Formula 1 has reshuffled the session times for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix out of respect for Prince Philip’s funeral service, which will take place on Saturday.
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away last week aged 99. His funeral has been scheduled for Saturday at St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, at 15:00 BST.
The final stages of qualifying for this weekend’s Formula 1 race would have clashed with the funeral, prompting F1 to bring forward its weekend schedule to avoid a conflict “out of respect”.
Qualifying will now take place at 13:00 BST (14:00 local time), which is an hour earlier than originally scheduled.
That also has an impact on all three practice sessions; FP1 will begin at 10:00, FP2 at 13:30, both on Friday, and FP3 at 10:00 (all times BST).
“The FIA and Formula 1 are today setting out the changes to the Saturday schedule for the Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio Del Made in Italy e Dell’Emila Romagna 2021 out of respect to the funeral service of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh that will take place on Saturday 17th April 2021,” confirmed a statement from the FIA.
“As a mark of respect for the Royal funeral, Qualifying will be moved to avoid a clash with the service. This means Qualifying will take place between 14:00–15:00 CET. As a result FP3 will move to 11:00–12:00 CET in order to comply with the regulations that state Qualifying must be 120 minutes after FP3. On Friday FP2 will move to 14:30-15:30 CET and FP1 will move to 11:00-12:00 CET due to the rules requiring those sessions to be separated by at least two and a half hours and FP3 needing to start no less than nineteen hours after the end of FP2.”
There will be a minute of silence ahead of Qualifying as an opportunity for people to show their respects.
Several other sporting events including premiership football games have also been rescheduled to avoid clashing with the funeral.