Hamilton said “Gun shots fired, gun held at one’s head. This is so upsetting to hear.”
Mercedes said, “Valuables were stolen but everybody is safe and uninured which is the main thing.”
The Mercedes team was returning back to their hotel after preparing for Sunday’s Brazilian GP when their minibus was stopped by armed bandits outside the Interlagos circuit, located in the middle of a slum, called a favela.
Armed bandits ordered the back of the vehicle be opened before firing shots.
It’s not the first time the Brazilian GP has been marred by threats. Apparently, staff from FIA, and the Williams F1 team escaped similar incidents on Friday night.
Hours after the incident, Hamilton crashed out in the first lap of the first qualifying round. He lasted no more than two minutes as an uncharacteristic error saw him lose control of his Mercedes at 257kmh through turn six before crashing into the tyre barrier.
He escaped unhurt, but that means he’ll have to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.
Teammate Valtteri Bottas however, secured pole position, with rivals Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari in second and third respectively.