Since last week, the Emilia-Romagna region has been experiencing a difficult period, with extreme rainfall that has led to flooding and landslides. The meteorological situation in which the region has been raging for several days has in fact led to the flooding of various watercourses, including the Santerno, which flows right next to the Imola track.
With the Formula 2 paddock under water, as well as a part of the Formula 1 tents where filming and data received from the cars are managed, staff were already asked to evacuate the area on Tuesday, while a decision was reached on Wednesday not to continue the Grand Prix this weekend.
A common sense choice, above all to help the region and the first aid services in a moment of difficulty, whose situation is clearly a priority: “They are difficult decisions which, however, in certain situations it is good to make. I think it is quite logical to give priority to what is happening in Emilia-Romagna, chatter is zero. Priority must be given to emergency services which must be guaranteed to the population who are suffering. Only when you find yourself in the middle can you understand tragedies like these”, explained Stefano Domenicali, who also announced the creation of a fundraiser to support the area.
A few riders were already in the area when the weekend was cancelled, including Nyck De Vries, who was on his way to Faenza on Tuesday evening for a marketing day with the team.
In an Instagram post, the Dutch rider himself described the problems he faced on Tuesday getting to his team’s factory in the flood-hit city of Faenza. Roads and bridges have been closed due to flooding, while others have been blocked by landslides. Furthermore, he was unable to get to his hotel but, fortunately, some McLaren members offered him an alternative room elsewhere.
Nyck De Vries blocked in Faenza
De Vries also wanted to thank the local people and local authorities for helping them get home, and a thought for all those affected by the floods.
“Tuesday evening at 11.30pm, I’m on my way to Faenza with a view to a marketing day at the SAT plant on Wednesday. It’s raining heavily, Faenza is already flooded and I can’t get to my hotel. Returning to the motorway is also not possible”.
“I’m stuck in a small town with a fully booked hotel. Luckily McLaren got stuck there earlier and Frazer, their manager, was kind enough to give me his room. The following morning, the hotel lobby was transformed into an emergency shelter for people forced to flee their homes during the night.”
Nyck De Vries blocked in Faenza
“After the announcement of F1, I have only seen one potential option to go home, which is to drive via Florence. After an adventurous journey through the mountains, with the help of the locals and the authorities of several villages, I finally arrived home safely. Thanks to all the people who have been kind enough to help me.”
“It was really heartwarming to see so many caring for each other. My thoughts go out to those who continue to be affected by this tragedy. I will be back in Faenza soon to meet my team and the people of the region! Force”.