The role of a race marshal is often overlooked. Unlike the drivers and team members, these roles are unpaid, voluntary and, as is evident from the Canadian Grand Prix, highly dangerous. Sebastian Vettel put its best in his tribute.
“The work of marshals is not always seen but it is vital to our sport and without their commitment, time and dedication there would be no Motorsport.”
The 38-year-old marshal was killed when the recovery truck removing Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber, crushed him. The marshal was attempting to pick up his radio at the time.
Gutierrez himself spoke of his heartache following the incident on his official Twitter page.
“My dearest condolences to the family of the marshal who lost his life today, our prayers for him and his family. RIP,”
Marshals take on this role each year so they can feel a part of the sport they love; they are the true Motorsport fans. Without them, cars would not be removed from the track and the new safety laws imposed to protect the drivers could not be enforced.
The respect the drivers and sport feels for marshals cannot be ignored. Fernando Alonso took an impressive second place in the race but insists “there is nothing to celebrate” in the wake of this news.
Much is said about the safety of the drivers but let us not forget, they are not the only ones putting their lives at risk.
The FIA are yet to announce plans for an investigation into the death.
Images courtesy of the Guardian and Alex Zanardi