Nico Rosberg escaped unscathed but the bird was not so lucky, after a 200kph collision in Bahrain during Friday practice.
Bild newspaper reports that the Shanghai winner, and Friday afternoon’s fastest in the island Kingdom, came to blows with a wayward feathered-friend as Rosberg’s Mercedes circulated the Sakhir circuit. Video and photo footage depicted the 26-year-old German driver returning to the pits with bloodied feathers stuck in his visor.
“I thought, God, what’s that?!” Rosberg told the newspaper. “It was a violent impact, pushing my head right back. The bird exploded on the helmet, but nothing else happened,” he said.
In 1960, British F1 driver Alan Stacey died at Spa-Francorchamps, after a bird smashed through his visor.
Rosberg wears a state-of-the-art EUR 12,000 Schuberth helmet.