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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

F1 Driver Injured in Car Blast

Itar-TassZlobin's Mercedes MG-500 sitting in a parking lot after the blast on Monday.
Police were investigating a possible murder attempt against Russia's first Formula One driver in northern Moscow, following an explosion in his car when he started it Monday morning.

Sergei Zlobin, a test driver for the Minardi Formula One racing team during the 2003 season, escaped the blast with minor injuries.

Zlobin had already started his Mercedes MG-500 at around 8:00 Monday on Bulvar Matrosa Zheleznyaka, near the Voikovskaya metro station, when the explosion occurred, City Prosecutor's Office spokesman Alexander Shchegolikin said. He said Zlobin suffered minor bruises but was otherwise unhurt.

Prosecutors are investigating the incident as a case of attempted murder, although Shchegolikin declined to speculate on a possible motive.

"It is too early to speculate," he said.

Zlobin said the blast hit after he had gone about a meter in reverse.

"The floor was torn apart and struck me in the legs," Zlobin told NTV television. "I can't even imagine who would do this or what they would want from me."

Zlobin, 37, began his racing career in 1996, and his 2003 contract with Minardi made him the first Russian ever to sign with a Formula One team. The Italian team had a sponsorship deal with state-owned gas giant Gazprom at the time.

He spent one year with the team.