During Friday’s second Formula One practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a nasty crash by Alex Albon brought the session to a halt. After cleanup, cars hit the track for another go, only to be foiled by a second red flag just 27 seconds later. A dog had somehow made its way onto the track surface of the Bahrain International Circuit. This morning, the track’s Twitter account announced that the dog had been rescued.
Ahead of final practice, it was announced that the dog was found with help from the Bahrain Animal Rescue Center (yes, that does anagram to BARC) and was taken to the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The dog is happy and healthy.
The track also asked for name suggestions. A special shoutout to the folks in the comments suggesting Spaniel Ricciardo, Furstappen, and Toto Woof. I’m always here for a good pun.
Possibly even better than the dog itself were the driver reactions to finding out they needed to come back to the pits because of one. 2020 World Champion said he “hopes it’s not Roscoe,” his own dog that he’s been bringing along to the track recently. Sebastian Vettel started singing Who Let the Dogs Out? before saying he should have brought his dog to the track, too.
(Do it, Vettel. More paddock dogs, please.)
This isn’t the first time an animal has caused a Formula One session to be put on hold. In fact, the most recent on-track excursion came during F1's previous race in Turkey.
In the past years, though, not all dogs have had as lucky a break as the Bahrain dog. In 2011, track marshals chased a stray dog away from the Buddh Circuit during the Indian Grand Prix weekend. In 2008, Bruno Senna collided with a stray dog during an Istanbul GP2 race.
So, seeing this sweet pup rescued and placed in good hands is a welcome change. I hope she finds a nice home with an F1 fan stoked to befriend one of the infamous track dogs.