In the wake of concerns voiced about Ralf Schumacher's crash at Indianapolis, the FIA said the response times of emergency crews was satisfactory. Schumacher was stranded in his damaged Williams on the main straight after a puncture threw the car...
In the wake of concerns voiced about Ralf Schumacher's crash at Indianapolis, the FIA said the response times of emergency crews was satisfactory. Schumacher was stranded in his damaged Williams on the main straight after a puncture threw the car backwards into the wall, and some thought the wait for him to be attended was too long.
An FIA spokesman explained that the response was within the required time and that the marshals had been correct in not approaching the Williams until it was safe to do so -- and to not attend Schumacher until qualified medical personnel arrived.
"We require emergency medical personnel to arrive at an incident within two minutes," he said, according to Reuters. "This was achieved and we were therefore satisfied with the response time."
"The safety car, medical car and fast intervention cars were deployed by race control without delay and the first car to reach the incident was the closest emergency medical vehicle."
"Track marshals and non-medical personnel attending the scene are specifically instructed not to touch a driver and to wait for medical experts to arrive. A well-meaning intervention by someone other than an expert could have very serious consequences for the driver involved."
Some thought the race should have been red-flagged due to the amount of debris on the track, or for the safety car to take the pack through the pit lane rather than past the crash site. But the FIA believes the debris was avoidable and the situation was resolved successfully.
"Race control was in constant touch with the safety car and the feedback from the track was that it was quite possible to avoid the debris," said the spokesman.
"The start of a race is potentially the most dangerous moment and is therefore something to be avoided if a safety car deployment can manage the situation safely and effectively which was the case at Indianapolis."
Ralf Schumacher spent a night in hospital and was then released and returned home to continue his recovery. The German suffered concussion, bruising and back pain but was otherwise uninjured. It is not yet known if he will take part the French Grand Prix, July 4th -- he and the team will review his condition later this week.