Disasters of the world touch Formula One, none more so than those participating drivers who hail from the affected country. In Australia earlier this year, Mark Webber went to great lengths to visit the fire-damaged region of Victoria, the same state the Australian Grand Prix was being held in. It wasn’t long after Mark’s touching tribute to those who have been affected by the fires that Italy was rocked by an earthquake. In China this weekend, Formula One again supports and offers what it can to help those who have been left without homes, family and friends.
The earthquake, that measured 6.3 moment magnitude, struck in central Italy in the region called Abruzzo twelve days ago. The strongest of the following aftershocks measured 5.3 magnitude. 294 people lost their lives and over a thousand were injured in Italy’s strongest earthquake in 30 years. Around 40,000 people were made homeless in only a few moments of the ground trembling.
Formula One drivers have donated memorabilia to be auctioned in order to raise funds for those affected by the earthquake, and some drivers will participate in charity events as well. The sport has two Italian drivers at the moment, Giancarlo Fisichella who originally comes from Rome, and Jarno Trulli, who was raised in Pescara, Abruzzo. At the time of the earthquake, Trulli was aboard a plane travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt, but thankfully he was informed after landing in Europe that his family was not affected; Pescara being nearer the coast and away from the epi-centre.
Sebastien Buemi of Scuderia Toro Rosso with the words Vicini All’Abruzzo on the side of his car. Crudely translated by myself means friends/neighbours of Abruzzo.
Jarno Trulli has established a website where people can make donations to a fund to help those affected by the earthquake. The site is called Abruzzo nel Cuore, which translated means Abruzzo in the heart. The Italian teams of Ferrari and Scuderia Toro Rosso and Trulli’s Toyota carry tributes on their cars and race-suits for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.