Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team members were on Friday night held up at gun point in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Daily Mail UK reports that shots were fired and one victim had a gun held to his head in the terrifying incident.
Armed men surrounded vehicles belonging to Formula 1 teams, as well as a car from the FIA, motor sport’s governing body, as they left Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit at around 8pm.
It is not known what was stolen but according to Mercedes the criminals made off with belongings that were ‘very valuable’ to the team. No one was hurt in the hold-up.
On the Interlagos circuit Saturday afternoon Hamilton crashed out of the qualifying race after just two minutes when he lost control of his car at 160mph and thudded into the tyre barrier.
The 32-year-old remained in his cockpit for some moments before informing his team that he was not injured in the high-speed smash though his car had sustained significant damage.
Talking of last night’s hold-up in a post on Twitter the champion claimed similar criminal incidents happened in the sport every year and called on F1 to do more about it.
He wrote: “Some of my team were held up at gun point last night leaving the circuit here in Brazil. Guns 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.
“This happens every single year here. F1 and the teams need to do more. There is no excuse!”
Matteo Bonciani, the FIA’s communication’s director, was in the governing body’s car at the time of the attack.
He told Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper: ‘Three men hit the car windows with their wepaons.
“But the driver was spectacular and reacted with professionalism and cold blood. Luckily nothing happened to us.
“I’ve been coming here since 2002 with Ferrari and I always knew about these things. But it’s the first time it has happened to me.”
Sao Paulo’s Military Police said on Saturday that they had so far not received any report of the incident.