Nyck de Vries has revealed he was stuck in Imola and unable to return to his hotel due to landslides.
Ahead of the cancelled Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, north-western Italy was struck by Cyclone Minerva, which has seen devastating amounts of flooding and has tragically led to the deaths of people unable to evacuate.
De Vries was making his way to AlphaTauri‘s base in Faenza to conduct marketing obligations but had to seek shelter in a hostel after being unable to make it back to his hotel.
“It’s raining heavily, Faenza is already flooded and I can’t get to my hotel,” De Vries said. “Returning on the road is not an option either. Trapped in a small down with a complete hotel.”
“Fortunately, McLaren was stranded there before and a mechanic was kind enough to give me his room.
“The next morning, the hotel lobby became an emergency shelter for people who were forced to flee their homes at night.”
De Vries said that he was aware of the impending cancellation of the race and left the area swiftly, having to commute through Florence and the mountains to return to his home.
The race was cancelled after the Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini and Formula 1 agreed resources and manpower could not be spared to host the event.
Flooding had reached the paddock, just behind the pit entry wall, and was so high that only lorry trailers stood clearly above the water.
Rain was over double the predicted forecast amount, and caught the area off-guard as relief efforts to preserve life and limit the damage are underway.
Ferrari, based 100km (63miles) away on the other side of Bologna, have already donated £870,000 in aid.
F1 matched that figure on Friday with Stefano Domenicali commending the resilience and passion of the people in the region.