Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Marshal dies after track accident

A Sauber car is removed by marshals from the track after crashing during the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix (AP/Tom Boland)

A track marshal has died after being injured in an accident during the Canadian Grand Prix.

It is the first death in Formula One since another marshal, Graham Beveridge, was fatally injured in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix.

The news was confirmed by motorsport's world governing body, the FIA, almost four hours after the end of the race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

A statement released by the FIA read: "The FIA is sad to announce the death of a Formula One Grand Prix du Canada worker at 6.02pm (local time). The worker, a member of the Automobile Club de l'Ile Notre Dame, was the victim of an unfortunate accident that occurred at the end of this afternoon's race.

"The worker was helping to recover a car (Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber) which had stopped during the race. The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits, and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.

"The worker was transported via helicopter to Sacre-Coeur hospital where he was treated by the traumatology department of Dr Ronald Denis, deputy chief medical officer, and Dr Jacques Bouchard, chief medical officer of the grand prix. Unfortunately, the worker succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

"The FIA, l'Automobile Club de l'Ile Notre Dame and the Formula One Grand Prix du Canada want to communicate their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim. The identity of the worker cannot be revealed at this time."

In 2001 in Melbourne, Beveridge was struck by a flying wheel from Jacques Villeneuve's BAR-Honda that had passed through a gap in the safety fence.

A few months previously at the 2000 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, volunteer firefighter Paolo Ghislimberti died from head and chest injuries after being struck by a loose wheel from Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan in the wake of a multi-car first-lap accident.

The F1 community responded immediately to the death Canada with expressions of sympathy, predominantly via Twitter. Teams, team principals and drivers all expressed their condolences, led by race runner-up Fernando Alonso, who said: "Today there is nothing to celebrate. Terrible news arrive with the death of a marshal this race. Very sad. R.I.P."

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