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Maldondo wins race against fire

2012-05-13 20:15

BARCELONA, Spain - Seven Formula 1 personnel were taken to hospital after the fire that gutted the Williams garage while the team was celebrating winning Sunday's 2012 Spanish GP.

The fire, which poured thick, acrid black smoke across the paddock, started about 90 minutes after the race, won by Pastor Maldonado who was later seen rescuing his 12-year-old cousin, Manuel, piggyback through the smoke, the youngster clutching the winner's trophy.

The number of those treated by circuit doctors rose to 31.

The former champions had earlier gathered outside the Circuit de Catalunya garage for a team photograph to mark Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado's first career victory, the team’s first in nearly eight years.

CREWS IN FRONT LINE

Team founder and principal Frank Williams, who has used a wheelchair since a car crash many years ago, was in the garage when it filled with smoke and flames. His daughter Claire quickly pushed him to safety.
 
The blaze was fought by crews from the Williams, Caterham and Force India teams from the pits lane side before circuit fire services arrived.

The International Automobile Federation said in a statement that all but seven of the 31 team members who went to the Circuit Medical Centre had been released. The seven were transferred to local hospitals for treatment.

Williams said the fire had "originated from the fuel area" and three of staff were in hospital. "The team, the fire services and the police are working together to determine the cause of the fire and an update statement will be released in due course.”

The Caterham team, whose garage was adjacent to that of Williams, said four staff had been taken to the medical centre for examination - one with a minor hand injury and three with respiratory issues.

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said one of his crew suffered from smoke inhalation.

CAR GUTTED

Photographs also showed Brazilian Bruno Senna's car in the middle of a gutted and charred garage. Maldonado's had been parked elsewhere under post-race parc ferme rules.

Team officials and guests were ushered to safety and the area cordoned off. A medical helicopter was seen to take off after a while.

The fire was the second in an F1 paddock this season; one broke out in the Lotus hospitality area at the Malaysian circuit in March.




Reuters

Comments
  • faannagel - 2012-05-14 08:01

    Forza Ferrari,2nd place put us up there at the top, going to be a good season..!!

  • PC - 2012-05-14 09:35

    Who's Maldondo? His evil cousin? Can you at least try employ people with at least a primary school education?

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