Marshal, Singapore, 2016

Near-miss with marshal was “pretty hairy” – Rosberg

2016 Singapore Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg said his near-miss with a marshal early on in the Singapore Grand Prix was a “hairy” moment.

Start, Singapore, 2016
2016 Singapore Grand Prix in pictures
The incident occurred when the Safety Car was brought in at the end of lap two. Rosberg, who went on to win the race, indicated the sudden ending of the Safety Car period caught the field by surprise.

“That was pretty hairy, for sure, he said. “I think just as we didn’t expect the restart, he didn’t either, I think, because the restart was somehow pretty abrupt.”

“But he got out of the way just about in time so it was OK. Of course we all had to drive a bit carefully through there.”

The marshal was still running alongside the track to get back to safety when the field came past, led by Rosberg, at the beginning of lap three. Other marshals continued to wave yellow flags to warn the field he was was.

During last year’s Singapore Grand Prix a spectator wandered onto the track during the race, causing a Safety Car period.

Pictures: Near-miss with a marshal

2016 Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Near-miss with marshal was “pretty hairy” – Rosberg”

    1. Charlie Whiting should give himself a fine for screwing this up.

      1. +1. 8 place grid drop for Perez for overtaking / driving too quickly, so what’s the penalty for sending them racing into the path of a working marshal without hardly a warning?

        1. @strontium
          Nothing, because they’re not competing.
          Yeah, I know, not the point and blah blah, but this is probably the silliest way of approaching the issue.

      2. Andy, to be fair to Whiting, the information coming through, as GT-Racer points out, indicates that Whiting had been told by the track officials that the track was clear, only for them to then order the marshal back out without telling Whiting. If that is indeed correct, then it would suggest that the person who really should be penalised would be the circuit official who order the marshal back onto the circuit without warning anybody that they would be doing that.

        1. Correct – Charlie doesn’t see every bit of circuit before his thumbs up yet given an all clear by the marshal point, not his fault. I was in T3 so didn’t see it live but on the screens this was pretty hairy !!!!!

    2. Something like this should never happen. I do hope the FIA does a full investigation on how this was possible.

    3. As I understand it a circuit official seemingly went against protocol by instructing a marshal to go out on track without informing race control.

      Race control sent out the signal saying the SC was coming in well in advance of the restart but at some point after the final signal was given a marshal spotted some more debris & was instructed by a circuit official (Not race control) to go & pick it up as the cars were exiting turn 22.

      Race control were not made aware that anyone was going to be going back on track & by the time they were told the marshal was already on the track & it was too late to abort the restart as the cars were already coming out of the final corner.

    4. Rosberg should have shown a bit of maturity here and moved to the left off the racing line to give the marshal more space. A double yellow is one thing but if you see a marshal still on the track when you are at race pace then the safety issue is obvious. He’s done enough races to know when to back off/give space when the flag system/race management etc has failed.
      This is far worse than what Perez did during qualifying.

      1. @Rick I agree, Rosberg almost charged into the guy – if anything had happened and he’d lost control of the car, he could have killed him. He was leading and it was his responsibility to slow down and move to the left. If anyone had passed him, they would have been asked to give back the position or been given a penalty.

        1. @freelittlebirds “If anyone had passed him, they would have been asked to give back the position or been given a penalty.”

          Well no. He would have put himself in a vulnerable position after the corner, and if he would have been overtaken after that (where, I assume, green flags were waving) nobody would have been penalized or asked to give the place back.

          1. I’d rather lose a place than gain a manslaughter charge.

          2. @mattds I doubt it because it would have been evident he was trying to avoid running over a marshal. That would have been hilarious if the other driver was allowed to keep the position unless you are taking a jab at the FIA’s general inconsistency and expecting them to fumble such a simple decision :-)

            However, they really should have given Nico a warning or penalty for not slowing down and steering clear of a marshal – all drivers should know that’s more important than any position in the race. They didn’t so your point is well taken and probably valid.

            You cannot chase a marshal or make a timing call – you have to slow down and steer clear to the maximum extent possible if you can. No overtaking allowed when you see any dangerous situation involving a marshal. That to me should be rule #1 in F1

    5. What if the guy had tripped? Rosberg would have been able to move out the way, but what about the people behind Rosberg who hadn’t spotted the marshal yet? He could easily have been run over. Simply disastrous.

      The FIA needs to look over protocol here. If a marshal is spotted on track, they should be able to electronically speed down the cars without notice. If everyone suddenly slowed to half their speed, this wouldn’t have been as dangerous.

      1. @chrischrill “If a marshal is spotted on track, they should be able to electronically speed down the cars without notice.”

        I can easily imagine that getting ridiculously dangerous as well.

        1. @mattds No worse than a “sudden loss of power” which drivers experience every now and then.

          1. @chrischrill sorry, but no, too dangerous for various reasons. See the automatic switch fail on one car and you’ll get crashes like Alonso in Australia, which could end very badly and, applying on yesterday’s situation, could easily see an uncontrollable car hurtling towards a steward.
            Or sudden deceleration during a fast corner when the driver isn’t prepared to get it. Or various other scenario’s that I could think of.

            1. MattDS,
              Your missing the point here, a double yellow flag is for the safety of the drivers and the marshals. If a driver sees a double yellow he is made to slow down just in case there is an obstruction or marshal on the track.
              Nico didn’t need a double yellow to tell him there was a possibly of a marshal on the track as he aimed his car at the racing line where one was standing.
              If he had picked up a bit of debri on the straight due to the previous accident and had a puncture we could be discussing something very different.
              Keeping your 1st place is not more important than a marshals life, sometimes the drivers need to take action for safety reasons without being told to.

            2. Agree with @Rick and @chrischrill– FIA needs to review this because the marshals risk their lives and the way he was chased yesterday was unacceptable. There should be a rule that if a driver sees a marshal on track they must slow down and steer clear to the maximum extent possible while ensuring they can maintain control of the car. Overtaking or attempts are prohibited by any driver when a marshal is visible on track.

              For me the safety of the marshals is at least as important as the safety of drivers. This needs to be reviewed by the FIA before an accident happens.

            3. @freelittlebirds and Rick, I’m not arguing against better enforcement of double waved yellows. I’m arguing against a system that would automatically reduce speeds, as I’m convinced such could introduce very dangerous situations and could even turn out to be much more dangerous for the marshals they’re trying to protect.

    6. It’s surprising how quick the SC was send in. Less penalties, less SC, for sure it makes for another form of entertainment…

      1. Yeah, good job in bringing SC in fast for a change

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