The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push
Prime
Formula 1 Interview

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

By:

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

The drawn-out wait for the decision everybody knew was coming, that the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix would not restart, was for many characterised by consumption of snacks and complaining on social media.

But for F1’s medical car driver Alan van der Merwe it was an intensely busy time. He and safety car driver Bernd Maylander completed more laps than the F1 field, regularly taking to the track to evaluate whether conditions were such that racing could get under way. It’s all part of the job for the 2003 British Formula 3 champion, who has been transporting F1’s medical rescue coordinator to incidents since 2009 – a gig which arose from an impromptu meet with then-F1 race director Charlie Whiting at Heathrow.

shares
comments

Alfa Romeo still open to fielding Ferrari F1 young drivers in the future

Honda quit F1 too early, says motorsport boss Yamamoto

More from GP Racing

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1
Australian GP

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries

Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1

Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries

How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side

How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1

How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side

The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1
Las Vegas GP

The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance

CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1

CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance

How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations

How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1

How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations

Why F1's new rules can't yet be ruled a total success

Why F1's new rules can't yet be ruled a total success

Prime
Prime
F1 Formula 1
Bahrain GP

Why F1's new rules can't yet be ruled a total success Why F1's new rules can't yet be ruled a total success

How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule

How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Australian GP
GP Racing

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023

The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Australian GP
Alex Kalinauckas

The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023 The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

The state of play in F1's technical silly season

The state of play in F1's technical silly season

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

The state of play in F1's technical silly season The state of play in F1's technical silly season

Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers

Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Kevin Turner

Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers

Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries

Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries Why drivers are the least of Ferrari’s F1 worries

How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side

How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side How Vasseur has begun Ferrari’s mission to keep Leclerc on side