'Shots fired' as Lewis Hamilton's F1 team robbed at gunpoint in Brazil

'Shots fired' as Lewis Hamilton's F1 team robbed at gunpoint in Brazil”

Bottas said he felt a responsibility to the team after Hamilton's shock early exit.

Valtteri Bottas set the best time in FP3 on Saturday ahead of the qualifying for the 2017 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix.

Last year in Mexico, a team member, travelling in a chauffeur-driven vehicle from Mexico City Airport to the Mercedes' hotel, was targeted by two gunmen.

World champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out without posting a time at Interlagos, but Bottas ensured there would be a Mercedes at the front of the grid courtesy of a track record lap of one minute and 8.322 seconds.

He was unhurt and is expected to start the race from the back of the grid.

The current F1 champione-elect tweeted that some of his crewmembers were, "held up at gun point" as the team minibus was leaving the Interlagos circuit in São Paulo on Friday night.

Hamilton reacted to the incident on twitter and called on the FIA to review the safety procedures surrounding the event.

Mercedes, for the fourth year in a row, have won both of this year's championships with Hamilton arriving in Brazil as a four-times world champion.

"It's really weird and I guess everyone gets a lucky number at some stage, but we chose that.my dad chose that number when I was young". I had a great help from Bell and it was a bit of surprise. I was already too slow by that point. "Still a bit shaky but it's a good feeling".

"I have spoken with Tamas (Rohonyi, Brazil GP promoter) to know what can be done and I asked not to let people leave the autodrome without being safe", added Lauda. The Finn found a late improvement on his final flying lap to pip Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time by just 0.038s.

"It feels good", said Bottas, who also took pole at the Azerbaijan and Austrian Grands Prix earlier this season. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow".

Former driver Niki Lauda, one of the team's managers, told Globo TV that "we are all worried".

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