"There's a giant
lizard on the track," exclaimed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
"You came face to face with Godzilla," the 18-year-old's
engineer told him over the pit-to-car radio after the startled
Dutchman alerted the team to the reptile's presence.
The incident triggered a Twitter flurry and plenty of amusement.
"New friend in FP3," commented McLaren driver Fernando Alonso on
Instagram to accompany a picture of the animal on the asphalt.
Drivers are used to groundhogs and foxes making track incursions
at Canada's Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal while stray
dogs proved a danger when the sport raced at India's Buddh
circuit near New Delhi.
Deer have appeared on track in Austria in the past, snakes in
Malaysia and a cat ran out in front of cars in Azerbaijan's
debut race this year in Baku.
There have also been a number of human incursions, including one
at last year's Singapore race when a lone intruder ambled across
the floodlit track midway through the race and then strolled by
the metal fences as cars came past.
"I had to look again as I wasn't sure if I had a problem with my
eyesight and that I actually saw somebody crossing the track,"
Ferrari's race winner Sebastian Vettel told reporters at the
A 27-year-old British national was later sentenced to six weeks
in jail for breaching the security fences.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ian Chadband)
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