AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries found himself stranded in a small Italian village amid the deadly floods that have devastated the Emilia-Romagna region.
At least nine people have been killed and thousands more have been evacuated as some areas received half their annual rainfall in just 36 hours, also forcing the cancellation of this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
On his way to the AlphaTauri factory in Faenza – just 16km away from Imola – de Vries revealed that inundations had left him stranded in a small town, with a lack of available accommodation meaning he had to rely on the kindness of an equally stuck McLaren mechanic who gave the Dutchman his room for the night.
"Tuesday evening 11:30pm, on my way to Faenza ahead of a marketing day at the [AlphaTauri] factory on Wednesday," de Vries wrote on his Instagram account.
"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."
Taking the long way home
The announcement that the race would be cancelled happened the following day, with de Vries forced to take a circuitous route home via Florence on mountain roads.
"The following morning, the hotel lobby turned into an emergency shelter for people who were forced to escape their homes during the night," said de Vries.
"[After the cancellation] announcement, I only saw one potential option to get home, which was driving via [Florence].
"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!"
AlphaTauri also issued a separate statement indicating that their facilities had remained unaffected by the floods, and expressed their condolences to all those affected.
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