimous decision of the FIA last week to call off the race due to the threat posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The British driver said safety had to come first and that the health of the public, the teams, the FIA, and Formula 1 had to be the top priority in all decisions. Hamilton also said the drivers' priority was "to ensure that we can plan and prepare for the return of Formula 1 so we can put on some exciting racing as soon as possible."
Hamilton tweeted “Staying safe must come first. It is not the news you want to hear, but it is the right decision for now.” Spots such as Imola have been major attractions for F1 teams and drivers in the past and their absence will be a great loss to the fans.
Last year, Hamilton already made his preference for Imola known, saying it was one of his favorite tracks. "I think it is going to be a great one. I hope to be back there soon. We have missed the opportunity to race there this year but hopefully we can make it back there soon," he had said.
Albon, Sainz Share Hamilton's Views
Alexander Albon and Carlos Sainz, who both race for Ferrari-powered teams, had similar sentiments. Albon said he agreed with the decision to cancel the Imola race and expressed concern about the spread of the virus and the risk posed to the public. He also said there was a need to plan and prepare for the safe return of racing.
Sainz said he understood the tough decision made by Formula One and the FIA and had faith that both organizations would come up with a plan to get the sport back on track. But now, everyone is concerned about the safety comes first and are agree to cancel the race.
Vettel, Gasly, and Ricciardo Support Cancellation
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing's Pierre Gasly, and Renault's Daniel Ricciardo also supported the decision to cancel the Imola race. Vettel said, "It's important that Formula 1 is able to act quickly and decisively in the face of such big decisions."
Gasly said “I trust in the FIA and Formula 1's expertise and experience. This decision shows the commitment to the safety of everyone involved, and with such a huge event like this, safety always comes first.” Ricciardo echoed similar views, saying “It’s a tough call for everyone involved, but prioritizing safety is always the right move.”
Support from Other Drivers
Other F1 racers have also expressed their regret over the cancellation of the Imola race, with some of them voicing their concerns over the current pandemic situation. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said that safety comes first and “We need to take every precaution to keep people safe during this difficult time”.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also expressed his disappointment saying that Imola was a track with a lot of history, but he did understand the need to ensure safety at the time.
Event Cancellation Highlights Drivers' Resolve to Weather Storm
The decision to cancel the Imola race shows the drivers' resolve to weather the storm created by the Coronavirus pandemic and flood. Many sporting events have been canceled or postponed, and Formula One has taken a hit, but the drivers have remained committed to getting racing back on track as safely as possible and to providing exciting races for the fans. The unanimous decision of the drivers entirely reflects this commitment and will help ensure that the 2021 season starts safely and successfully. Moreover, the cancellation means that the original 24-race of Formula 1 schedule for 2023 could now be minimized to 22 with the Chinese Grand Prix, which was slated for April will not able to hold due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
In a nutshell, the cancellation of the Imola Grand Prix highlights the importance of safety and the need to adhere to the guidelines issued to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. The support of F1 drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and other racers is illustrative of their concern for those involved in the event as well as the spectators. Despite the unfortunate news, F1 teams and fans can hope to see the race in a post-pandemic world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the reasons for F1 Drivers Back Imola Cancellation?
The decision to cancel the Imola Grand Prix came after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi declared a nine-day lockdown in Italy amid the rising Covid-19 cases. On Wednesday, Italian officials verified that the devastating flooding occurring in Emilia Romagna had resulted in at least eight tragic fatalities. This is why; Higher Authorities decided to cancel the F1 race.
What are the views of Hamilton about the cancellation of F1?
Hamilton tweeted “Staying safe must come first. It is not the news you want to hear, but it is the right decision for now.”
Is Imola F1 cancelled?
Yes, Higher Authorities have cancelled Imola F1 due to devastating flood occurring out there.