WATCH: The Most Australian Reason to Stop a Race as Chaos Ensues at Bathurst 100

Published 12/05/2021, 6:52 AM EST


As Formula 1 packed up after an intense qualifying session, the Bathurst 1000 kept people entertained. Especially when there was a safety car deployed with only 56 laps to go. As the tracks seemed clear otherwise, the reason behind the yellow flag was rather amusing.

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In an exciting race, keeping himself dangerously close to the wall, a little Echidna raced against the faster cars on track. A very Australian moment for the Australian race, the yellows were acceptable.

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The Great Race was brought to a crawl as they spotted the echidna climbing up the hill. As the little guy made his way off the circuit, the race resumed three laps later. Although a very Aussie moment, it wasn’t the first time nature impeded the race in Australia.

Earlier in the race, an Albino wallaroo was spotted at the race; kangaroos have been a part of the event in earlier years.

F1 and its list of animal friends add to Bathurst 1000

Almost like a Disney movie, animals just happen to strut around the racetrack. And F1 has been no different! At the 2001 Austrian GP, drivers spotted a deer crossing a gravel trap on the circuit; this prompted Juan Pablo Montoya to make an expected pun. “Oh, deer!”

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The 2012 Canadian GP had a predator on the loose, and it was not Fernando Alonso. Instead, it was a fox! During the practice session, Kimi Raikkonen went for a stroll in the woods as he spotted a fox at turn 4 and later a squirrel in turn 8.


A black stray dog stole the show at the inaugural 2011 Indian GP; the marshalls chased the dog away when the session was stopped. The pup almost collided with Adrian Newey, but luckily nothing happened.

Then there is the infamous lizard that stunned Max Verstappen at the 2016 Singapore GP. As the driver looked onto the massive reptile with shock, his race engineer laughed. “Face to face with Godzilla.”

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It has been a hilarious sight to see animals feature in races, but it is also very unsafe. However, F1 has taken measures to leave any animal unharmed, and so far only a bird has fallen victim to a fatal end; when a bird hit Jenson Button’s Williams during testing in 2000.

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Shreya Sanjeev

770 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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