The Dutch driver revealed his travel plans were interrupted, and that he benefitted from the generosity of a McLaren mechanic, on the eve of the event's cancellation.
Formula 1 confirmed on Wednesday that the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix would not proceed due to flooding in the surrounding area.
Prior to the announcement, the Imola circuit had been evacuated as the nearby Santerno river rose.
Much of the F1 fraternity was en route to the venue or already there working to set up the paddocks.
“Tuesday evening 11:30 pm, on my way to Faenza ahead of a marketing day at the [Scuderia AlphaTauri] factory on Wednesday,” De Vries wrote on Instagram.
“It's raining intense (sic), 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.
“The following morning, the hotel lobby turned into an emergency shelter for people who were forced to escape their homes during the night.”
A critical weather warning was issued earlier in the week though preparations for the event proceeded.
With conditions having deteriorated, the event was cancelled as the sport heeded the advice of local authorities.
Teams and drivers have unanimously supported the move as locals struggle to cope with the emergency – many of whom have been displaced by the rising water.
That has also seen several roads closed around the region, making departing difficult.
“Post F1 announcement, I only saw one potential option to get home, which was driving via Firenze,” De Vries said of his experience.
“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 everyone who has been kind enough to help me. It was truly heartwarming 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!”
Speaking in Miami, De Vries spoke of the flood conditions around Faenza, noting the loss of life in the region around Imola and AlphaTauri's Faenza factory.
Formula 1 is evaluating whether there is a potential to reschedule the event later in the year, though with a packed calendar it is expected the event will be dropped for 2023 but potentially return for 2024.
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