What were supposed to be three celebrations for Scuderia Ferrari and its drivers with their respective home Grand Prixs turned into a bit of a disaster for the team. One race was canceled due to adverse weather conditions, and the Red Bull team showed their strength once again with Verstappen winning the Monaco GP. It didn’t excite the tifosi for the final race of the missed triple header. Let’s recap what has happened so far.
Imola: race cancelled amid devastating floods
The city of Imola and the Emilia Romagna region had everything ready for what was supposed to be the best Emilia Romagna Grand Prix ever. The installations granted by the municipality, thanks to funding from sponsor Qatar Airways, promised an upgrade to the fan zone with a rich schedule of events, including a track tour dedicated to ticket holders on Thursday. However, all of this was canceled due to heavy rains and the resulting landslides, disruptions on the train line, and flooding in various neighboring cities, leading to a disaster.
Despite the challenging conditions, some teams had already arrived in Bologna and subsequently Imola. But only to find themselves trapped in hotels serving as shelters for people who had lost everything, including their homes and cars. After ensuring everyone’s safety, they managed to return back.
Even the city hosting the headquarters of Alpha Tauri, Faenza, was severely affected, mobilizing mechanics and drivers like Yuki Tsunoda to lend a hand alongside volunteers in cleaning up the streets. We provide the link to the Civil Protection Agency of Emilia Romagna if you wish to contribute to the recovery of the affected areas.
As such, it becomes the first race in 1,084 World Championship Grands Prix to be to be canceled prior to cars taking to the track due to weather conditions. This decision was the only responsible choice, considering that organizing a significant international sporting event in the midst of a disaster-stricken area would be unthinkable.
F1’s cancelled Grands Prix in history
However, this is not the first Formula 1 Grand Prix being canceled. Throughout the history of the World Championship, there have been several occurrences where races were called off, including situations involving driver boycotts and political turmoil.
The 1955 Le Mans Disaster was a tragic event during the Le Mans 24 Hours race, where 80 spectators and driver Pierre Levegh lost their lives. As a consequence of this incident, the French, Swiss, Spanish, and German Grands Prix were all canceled for that particular season.
Similarly, the 1985 South African Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place at the Kyalami Circuit. It was canceled due to international pressure and the political situation concerning apartheid in South Africa.
Monaco: another record broken by Max Verstappen
On Sunday, Max Verstappen made another remarkable achievement, etching his name in Red Bull’s history books with his 39th win with Red Bull Racing. This victory propelled him past Sebastian Vettel, the now-retired German driver, as the driver with the most victories for the Austrian team.
Although Vettel still holds the lead with four championships compared to Verstappen’s two, the 25-year-old Dutchman has time ahead of him to equal or even surpass that record. With a third title seemingly within reach this season, Verstappen’s trajectory suggests further success lies in his future.
Sergio Perez, his closest contender and teammate, paid the price for pushing the limits on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo. Unfortunately, his attempt lasted only a few minutes as he crashed into the barriers and ending his hopes of securing pole position in the Principality. The mistake ruined his hopes of overtaking the Dutch driver in the standings, who, on the contrary, extended his lead over Perez.
Barcelona: last ferrari hope.
All hopes of Ferrari are pinned on Carlos Sainz’s home Grand Prix, where the team will bring further technical upgrades.
While there won’t be any new front suspension, Ferrari has planned a revised floor and visible changes to the bodywork. The rear suspension will also undergo interesting changes without affecting the geometry due to budget constraints.
The upgrades for Ferrari aim to increase both downforce and consistency in performance. However, the team acknowledges the criticality of introducing a significantly different car mid-season, as they already have their focus on next year’s vehicle, which is in the wind tunnel.
Barcelona’s race will provide crucial data for Ferrari and Mercedes, influencing future technical discussions and setting the direction for 2024.