News reports have been going out that Formula 1 teams in Brazil are getting robbed at gunpoint upon leaving the Grand Prix at Interlagos over the weekend. Thankfully no one was hurt in these cases. The Mercedes Team van was held at gunpoint whilst Pirelli staff were also robbed after the event. The ESPN report went on to also mention that members of the FIA team were mugged as well as from the Sauber F1 team.
This caused the Pirelli team to cancel the tyre test which was scheduled this week together with the McLaren Honda team. Safety has become a key concern especially for Brazil as more and more thieves are targeting the Formula 1 teams.
In a statement to ESPN, “Following a robbery attempt, neutralized by Pirelli security, on a Pirelli van at the Interlagos circuit last Sunday — after a weekend where similar episodes occurred with other teams — it has been decided to cancel the tyre test planned on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 on the Brazilian circuit with Team McLaren. The decision, shared with McLaren, FIA and Formula One, was made in the interest of the safety of the personnel, both McLaren’s and our own, who would have participated in the test.”
Lewis Hamilton pointed out that in the 10 years he has been active in Formula 1, incidents like this always happen to paddock staff and he says that while drivers and bosses get a security detail, everyone should also look at the overall security of the venue.
This would prove crucial for Pirelli as they may not have enough time to put in enough testing time to confirm the right compounds for next year’s Formula 1 season. No confirmation from Pirelli yet on whether Brazil’s session will be postponed to a separate test session.