CHICAGO — An investigation is under way into an alleged assault on a Formula One driver at a NASCAR race in Chicago.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was hit several times by a fan earlier Sunday during the Auto Club 400 NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway.
Raikkonen’s car was hit with a T-bone on the second lap of the American race. He’s not believed to have been driving at a high rate of speed when the force of the collision pushed his car into the barriers at the top of the racing circuit, blocking both the on- and off-track communications between drivers.
Cavicchi talks with reporters after his stock car struck Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen during the Auto Club 400. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Afterward, Raikkonen exited his car and gestured at the fan to get out. The fan is not thought to have returned to the track, and NASCAR is investigating the incident.
Several team and sanctioning-body representatives joined lawyers from Steward’s law firm on hand for a news conference Sunday, where they spoke about possible monetary damages.
Steward’s attorney David Katzen tells a New York Times reporter that any payout would be “a fraction of what a lawsuit would be” because of the uncertainty of the outcome.
Raikkonen, who was competing in his sixth F1 race this season, spoke to NBC Sports late Sunday night and didn’t seem too concerned.
“I felt a little pain in my leg, but everything’s fine,” Raikkonen said. “The doctors say it’s normal — maybe I got some blood. What else can you do?”
(Prolific F1 and COTA Twitter cartoonist Justin (Bunch) Lin has a few theories about this mishap on Twitter.)
Lewis Hamilton, the defending world champion and 2013 and 2014 Formula One driver of the year, also tweeted “my thoughts are with Kiki during the incident this afternoon and hope that he makes a full recovery.”