This article was last updated on May 18, 2023
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F1 Driver Nyck De Vries Trapped in Flooded Italian Region; Hotel Turns into an Emergency Shelter
Dutch Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries was caught in the flood-prone region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy on Tuesday evening while heading to the factory of his team AlphaTauri. The AlphaTauri driver was heading towards Faenza by car for a marketing day when the city was hit by severe flooding. De Vries’ hotel was also inaccessible, causing him to get stuck in an unknown village in the region.
However, the McLaren team, which was stranded there before, helped him out by letting him stay at one of their mechanic’s rooms. The next day, the hotel lobby turned into an emergency shelter for people who had to flee their homes at night after the flooding.
Meanwhile, the Formula 1 Grand Prix scheduled for next weekend in Imola has been cancelled due to the heavy rains and subsequent floods that have lashed the region for the past few days.
Devastation in Italy Due to Floods
While De Vries’ story is a tale of getting stuck in the midst of a natural calamity, the situation in the region has been far more severe. Heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding in northern Italy, leading to 23 rivers overflowing their banks, 400 blocked roads, and 280 landslides. The resultant devastation has led to a death toll of at least nine, and more than 10,000 evacuees in the region, according to the regional officials.
Stefano Bonaccini, the President of Emilia-Romagna, reported that the area had received several months’ worth of rain within 36 hours, leading to flooding and landslides.
Formula 1 Cancels GP in Imola, Future Unclear
The Imola Grand Prix, scheduled for the upcoming weekend, was deemed irresponsible to conduct due to the situation in the region. However, the question of whether the race will be made up or not remains, given the record number of races this year. Formula 1 will continue with the Grand Prix scheduled in Monaco next week, followed by another race in Barcelona a week later.
The story of De Vries getting stuck in the village and McLaren’s help is heartwarming, especially considering the extent of the flooding and devastation the region is currently experiencing. While the Grand Prix cancellation is also a blow, one also needs to consider the safety of everyone involved in the race, including the drivers, team personnel, and the residents of the region. It is now up to the organizers to take a call on the future of the Imola Grand Prix and keep the safety of everyone involved as their top priority.
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