Valtteri Bottas had to take a different mode of transportation to get a racing fix on a weekend where Formula 1 was cancelled.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was called off on Wednesday after flooding hit the region of northern Italy and caused a widespread impact in the area, with Formula 1 teams and drivers universally backing the move to cancel the race.
This left an unexpected gap in the calendar for the drivers as the clean-up operation was taking place in the area surrounding Imola, and Bottas took a journey to Scotland to take part in a cycling race instead.
The Alfa Romeo driver’s partner, Tiffany Cromwell, is a professional cyclist and the Finn was very much her ‘plus one’ at The Gralloch in Dumfries and Galloway, as the duo entered the UCI Gravel World Series race over the weekend.
Cromwell won the women’s category and Bottas later reported on social media that he finished an impressive 114th place out of more than 1000 starters for the 113km race.
Solid day out 🚲
Really enjoyed challenging myself at the 113km @grallochgravel and the event in general was great 🏴
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) May 20, 2023
The Finn posted photos of himself taking in the Scottish landscape during the race, as well as a picture of himself having removed his goggles and a visible clear line where mud had been splattering his face throughout.
But from his perspective, as he wrote on Instagram: “Most important: we had a great day out!”
Elsewhere, Max Verstappen and his Team Redline sim racing outfit put on a charity live stream on Sunday to raise money for those affected by the floods in Emilia-Romagna, with McLaren driver Lando Norris also getting involved and causing a stir when he jump started in the only race he joined.
Williams also hosted a virtual racing stream that included driver Alex Albon and team principal James Vowles, with Albon getting disqualified during one of the races for ignoring blue flags.