Australian Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher announced at the post-race press conference that a track marshal (corner worker) had died of injuries sustained from the Villeneuve/R. Schumacher accident. "Unfortunately we've just been told that...
Australian Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher announced at the post-race press conference that a track marshal (corner worker) had died of injuries sustained from the Villeneuve/R. Schumacher accident. "Unfortunately we've just been told that the Marshall did die," said Michael. "And obviously we are all shocked about this and we have to look out what is possible from our side to what support we can give, but certainly everybody is very much down for this situation."
The man is believed to have died after being struck by a wheel following a 150mph collision involving Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher just five laps into the opening race of the season in Melbourne.
The death of the Queenslander, whose name is not being released while relatives are informed, comes six months after Paolo Ghislimberti was killed after being hit by a wheel following a six-car pile-up at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
Peter Hansen, chief executive of the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS), said the marshal's daughter had been at the track during the race.
No confirmation of how the marshal was injured have been made by organisers of the race and the incident is now the subject of a coroner's investigation.
The accident happened when Villeneuve's car was sent into orbit after hitting the back of R. Schumacher's car as he attempted to overtake the German. The Canadian, who won the world championship in 1997 with Williams, was sent flying backwards into the perimeter fence while the wheels and other bits of the car flew in all directions. Villeneuve careened along a concrete wall for about 100 yeards before hitting the gravel, but although his car was very badly damaged he was able to get out of the cockpit. Neither R. Schumacher or Villeneuve were injured in the accident.
Seven spectators were treated for minor injuries following the tragic incident.
Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of the worker.