During the Singapore Grand Prix, a number of teams made a mess of their pitstops and we saw a few mechanics fall to the ground as the cars sped away before they should have done. Most notable among the incidents was Felipe Massa, who was given the green light even though the fuel-rigger hadn’t released the hose from the car. In spectacular fashion, Massa kept his foot planted and ripped the hose from the rig, dragging it behind him and pulling the refueller to the floor in the process.
At the time, Ferrari spokesperson Luca Colajanni stated that the team member was not seriously hurt but was being taken to the circuit’s medical centre as a precaution. It turns out that the mechanic escaped injury aside from a few bruises.
David Coulthard’s refueller wasn’t quite so lucky as Red Bull’s incident has led to their team member with ligament damage to his ankle. Thankfully, Coulthard’s experience probably helped as the Scot jumped on the brakes almost immediately after realising something wasn’t right.
The technician who was knocked over during David’s final pit stop has damaged his ankle ligaments and burned his thumb, but fortunately other than that he’s okay. Christian Horner.
Interestingly, former Benetton and Williams driver Alex Wurz was asked on the eve of the race to step into the role of Medical Car Driver, the regular driver having been taken ill. Wurz was apparently recommended by the Safety Car driver Bernd Maylander as the two know each other quite well.
Currently with Honda as a test driver, Wurz took on the role and even saw some action as he followed Maylander out onto the track to assess Nelson Piquet’s accident. Fortunately, Piquet was fine and was already making his way back to the pitlane by the time the medical team had arrived at the scene.
Image Copyright © HondaF1.
I would have thought that Wurz was absolutely the obvious choice for that job. He has bags of experience and is a very cool clear thinker so could handle anything that cropped up while he was on track. He also does so much safety work both track and road that whatever the situation he will have come across before it and known how to deal with it.
Totally right, Steven. Wurz is a man who, despite having only raced for a few seasons is well-trusted in the paddock, well-respected and a man who has remained close to the sport and will hopeful continue so, way into the future. I can see Wurz becoming the Safety or Medical Car driver in the future, or some other important role that plays to his characteristics perfectly.
Even though he’s had no hugely mega results from racing in Formula One (ie. never won), he’s a legend in my book. The McLaren racing today is partly in thanks to him. I think he has his work cut out at Honda though – Wurz maybe a legend, but he’s no miracle-maker! 😛
I will always remember him for winning a wheel banging session around the hairpin at Monaco.
Clearly McLaren rated him really highly as in addition to paying him a load of money they had to build larger tubs to accomodate him. You have to be a bit special for McLaren to do that.
With a certain Mr Schumacher Snr. 🙂
Doubly so when at the time, the designer was none other than Adrian absolutely no aerodynamic compromise allowed, squeeze the lanky g** in Newey.
Indeed despite being a fan for only a short time I do have a load of respect for Alex- he seems to be a great man who everyone thinks of highly. Also no doubt driving the medical car he has a bit more leg room than in any of his F1 rides, something those of us 6 foot and over can always appreciate.