Yuki Tsunoda says he was scared during his stay in Emilia Romagna when the storm hit the region which forced F1 cancellation.
AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda was seen aiding the nearby people by clearing the mud along with the team’s PR and hotel staff but it wasn’t an easy time for the Japanese driver in that period. Having only watched such weather on TV, he was properly scared.
Even though Japan has its share of weather changes which includes regular earthquakes, Tsunoda seemingly hasn’t felt that scared there than he did in Emilia Romagna. He was worried about the scene and people as well, seeing the devastation all around.
“First of all, I think everyone was excited about the Imola Grand Prix, especially for our home Grand Prix,” said Tsunoda. “All the 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 was 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.
“I saw such weather 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 help the people from the houses, already got that just consistently knowing it was happening around. Just yeah, it’s very scary,” summed up Tsunoda.
His teammate Nyck de Vries was also stuck in the weather while traveling towards Faenza. He had to stay in a hotel full of people as it was turned into an emergency room. With the weekend now behind, both the AlphaTauri drivers are looking ahead to Monaco.
The team were to bring an update in Imola which will be seen in Monaco in terms of bodywork too, but Tsunoda doesn’t think the updates will be a huge difference just yet. “I think the upgrades we were planning for Imola will automatically come to this Monaco,” he said.
“To be honest, I think It’s hard to feel a difference, because it’s not like the same place in [terms of the] downforce required, it’s more towards, like, mechanical grip, so maybe it’s hard to see true performance, true gain, but still looking forward to it. And yeah, completely the bodywork changes, so, I haven’t seen yet but I’m looking forward to seeing those things,” summed up Tsunoda.
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