Finnish driver Matthew Sullivan attacked with ball-bearings at racetrack

This article is over 1 year old Australian Matthew Sullivan targeted with ball-bearings at racetrack in Indiana Finnish driver Matthew Sullivan, known to the racing world for beating his countryman and former world champion…

Finnish driver Matthew Sullivan attacked with ball-bearings at racetrack

This article is over 1 year old

Australian Matthew Sullivan targeted with ball-bearings at racetrack in Indiana

Finnish driver Matthew Sullivan, known to the racing world for beating his countryman and former world champion Pirelli’s world champion Valtteri Bottas, was attacked with ball-bearings during a race and left with injuries requiring plastic surgery.

The Australian 25-year-old, who was operating his international support vehicle during the Italy/Australia round of the Formula One World Championship, suffered blunt trauma to his left hand and suffered a nose contusion after he was struck by an unknown projectile.

Sullivan said the projectiles struck him in the hand near his eye as he was prepping his car before taking part in the grand prix, but he managed to ignore the pain and continue with his session.

He said he spent Sunday morning undergoing plastic surgery on his hand and was waiting for it to heal before starting the emergency procedures he needs to correct a car which was badly damaged during the incident.

The incident happened at the Mugello circuit at the tail end of an event that has been marred by scrutineering issues for the two Formula One teams while it was expecting to have their cars validated for Pirelli tyres.

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Sullivan said he did not know who threw the ball-bearings but he was angry at what had happened.

“It was just horrific,” Sullivan said. “I just wanted to go outside and give my wife a hug and tell her I love her. It was tough. It was just a shock because, it’s just not something you expect. I just got hit in the hand and I thought, ‘That was pretty bad’.”

Bottas said he did not know the full details of the incident but felt bad for Sullivan.

“It’s terrible, absolutely terrible,” Bottas said. “No one deserves that. I feel so sorry for him, but I can’t help.”

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