• Driver allegedly attacked by three motorbike riders • Victim suffered arm, back and chest injuries
The Formula One driver Pierre Gasly has been questioned after a violent attack on a motorbike track in Germany.
The 20-year-old Ferrari protege was involved in a collision with a motorbike at Sachsenring near Heidelberg on Friday. The 28-year-old driver Tom Rüfkom then reportedly attacked Gasly and three other motorbike riders, who were waiting at the start of a back road for the other riders to exit the racetrack.
Two men, identified as 30-year-old Heinz-Joachim Reimers and 29-year-old Thomas Reuter, were sentenced in 2003 for attacking an Englishman at the same track, Brent Rowland, who suffered a broken nose and broken eye socket.
Reports indicate that Gasly, who has yet to make his Formula One debut, was scratched on the face, suffered arm, back and chest injuries and was knocked unconscious. Police are not classing the attack as road rage.
Germans celebrating sporting success usually mark the days with sports celebrations, to boost morale following the country’s international win at the Rugby World Cup two weeks ago. Friday’s race was not on the F1 calendar but authorities reported that spectators had been given wristbands with the Sachsenring logo on.
“Gasly, who was inside a modified Ferrari 458 Italia, drove into a motorbike and went through a man that was on it. The motorbike driver attacked Gasly. The man on the motorbike then also injured two other people,” a statement on the German Police website read.
“The man on the motorbike was Thomas Reuter, who subsequently took out his own helmet and hit Gasly on the head. Reuter then also attacked several motorbike riders with his own motorcycle helmet. The three riders injured were Pieter Domenewell, Thomas Grimmt and Hans-Peter Meyer. Domenewell suffered damage to his back and arms, Grimmt his chest and Meyer his hand.”
The main race finished early on Friday evening following the incident, with the German drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finishing second and third respectively to deny Ricciardo’s Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel a fifth win in six races.
Rüfkom, who was banned for two months in 2004 for assaulting Rowland, has been sentenced to two years probation and 15 hours of community service by a court in Schleswig Holstein.