Lewis Hamilton’s Team ‘Held Up At Gunpoint’
The team of Lewis Hamilton have been ‘held up at gunpoint’ in Brazil, according to the F1 world champion.
The team were apparently held up leaving the circuit in Sao Paulo when the incident occurred.
Shots were allegedly fired and one member of the team had a gun held to his head, according to Hamilton.
The newly-crowned champ tweeted today:
Some of my team were held up at gunpoint last night leaving the circuit here in Brazil.
Gun shots fired, gun held at one’s head.
This is so upsetting to hear. Please say a prayer for my guys who are here as professionals today even if shaken.
The Brazilian Grand Prix is under way in Sao Paulo this weekend, with qualifying sessions taking place today before the race tomorrow.
Although the team are ‘shaken up’, nobody has been injured during the incident.
A spokesman for Mercedes said no valuables were taken during the raid, which happened on the team’s minibus as it left the circuit.
An official statement reads:
One minibus was robbed at gunpoint.
Valuables were stolen but everybody is safe and uninjured which is the main thing.
This is not the first time this has happened to an F1 team in Sao Paulo, at the Interlagos circuit.
Members of the teams and drivers are known to have police escorts between the hotels and the circuit.
Staff are often transported with bulletproof protection to minimise risk of violent death if a raid does occur.
Britain’s Jensen Button was the victim of an attempted robbery back in 2010, after he won the world championship title under Brawn GP.
Luckily, the police driver who was escorting Button, managed to escape through traffic upon seeing the armed robbers approaching the car.
The ‘terrifying’ armed attack came from six men with automatic guns as he left the Interlagos circuit after the race, seven years ago.
A Mercedes team member was also robbed at gunpoint in Mexico last year as he travelled from the airport to his hotel.
Despite the apparent danger everybody in F1 is subject to during their time in Brazil, there seems to be little the racing sport’s governing body are doing to try and change the situation.
This has caused Hamilton himself to call out the F1 body, as well as the teams themselves, to do more to help.
Taking to Twitter, the current F1 champion wrote:
This happens every single year here.
F1 and the teams need to do more, there’s no excuse!
The race is still expected to go ahead tomorrow.