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De Vries grateful for help after Imola F1 flood struggles

AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries has given an indication of how difficult conditions are around Imola and how hard it has been to move around in recent days.

Nyck de Vries, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The Dutch rookie has also thanked people who helped him along the way – including a member of the McLaren team - as Italy's Emilia Romagna region has been impacted by heavy rainfall causing people to be evacuated from their homes.

On Wednesday it was confirmed that the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix would not go ahead due to the issues in the surrounding area, as well as at the Imola track itself.

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In an Instagram post that evening De Vries outlined the problems he had endured on Tuesday while trying to get to his team’s factory in the town of Faenza, which has been badly affected by flooding.

Road and bridges were closed due to the volume of water, while others were blocked by mudslides.

He was also unable to reach his hotel, and was eventually given an alternative home room elsewhere by a member of the McLaren pit crew.

“Tuesday evening 11:30 pm, on my way to Faenza ahead of a marketing day at the SAT [Scuderia AlphaTauri] factory on Wednesday,” he wrote.

“It’s raining intense, Faenza is already flooded and I am unable to get to my hotel. Returning to the highway is no option either.

“Stuck in a little village with one fully booked hotel. Fortunately McLaren got stranded there earlier and their front jack Frazer was kind enough to give me his room.

“The following morning, the hotel lobby turned into an emergency shelter for people who were forced to escape their homes during the night.”

 

After confirmation came on Wednesday lunchtime that the race was not going ahead, De Vries had trouble getting out of the area and eventually took a cross-country route.

“Post-F1 announcement, I only saw one potential option to get home, which was driving via Firenze [Florence],” he noted.

“After an adventurous drive through the mountains, thanks to the help from local people and authorities in different villages, I finally got home safely.

“Thank you to every single person who has been kind enough to help me. It was truly heart-warming to see so many look out for each other.

“My thoughts are with those who continue to be affected by this tragedy. I’ll be back soon in Faenza to meet my team and the people from the region!”

F1 drivers and teams have been widely supportive of the decision to call off the Grand Prix, but the congested calendar raises questions about how it might be staged at a later point in the year.

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