Imola isn't the first!

Which Formula 1 races have been cancelled in the past?

F1 News

Which Formula 1 races have been cancelled in the past before Imola?
17 May at 19:12
Last update 17 May at 23:04

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is not the first Formula 1 race to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. GPblog dives into the archives to list a number of GPs that were on the calendar but were never run.

The F1 race in Imola is the first GP to be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. Of course, races have been ended early in the past due to heavy rain. The 2021 GP of Belgium is the most recent example, but the decision to allow the drivers to complete two laps behind the safety car meant that it was not officially a cancelled event.

1955 - GPs of France, Switzerland, Spain and Germany

In June 1955, there was a tragic accident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driver Pierre Levegh's car crashed into the grandstand after a collision, killing eighty spectators. Levegh also did not survive the accident. In a reaction to the tragedy, Grands Prix in France, Switzerland, Spain and Germany were cancelled.

1957 - GPs of the Netherlands and Belgium

As a result of the Suez crisis in 1956, petrol and oil prices were sky-high. Race organisers in the Netherlands and Belgium asked teams to accept a lower amount of starting and prize money, but that request was rebuffed. Instead, an F1 race was organised that year in Pescara, Italy.

1969 - Belgian Grand Prix

In 1969, the drivers, led by Sir Jackie Stewart, demanded safety improvements to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. These were not met due to financial considerations, resulting in a driver boycott.

1985 - Belgian Grand Prix

Also in 1985, the Belgian GP did not take place, albeit for a different reason than in 1969. The track had been resurfaced just two weeks before the race, with the aim of creating more grip in rainy conditions. Because this was done so shortly before the race, problems with the tarmac arose as soon as the cars took to the track for free practice. Parts of the asphalt literally started to break, and emergency repairs did not make it any better. At this, they decided to cancel the race.

2011 - Bahrain GP

The opening race of the 2011 F1 season was scheduled to take place in Bahrain. However, anti-government protests broke out, also known as the Arab Spring. This caused major political unrest in the country, after which the cancellation of the race became inevitable.

2020 and 2021 - Various GPs

While the entire F1 circus had already travelled to Australia for the inaugural 2020 race, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic outbreak worsened dramatically. People waited until the very last minute, but just before the first free practice session, the knot was finally tied. Everyone had to go home, and the Melbourne GP would be one of many that would be cancelled.

The 2021 race in Australia was also cancelled. The same applied to Canada, Singapore and Japan. The Chinese GP was the first to be cancelled, as the situation in the Asian country had previously been critical. Since then, no race has taken place in China. The Vietnam GP, which was supposed to make its debut on the F1 calendar in 2020, also never materialised.