There have been several recent incidents involving brave guys among the marshals. The FIA was already very much concerned about the safety of anything and everything to do with Formula 1 rounds, but dangerous situations still occurred from time to time.
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A quick note on what marshals do on the track. Marshals are divided into five main types:
- Flag marshals signal to drivers on the track using flags
- Pit marshals supervise order in the pit lane, and for example, if drivers are taking penalties
- Grid marshals keep order on the starting lane, manage access to it, and control the order of the formation of cars.
- Track marshals are found along the track’s perimeter; their job is to eliminate incidents.
- Fire marshals are professional firefighters at the track perimeter.
On each round of Formula 1, there are cumulatively up to 1500 marshals, who are not paid by the championship management; it is purely a volunteer job. They get free meals and the excitement of being in the thick of it. Every race is a new experience, especially when you can be a part of the event, and make a bet on it, checking the review on https://bookmaker-ratings.com/review/fastbet-bookmaker-review-rules-support-sign-up-free-bets-site/ beforehand.
Track marshals have the most dangerous job because they have to appear on track more often than others: crashes, traffic jams, evacuating cars, removing wreckage, cleaning track from gravel – all this is their responsibility. Usually, the race does not stop when necessary to remove, for example, the destruction left by accident – the cars continue behind the safety car, i.e., at a reduced speed, but in the vicinity of the track marshals. In essence, they risk their health and even their lives at every round. Still, as a rule, people who are passionate about something and in love with something rarely stop at such trifles. For many Formula 1 is a passion, and working as a stage marshal is an opportunity to become part of the grand celebration of F1.
Let’s move on to the central theme, the dangerous situations associated with Formula 1 marshals.
The most recent case, Bahrain 2020: a marshal ran across the track without looking.
During the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix, we saw a brave marshal running across the track precisely in front of Lando Norris’ car to help his colleagues put out the engine of a stopped Checo Perez on the track. F1 race director Michael Masi said at the time that the marshal was acting on instinct because of the terrible crash of Romain Grosjean in other parts of the track, as well as the overturning of Lance Stroll’s car as a result of contact with Kvyat.
Understandably, the double yellow flags were in effect. You had to go slower than usual, but a Formula 1 car accelerates to 200km/h in 4 seconds, and that’s far from its speed limit, which means the guy didn’t have much time to cross the track.
Lando himself said that from his position in that part of the track, you could very well see the black sky, not the marshal, who was dressed in a black or dark brown suit.
By the way, it was the fire marshal who was rushing to put out Perez’s engine.
Imola 2020: the marshals were on track when the cars were allowed to overtake the safety car and return to the lap with the leaders.
A very recent incident occurred at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. The situation is as follows: after the departure of Max Verstappen because of a burst tire, on the track appeared and collected all behind him, the pilots followed him, and at one point, George Russell overdid with the desire to warm the rear tires and flew under the safety car into the bump, on the track, there were numerous wrecks of his vehicle, and the mode of the safety car was extended. The six cars that found themselves in a lap behind the leaders were allowed to start overtaking without any speed limit to complete one lap and join the tail of the peloton assembled by the safety car, thus ending up in the same lap as the leaders.
The six cars did not have to follow the restrictions in doing their lap. They were perfectly able to run at full speed until they were caught up by the safety car. But as it turned out, the marshals on the track did not have time to clear the debris from George Russell and thus ended up on the track, close to a corner where at least six cars flew at race speed.
The drivers who should have passed the marshals (Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, Vettel, Grosjean, Stroll) were shocked to find they were still there.
However, everyone but Stroll slowed down when they saw the people. Lance ended up flying dangerously close to the marshals.
Monaco 2019: Checo Perez nearly hit two marshals picking up debris.
Last year, a dangerous situation with the track marshals occurred at the Monaco Grand Prix: contact between Charles Leclair and Nico Hülkenberg resulted in a punctured rear wheel on the Monegasque car. It began to deteriorate rapidly and its parts, in turn, destroyed the car’s carbon underbody, leaving dangerous debris all over the track, a safety car mode was imposed during which the track was to be cleared.
The part of the cars in Safety Car mode went to the pits for fresh tires, while the marshals took advantage of the gaps where there were no cars in their sector and jumped out to clear the track of debris. But these two had a bit off time and ran out on the track at precisely the moment when the boxes came out of Checo Perez and started to accelerate to the first turn. By the way, the speed there is already about 150 km / h. As a result, the Mexican had to brake and dodge, and marshals found themselves in a very unpleasant situation, at risk of falling under the wheels of a car.
As you can see, the job of a marshal on the track involves a certain amount of risk and danger. While that danger is often an unfortunate set of circumstances, it does not detract from their virtues or the benefits they bring to Formula 1.