While the Formula One circus came to a halt last weekend when the conditions surrounding the Imola Circuit became too dangerous not only for racing to take place, but for the safety of the people and businesses in the area. AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda, who lives close the team’s base in Faenza, a short distance from Imola was one of the many to offer support.
Speaking in the Thursday press conference, the Japanese driver said that: “I think everyone was excited about the Imola Grand Prix, especially for our home Grand Prix. All the, you know, Faenza and Imola people were excited but at the same time we had a massive storm overnight, well, I would say consistently for three days and most of the town where I live in Faenza was just completely flooded.
“Just mud everywhere, covered by mud, 70%, or more than that probably. And yeah, I mean, I was just staying safe in the night when the rain was coming but I was also worried because consistently also the electricity got shut down in my house as well. So I was a bit worried, but luckily my house was OK.
“But at the same time, a day after when I went to town it was just completely mud everywhere. There was water up until two or three metres. Ground floor properties were already covered by mud and water. So it’s really been a huge impact on us and yeah, it was really terrible, terrible nights.
Tsunoda said that he never witnessed anything like this before, something that he has only previously seen on TV, and was grateful that his own accommodation wasn’t on ground level given the devastation in the area.
“I saw it only maybe on TV and never expected the things like that, that horrible things will actually happen in front of me. But suddenly it happened in front of me, just this completely different feeling to what I was watching TV, just so scared.
“You know, just consistently having to worry about, like, the ground floor. Luckily, I have the second floor so I was staying on the second floor all the time. Yeah, just really… because helicopters were also flying around and I could tell that, you know, they were already starting to, you know, help the people from the houses, it’s very scary.