Valtteri Bottas dedicates pole to Mercedes F1 team after gunpoint hold-up

by Leon Thompson November 12, 2017, 0:23
Valtteri Bottas dedicates pole to Mercedes F1 team after gunpoint hold-up

Mercedes has confirmed Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix from pit lane after the team opted to break parc ferme conditions to make changes on his Formula 1 auto ahead of the race.

With Lewis Hamilton out of qualifying following his crash in Q1, Bottas led the Silver Arrows' challenge for pole in Brazil.

When in São Paulo, F1 drivers travel to and from their hotels in bulletproof cars and a police escorts because of the risk of hold-ups around the Interlagos circuit. Several team members - Hamilton was not present - were held up at gun point on Friday.

Hamilton says multiple people on his team were held at gunpoint but a Mercedes official tell us they can only confirm one member was robbed.

Hamilton's fellow Brit Jenson Button escaped a "terrifying" armed attack on his auto in the same city in 2010.

Hamilton, who clinched his fourth title in Mexico two weeks ago, lost control and hit the barriers on his first flying lap after only two minutes.

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"Valuables were stolen, but all team members are safe and uninjured, which is the main thing", Lord said.

In a bid to avoid such issues, mechanics and team staff have been advised against wearing branded team clothing away from the circuit. Meanwhile personnel from the FIA, the sport's governing body, were also caught up in a separate incident, but escaped unharmed.

He further added, "This happens every single year here".

Times were a secondary concern for most teams in FP1, which sought to get in as much running as possible since rain was expected to roll in Friday afternoon, but the precipitation held off and FP2 unfolded on a dry track.

Past year in Mexico, a team member, travelling in a chauffeur-driven vehicle from Mexico City Airport to the Mercedes' hotel, was targeted by two gunmen.

Button, who was travelling with his late father John, trainer Mike Collier and manager Richard Goddard, managed to flee the scene unharmed in the incident.


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