Canadian GP winner Sebastian Vettel has led other drivers in paying tribute to a marshall who died after being run over by a mobile crane during Sunday’s race in Montreal.
The marshall, as yet unnamed, died in hospital from injuries sustained while removing the Sauber of Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez, who crashed out seven laps from the end of the race.
FIA said in a statement that the track worker had dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. In doing so, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.
The FIA said the worker was transferred by helicopter to the Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal for treatment but his injuries were too severe and he died.
While the marshall’s death appeared a freak accident, there has long been concern about the use of such cranes while the race is still going on — but more from the point of view of driver safety.
Racer-turned-commentator Martin Brundle observed during the GP — before the accident — that it might have been safer to leave the car where it was rather than hurrying to remove it.
Michael Schumacher was fortunate to escape serious injury in Brazil in 2003 when a recovery crane was deployed during a rain-hit race and his Ferrari skidded off and almost crashed into it.