Formula One acquired an exotic addition to its list of wildlife hazards on Saturday after a large monitor lizard wandered onto the Singapore Grand Prix circuit during final practice.
“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.
— F1 F@n #MAXmania (@F1FanVerstappen) September 17, 2016
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.
“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 time.
A 27-year-old British national was later sentenced to six weeks in jail for breaching the security fences.