Formula 1 | Sainz fire in Austria: the commissioners explain

After the fire he suffered in the race at the Austrian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz explained that he found the intervention of the marshals very long. Unjustly accused, they decided to issue a press release explaining why it took them so long to put out the fire on the Ferrari F1-75.

“After Jules Bianchi’s horrific accident in 2014, the FIA’s rules regarding recovery and intervention on the track have been drastically tightened” says the statement of the commissioners.

“Intervention is only allowed after instruction from the race management. On the one hand, this naturally increases the safety of the drivers and marshals, but on the other hand, it has the disadvantage that the interventions take a little more time.”

In addition to this mandatory warning, the marshals explain that the location of the single-seater, as well as other factors, contributed to the difficulty of intervention, when the single-seater had not come to a complete stop and reversed, catching fire. towards the track.

“Several unfortunate circumstances came together. The place where Sainz parked the Ferrari was not visible from the marshals’ stand. They were instructed by radio to go to the car with fire extinguishers and when they saw the situation, they made the decision to call the fire truck.”

“That decision must have been made within seconds and in hindsight it was absolutely correct. If you remember the crash of… [Romain] Grosjean, in a situation like this hand extinguishers are definitely not enough.”

The commissioner did not “run away”

This is why the commissioner backtracked, suggesting he was running away from the problem. In reality, his judgment was not to try the impossible with his fire extinguisher, and he made the decision to return to the station and call an intervention vehicle.

“As a result, the fire extinguisher was extinguished and the car was left behind, leading to that unfortunate television image of the Commissioner ‘running away’. Another problem was that Sainz, understandably, became nervous in the vehicle and released the brakes too early.”

“The block had to be slid under the rolling vehicle, which of course made assembly extremely difficult. However, due to the resistance of the block, the vehicle went inside and came to a stop. fire be extinguished.”

“If you look at the TV images and the track camera recordings afterwards, you will of course see things that need to be improved. We will also discuss this internally and with our people.”

Sainz would have been protected if he hadn’t come out

The marshals also remember that fires are not common situations and they require very quick responses: “But in this exceptional situation, because a fire does not occur every day with us, the marshals have generally responded well.”

“We had a fire truck on the scene within 30 seconds, which would have brought a rapidly expanding fire under control. Since the Grosjean accident, it is very important for us to have a lot of firepower on site right away to protect the pilot in the best possible way way.”

“There was already another rescue vehicle and a third was on the way. Even if Sainz hadn’t got out of the vehicle under his own power, we could have protected him in the best possible way.”

“Nous sommes une équipe de passionnés de sport automobile qui sacrifient leur temps libre pour des entraînements et des exercices afin the faire de notre mieux pour la sécurité sur la piste lors de tels événements. yet.”

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