McLaren boss Andreas Seidl said marshals crossing the track with fire extinguishers was something that “absolutely shouldn’t happen” in Formula 1, after Lando Norris’ worrying moment in Bahrain.
Following Sergio Perez’s late retirement from the race which left his Racing Point ablaze on the side of the circuit at the exit of turn 10, a fire marshal crossed the track in front of Norris’ car, causing a surprise reaction of the British pilot.
“There’s a guy crossing the runway!” he said over the radio.
“He’s the bravest guy I’ve ever seen.”
Seidl said the issue was “clearly worrying” and should be taken seriously by FIA and F1 race director Michael Masi to avoid similar incidents in the future.
At the 1977 South African Grand Prix, Shadow Driver Tom Pryce and Fire Marshal Frederick Jansen van Vuuren were both killed when Jansen van Vuuren crossed the track to witness Renzo Zorzi’s machine and was hit by Pryce, who hadn’t seen behind. Walk by Hans Stuck.
Pryce, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher, was also killed instantly.
“It’s obviously concerning to hear a comment like this from Lando on the radio,” Seidl said.
“And this is clearly something that absolutely should not happen. But I also think it is something that is important to analyze behind closed doors with the FIA.
“I’m sure Michael is doing it, with the contribution he expects from us.
“I am sure the right conclusions will be drawn and we will continue to work together to improve the safety of our riders and all marshals on the tracks around the world.”
Speaking about the incident afterward, Norris said the Marshal was difficult to spot against the dark background.
“It was the last thing I expected,” Norris explained.
“The guy didn’t look left and right back and forth before crossing the road.
“It was a double yellow. And I was going pretty slow, so there was no point in risking anything.
“But he wasn’t the most visible guy, because at that point, you know, I’m looking at the sky and he’s wearing black or dark blue.”
“It wasn’t that easy to see, all I saw was a bouncing fire extinguisher. It was just a little crazy moment.”
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