Suzuka - Russian Daniil Kvyat caused something of a kerfuffle on Friday when he came over his team radio to complain he was being molested by a "baby octopus".
While Toro Rosso pit crew immediately understood the bizarre cephalopod reference, made during the morning's free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, fans and media alike were left flummoxed.
"Oh no, the octopus is back," Kvyat cried. "It's quite a small one - a baby octopus."
It turns out he was referring to small pieces of rubber wrapped around his car's antenna, which appeared to grow legs when stretched out at high speed.
Kvyat first noticed it happening in China two seasons ago, when the 'tentacles' began touching his helmet.
"It started in China in 2014, my first year with the team," he said.
"During the race there was a big octopus. Today was a small one, but I think some pieces of rubber can fly and build up around the antenna.
"In China it was almost hitting my visor so I was really struggling," he added with a laugh.
"I was fighting it. But the one today was small - a baby one - just born. It must have (sounded) weird on the radio."
Kvyat has endured a hugely frustrating 2016, being relegated from Red Bull back down to junior team Toro Rosso earlier in the year after twice clashing with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
To add insult to injury, the Russian was replaced by Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, but he was pleased with his showing at Suzuka on Friday, despite a spectacular spin in the afternoon session.
"It was a good day, decent," said Kvyat. "We ticked all our boxes, did a good long run, so we are basically ready.
"We will try to find bits and pieces to try to optimise everything for tomorrow," he added. "But we never know tomorrow what the weather will do. It might become quite interesting."