Yuki Tsunoda details ‘horrible night’ in flooded Emilia-Romagna region

Thomas Maher
AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, April 2023.

AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, April 2023.

Yuki Tsunoda has shared some imagery from a night he spent in the Emilia Romagna region ahead of the cancelled race.

Tsunoda races for the AlphaTauri team, who are based in the nearby town of Faenza in the Emilia Romagna region, with the Japanese driver heading along to the team’s factory in the day’s leading up to the race.

With AlphaTauri themselves sharing some of the details of the impact of the extreme weather conditions on their town, Tsunoda also took to social media to share some of his own images of what he encountered in Faenza on the day F1 confirmed the Grand Prix weekend had been called off.

“After a horrible night, the town is heavily impacted: dust, mud, and the smell of gasoline everywhere,” Tsunoda wrote.

“Currently people are struggling to find food and especially places to stay, after many have been evacuated from their own homes. Please, anything you can do to help is appreciated.”

Tsunoda, like many others in F1, then shared a link to an Emergency Flood Relief Fundraiser that is being used to help pull money together to help with rescue and clean-up operations and logistics.

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McLaren driver Lando Norris responded with a heart emoji to Tsunoda’s post, as well as retweeting it to his own followers. The British driver had a message of his own following F1’s decision to pull the plug on this year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which is unlikely to be rescheduled for a slot later in the season due to the packed calendar.

“I love racing, but the safety of everyone else is more important,” Norris wrote. “Sorry to all the fans, we’ll be back Imola, stay safe.”

AlphaTauri, who welcomed some of their stricken employees into the factory in order to take shelter and sleep, have detailed some of what’s going on in their home town.

“Scuderia AlphaTauri is very concerned about events unfolding over the past hours in Faenza and indeed in the whole Emila-Romagna area, with flooding and heavy rain causing considerable damage,” said a team statement.

“The team’s factory is currently unaffected and everything is being done to ensure the safety of our employees and their families. Our sympathies go out to all those affected and we continue to monitor the situation, to see what can be done to help those in need as we await further developments.”

F1 made the decision to cancel the race this weekend following meetings between the teams, promoter, F1, and local authorities on Wednesday morning, with a swift resolution reached to decide to pull the plug in order to ensure much-needed resources remain focused on the rescue and safety efforts in the region.