Mercedes team members unhurt after minibus robbed at gunpoint
Car carrying FIA officials also approached leaving Interlagos on Friday
By James Galloway at Interlagos
Last Updated: 16/11/17 10:43am
Mercedes have confirmed their team bus was robbed at gunpoint on Friday when they left the circuit following practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
A team spokesman said valuables were stolen but confirmed "everybody is safe and uninjured".
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has tweeted his shock about the incident and said "F1 and the teams need to do more, there's no excuse!"
An armoured car carrying officials from the FIA, F1's governing body, was also approached by gunmen on its departure from the circuit at just after 8pm on Friday.
The men put their guns against the window, but the car managed to evade traffic and escape.
Some of my team were held up at gun point last night leaving the circuit here in Brazil. Gun shots fired, gun held at ones head. This is so upsetting to hear. Please say a prayer for my guys who are here as professionals today even if shaken.— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 11, 2017
This happens every single year here. F1 and the teams need to do more, there’s no excuse!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 11, 2017
A car carrying Williams crew witnessed the attempted ambush and none of their team members were harmed.
They are the latest ordeals faced by F1 personnel in Sao Paulo in recent years.
In 2010, former McLaren driver Jenson Button escaped unharmed when gunmen approached an armoured car he was travelling in on the way back from the circuit. The driver managed to speed away from the incident through traffic.
That same year robbers accosted team members from Sauber and stole valuables.