Race ace stunned as gun gang robs track team in Rio

For­mula 1 cham­pion: ‘So up­set­ting. Say a prayer for my guys’

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Rus­sell Black­stock RBLACKSTOCK@SUN­DAY­POST.COM

For mula 1 dr iver Lewis Hamil­ton has voiced his shock af­ter his team was robbed at gun­point in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Shots were fired when a minibus car­ry­ing his team was hi­jacked just out­side the Grand Prix track on Fri­day night.

The re­cently-crowned world cham­pion re­vealed his shock on so­cial me­dia yes­ter­day.

He said a mem­ber of the team had a gun held to their head when their bus was am­bushed.

“Some of my team were held up at gun­point last night leav­ing the cir­cuit here in Brazil,” Hamil­ton wrote.

“Gun shots fired, gun held at one’s head.

“This is so up­set­ting. Please say a prayer for my guys who are here as pro­fes­sion­als today, even if shaken.”

Hamil­ton, who will start today’s race at the back of the grid af­ter crash­ing in qual­i­fy­ing yes­ter­day, also called for tighter se­cu­rity for F1 staff vis­it­ing Brazil.

He added: “This hap­pens ev­ery sin­gle year here. F1 and the teams need to do more, there’s no ex­cuse!”

A minibus was car­ry­ing the Mercedes staff back to their ho­tel from the cir­cuit, which is in the mid­dle of a slum area.

Me­chan­ics and staff travel to and from the track by minibus and are ad­vised against wear­ing branded team cloth­ing away from the cir­cuit.

In a state­ment, Mercedes said: “Valu­ables were stolen but everybody is safe and un­in­jured, which is the main thing.”

Re­ports said the same thugs also tar­geted the Wil­liams F1 team.

The Bri­tish-based team con­firmed it had wit­nessed a van be­ing held up at gun­point in front of them but they had made a nar­row escape.

Mean­while, in a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent in the city, thugs at­tacked a car trans­port­ing mem­bers of the sport’s gov­ern­ing body, the Fed­er­a­tion In­ter­na­tionale de l’Au­to­mo­bile. For­tu­nately, no one was harmed.

The race of­fi­cials were in an ar­moured ve­hi­cle and man­aged to escape, de­spite the rob­ber’s car plough­ing into them.

Hamil­ton re­vealed his shock on so­cial me­dia

Hamil­ton crashed yes­ter­day

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