Groundhog day at Canadian GP
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz had to take evasive action at the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday when a groundhog ran out onto the circuit.
Sainz was travelling at high speed during opening practice for Sunday's race when the animal appeared between turns two and three.
"Whether you want to call it a marmot, a groundhog or a beaver, a cute little brown furry animal was very lucky not to be squashed by a Ferrari during FP1," said the Sky Sports F1 Twitter feed.
Esteban Ocon had slowed down to avoid a collision but Sainz, just behind the Frenchman, only spotted the groundhog at the last second. It came close to the Ferrari's right wheel before Sainz managed to avoid a messy encounter. Alex Albon in a Williams also had to swerve to avoid the groundhog.
Appearances by groundhogs at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit on Montreal's Isle Notre Dame, where they are indigenous and protected, have become common on race weekends.