F1 practice disrupted by ‘Godzilla’ as Max Verstappen avoids running over animal

Max Verstappen was forced to take evasive action in FP1 after spotting a huge lizard out on the Marina Bay Circuit. Reptiles are a regular sight around Singapore’s city centre with Monitor Lizards a particularly popular breed.

With the Singapore Grand Prix hosted in and around the green space areas of the city, the lizards often make their way onto the track. Yellow flags are waved whenever it happens and it didn’t take long for the first lizard sighting to disrupt FP1 on Friday.

The huge reptile was stood stationary on the track as a multitude of cars raced past. And Verstappen was seemingly caught unaware of the creature around the corner.

“Ah!” Verstappen began on team radio. “There’s a lizard again on the track! A smaller one this time.”

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Verstappen was referring to the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix when he was spooked by a “giant lizard on the track”. His race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin saw the funny side, replying: “Understood. Maybe Godzilla had a kid.”

Verstappen continued the joke, adding: “I mean, it makes sense.”

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That wasn’t the only lizard to get out on the track in FP1 though as two more yellow flags were waved throughout the session.

All three lizards were able to get across the track without any harm though.

But the F1 drivers will be hoping track stewards will be able to keep the reptiles at bay throughout the weekend.

While aborting laps in free practice can be frustrating, the session isn’t seen as paramount for lap times.

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