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Marshal safety: Lewis remembers SA deaths

2014-07-21 09:30


F1 SAFETY RISK: Sauber driver Adrian Sutil leaves his car after crashing out of the German GP in Hockenheim on July 20. Image: AP/Petr David Josek

HOCKENHEIM Germany - Lewis Hamilton said he had feared for the safety of the track marshals who ran across the track to push clear Adrian Sutil's stranded Sauber during the 2014 German Formula 1 GP.

The 2008 F1 champion said he was reminded of the death at the 1977 F1 GP at South Africa's Kyalami circuit when Welsh driver Tom Pryce was killed in a collision with marshal Frederick Jansen van Vuuren who was crossing the track with a fire extinguisher.

Van Vuuren was also killed; Pryce died when he was hit in the face by the fire extinguisher the marshal had been carrying.


Mercedes driver Hamilton, third in a race won by team mate Nico Rosberg, told reporters he had been surprised by what happened when the Sauber was left in the middle of the track after the final corner on lap 48.

While many expected the safety car to be deployed the race direction decided otherwise.

Hamilton said: "I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned. When you come around that corner at serious speed and then there are marshals standing not far away... for me that's the closest it's been for a long, long time.

"I used to work at a driving school in Bedford (England) and one day I came in and they had this video that was playing all the time," recalled Hamilton. "It was a video from a race from years and years ago and a car had stopped on the track, a marshal ran across the track and got hit by a car coming past.

"That was the first thing I thought about.

"Obviously we are not going as fast as on that straight but I was worried about the marshals... fortunately nobody was hurt."

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