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Russian driver Daniil Kvyat caused bemusement in Friday’s Japanese Grand Prix practice when he told his Toro Rosso Formula One team that a “baby octopus” had appeared on his car.
“Oh no, the octopus is back,” he exclaimed during the opening session, the comment broadcast to the worldwide television audience and reminiscent of Max Verstappen’s surprise when a monitor lizard appeared on the track at the recent Singapore race.
“It’s quite a small one, a baby octopus.”
The team later clarified on Twitter that the driver was referring to a piece of rubber shed by the tyres that had become caught on one of the sensor aerials sticking out from the nose of the car.
As the rubber unravelled, it began flailing in the air like the tentacles of an octopus.
Kvyat, who ended the day with the 14th-fastest time, first made the comparison after the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix when a larger piece was entangled with the antenna in front of him.
“In China it was almost hitting my visor so I was really struggling. I was fighting it. But the one today was small, a baby one, so just born,” he said.
“Considering what happened today, I will definitely go for some octopus sushi for dinner tonight.”