Tragedy on track, cars in Le Mans, and another weekend of racing

Another big weekend of racing is in the books, and what did we learn this time? Read on to find out.

As the weekend begins to wrap up, I like to take a broad look at the major events of the weekend, specifically in the ranks of Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR...and whatever series I was able to catch.

This weekend was my 'home' grand prix in Montreal. I am in Western Canada, and despite our opinions of our eastern friends and politics, they have the most beautiful city, and incredible track in much of Motorsports.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, on the Isle Notrè Dame, is absolutely stunning. It's one of the toughest races on brakes and engines that Formula One will have to tackle each year. Lastly, it creates incredible racing because of its layout, and the outrageous weather that presents itself during the Canadian GP weekend.

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

This year was no exception. Rain during practice and qualifying made the teams work even harder to get ready for what turned out to be a warm sunny race day. The race was a great one, with plenty of fantastic on track battles. While I will never cheer directly for Sebastien Vettel, it was really cool to see him lead flag to flag to finally get a win in Montreal.

Many thought the race was over, but shortly after the end there was a tragedy in turn 2. A track worker was run over by the crane that was removing Esteban Gutierrez's car. The news was grim from the get go.

In speaking with friends about the situation, it is truly a loss for motor sport as a whole. Corner workers, marshals, series officials, crane operators, any off track employee, or volunteer are the most valuable people in our sport. Without them, local tracks would not hold the racing that allows folks to get hooked on racing, and we would not have the talents that we watch week in and week out on some of the best circuits world wide.

I feel for the family of the decease, the crew who he worked with, and the driver who mistakenly ran him over.

But, now is where I might just put my foot in my mouth, due to how short of a time since the accident, but the FIA certainly needs to look over its safety procedures. In talking to Nancy Knapp-Schilke, with, who happens to be a former corner worker/marshal, and she mentioned that it is not unusual for track clean-up to start after the checkered flag but normally no one goes trackside until permission is given by race control and after the final car has cleared the track. Thus if anyone had been trackside, it no doubt was approved. However this does not explain why the tragedy happened at all but that is for the FIA and the Canadian officials to clarify. The most likely questions would be: why did the worker would lean over to pick up what he dropped knowing the crane was moving or why was there not a spotter in the area for the crane operator.

With that said, and with Felipe Massa's comments about his experiences in having to climb despite having injuries from Monaco, beckon the need for some improvements to training and facilitating trackside safety.

Ferrari F138 of Felipe Massa, Ferrari after he crashed during qualifying
Ferrari F138 of Felipe Massa, Ferrari after he crashed during qualifying

Photo by: XPB Images

But enough about the serious about Massa? The guy went and stuffed his car during qualifying in Canada...just adding to his streak of wrecks over the past couple weeks. Watching him take 8th place overall, in something the television commentators made out to be the most exciting battle on track is simply laughable. Massa is way too hot and cold to still be at Ferarri. Period.

That's all I want to say about it. I think he is talented, and a good guy to have in the sport...but there are some neat challenges he can take on in America...go IndyCar racing already, thats where all the washed up Formula One drivers go when they lose their edge right?

Spiderman Wins Another One

Race winner Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates
Race winner Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Helio Castroneves is one of my favorites. Seeing him win another race at Texas is awesome. I own a couple cowboy hats myself (Alberta Canada boy) and seeing him in one makes me smile.

As for storylines with the IndyCar races, there wasn't too much to write home about. A good safe race, with some great battles. Who can ask for anything else?

I must say that seeing a team member losing his glove on the front wing of Ed Carpenters car, causing him to come back in and lose a ton of track position was the funniest thing I have seen in a while.

Johnson wins in Pocono

Jimmie Johnson won another race? Oh boy. I

I look forward to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Pikes Peak International Hill's another great month for motorsports.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar , Le Mans , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Jimmie Johnson , Felipe Massa , Gilles Villeneuve , Esteban Gutierrez , Ed Carpenter
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Team Penske
Article type Commentary
Tags castroneves, corner worker, crash, danica, death, indycar, johnson, marshal, montreal, nascar, sad, vettel, voyager, win