Maybe Godzilla had a kid!

godzilla lizard singapore gp

Big lizards are a familiar sight in equatorial Singapore but they startled Max Verstappen and other drivers after straying onto the Formula 1 racetrack during practice on Friday at Marina Bay Circuit.

Yellow flags were waved to warn of the danger of hitting one of the creatures, which can grow as long as three metres (10 ft), as they languidly crossed the tarmac at dusk during the hour-long session.

“It’s going to be a brave marshal to go out and pick one of those up,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports television. “Hopefully they’ll be going to bed soon.”

Local wildlife is not uncommon ‘intruders’ with drivers used to groundhogs and foxes on Canada’s Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal. Malaysia, now no longer on the calendar, had an occasional problem with snakes.

Friday’s lizard incursion triggered memories of the 2016 Singapore race when Verstappen was surprised on track by a big one that his engineer dubbed “Godzilla”.

“Ah. There’s a lizard again on the track. A smaller one this time,” Max said over the RBR team radio in Friday’s session.
“Maybe Godzilla had a kid,” came engineer Gianpiero Lambiase’s reply.

Singapore’s National Parks’ Board advises on its website that monitor lizards are typically shy, unless cornered, and to observe them from afar. They are also diurnal, meaning they sleep at night, and will hopefully pose no further difficulty for drivers preparing for Sunday’s night race.

“I think the one that Max met the last time was more of a Komodo dragon than a lizard, but the main thing is hopefully they can grab them up and put them somewhere safe and they don’t get involved in the next session,” said Horner. (Reporting by Tom Westbrook)