According to reports, two men robbed a member of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes AMG F1 team at gunpoint prior to this weekend’s Formula One Mexican Grand Prix. The robbery occurred while in stationary traffic on Wednesday, and the team member chose to remain in Mexico for the race weekend.
The team member was on a chauffeured ride from the Mexico City Airport to the team’s hotel when held at gunpoint, according to the Guardian. The Mercedes F1 team did not name the individual, but said he or she was not of high profile and was not wearing branded apparel during the incident.
Neither the team member nor the chauffeur were hurt, and the BBC reports that the team did not elaborate on whether it will or has already increased security for the remainder of the race weekend. But the BBC reports that the gunmen did get away with personal belongings:
“A team member was robbed while travelling [sic] from the airport towards the city on Wednesday when in heavy stationary traffic,” a Mercedes spokesperson told Press Association Sport.
“Wallets and watches were taken and there were no physical injuries, but they were a little shaken up for obvious reasons.”
Quotes from the Mercedes team do not explicitly say that the robbery was at gunpoint, but the Guardian, BBC and a FOX Sports wire story all report it as such.
According to the BBC, Jenson Button had a similar experience in 2010 when threatened by several men with machine guns in Sao Paolo for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Then the defending F1 champion, Button was traveling from the race circuit to his hotel after qualifying.
The BBC reports that three Sauber F1 Team engineers were robbed at gunpoint later that evening in 2010, all unhurt in the incident.