Formula 1 drivers have shared their stories of how they battled their way out of deadly flooding in northern Italy after this week’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled.
Nine people were killed and more than 10,000 evacuated from their homes due to the floods, which also forced the race to be canceled Wednesday.
The track is next to a flooded river and the F1 said he wanted to avoid further overburdening the emergency services.
The two drivers, Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda, both drive for AlphaTauri, based in Faenza, a flooded town near the Imola circuit.
Rescuers used boats to transport people through flooded city streets on Thursday.
Dutch driver de Vries said he was trying to reach the factory in Faenza on Tuesday evening ahead of the marketing events scheduled for Wednesday, but the roads were cut off.
“Faenza is already flooded and I can’t get to my hotel. Coming back on the highway is also not an option. Stuck in a small village with a full hotel,” he posted on Instagram on Thursday. .
He recounted his experience with photos and videos of roads blocked by landslides.
“Luckily McLaren got stuck there earlier and their front jack (mechanic) Frazer was kind enough to give me his room. The next morning the hotel lobby turned into a bomb shelter. emergency for people who have been forced to flee their homes overnight.”
De Vries said he eventually returned home via the city of Florence after some “adventurous” driving on mountain roads.
He thanked the locals who helped him on his journey.
“The city is strongly impacted”
His teammate Tsunoda, who started living in Faenza in 2021 to work with AlphaTauri, said the town had been hit hard.
“After a horrible night, the city is heavily impacted: dust, mud and the smell of gasoline everywhere,” the Japanese driver said on social media on Wednesday.
“Right now people are struggling to find food and especially housing, after many have been evacuated from their homes.”
Calls for donations
AlphaTauri said its factory was not affected by the floods and that “everything is being done to ensure the safety of our employees and their families”.
The team and its two pilots have appealed for donations to help those affected by the floods.
Ferrari, which backed the decision to call off its home race, said it was donating €1m (£870m) to flood relief efforts in the Emilia region. Romagna.
Teams and drivers support the decision to cancel the race
The decision to cancel the Emilia-Romagna GP has been strongly supported by teams and drivers including seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and defending champion Max Verstappen, who leads the standings ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.
The next race will be the Monaco GP on May 28 and the Spanish GP a week later.