Formula One driver Lance Stroll had a day to forget at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix thanks to a series of bizarre incidents, but the worst of them has raised serious alarm among racing fans online.
The Racing Point wheelman was forced to pit after the first lap when he hit Renault’s Esteban Ocon on lap one, dropping him right to the back of the field.
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Fortunately for the Canadian, a safety car late in the race allowed him to unlap himself and rejoin the back of the pack, but a hairy incident involving track marshals left fans fearing for their safety.
Stroll was permitted to accelerate past the safety car while marshals were on the side of the Imola circuit, clearing debris from the crashed Williams of George Russell.
But the Racing Point driver was not told of their presence on the circuit and approached the section of the track where Russell went off at full speed, coming within metres of marshals clearing debris.
Other drivers, including Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, could be heard on team radio saying it was dangerous having marshals on the track while cars were unlapping themselves behind the safety car.
“Ok it’s a bit dangerous to leave marshals on,” Grosjean said when warned of the marshals’ presence by his team.
Four-time F1 champion Vettel was significantly more concerned about the risks posed to the track marshals.
“Tell them to watch out, the marshals are on the track,” he said.
“That’s very, very dangerous. Tell the marshals to get out, out of the track.”
Stroll’s horror race got even worse when he pitted again late in the race, accidentally hitting a member of his pit crew when he slightly overshot his pit box.
The crew member was uninjured, Racing Point confirmed after the race.
Hamilton wins as Mercedes make F1 history
Mercedes became the first team to win seven successive Formula One constructors' titles on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton celebrated a record-extending 93rd career win at Imola to stand on the brink of a seventh drivers' crown.
Hamilton came back from third place at the end of the opening lap to lead Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes one-two at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Italian circuit.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Renault, his second podium of the season for a French team who are also now third overall, with Russian Daniil Kvyat fourth for AlphaTauri.
The Briton, who took the chequered flag 5.783 seconds ahead of pole man Bottas, also banked a bonus point for the fastest lap to extend his lead to a hefty 85 points with four races remaining.
Hamilton can now equal Ferrari great Michael Schumacher's record seven titles in two weeks' time at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Bottas is the only rival remaining in mathematical contention, meaning Mercedes have also taken seven successive championship doubles, after Red Bull's Max Verstappen crashed out with a sudden tyre blowout while in second place.
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