Imola President Gian Carlo Minardi has revealed the circuit is aiming to hold an additional Formula 1 race in 2026 after the cancellation of the 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Severe rainfall in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in the week building up to the event forced the race weekend to be called off.
Speaking to RacingNews365 regarding the devastation caused by the flooding, Minardi said: “We ourselves were very lucky that the circuit did not suffer any damage, but the same is not true for the rest of the region.
“For example, in Faenza, they suffered a lot of damage at the time and this had a great impact on the local population.
“We immediately tried to give a lot of support during that period, with different foundations that we have, with people who are passionate racers. The people we worked with I am still very grateful.
“Together we have been able to help and support many people in the region. This is still needed because there are many businesses that have suffered so much damage that they have not even opened.
“Slowly, therefore, it is only gradually becoming clear what the real damage is for the people and the region and it is very great.”
“We hope that we can help the people in the region.”
F1 embarked upon a surprise return to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the first time since 2006 as part of a wildcard event on the COVID-impacted 2020 calendar.
However, the Emilia Romagna GP has remained on the calendar ever since, replacing the Chinese Grand Prix in 2021 and ’22, moving to an earlier slot in April.
It was announced ahead of the 2022 campaign getting underway that the circuit owners had penned a three-year deal to host an F1 grand prix until 2025.
But with the 2023 edition not being rescheduled for later in the season, Minardi hopes that the Italian venue will be granted a one-year extension on its current contract.
“We therefore also hope for an ‘extra’ Grand Prix in the future,” he continued.
“For now we have a contract until 2025, but we would very much like to organise the GP also in 2026. That way we would be able to give something back to the region together because it keeps a lot of money from an F1 race.
“For the region, we are talking about an annual €270 million that comes in thanks to the F1 race, so thus the race gives a big boost to the region, in which the Italian Motor Valley has also established itself.
“Next year is going to be an incredibly busy year for us, because, for example, the WEC [World Endurance Championship] will also race at our circuit.
“It will be so busy that we are already working very hard for the races that will take place at the circuit next year.”
“We are passionate and organise everything as perfectly as possible, and for this very reason we are already preparing for the next big events.”
F1’s official tyre supplier, Pirelli, also donated its pole position tyre award, with Ferrari Trento, the sport’s sparkling wine supplier, supplying a bottle traditionally used by the four representatives on any podium.
The combined efforts would yield a total of £247,171, contributed to a relief fund.