The Australian Grand Prix podcast In the Fast Lane has released its latest episode featuring FIA Formula 1® Medical Rescue Co-ordinator Dr Ian Roberts and FIA Formula 1® Medical Car Driver Alan van der Merwe.
As part of National Safe Work Month in Australia, Roberts and Van der Merwe join In the Fast Lane co-hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to discuss the differing paths to their roles, the biggest safety advances in F1® and how they helped Romain Grosjean survive his dramatic crash in Bahrain last year.
Roberts recounts what was going through his mind as he approached Grosjean and the fiery crash site in Bahrain last year.
“Romain’s incident was very different to what we would normally get to, because one we didn’t actually have a driver, we literally had this piece of a car facing the wrong direction and a hole in Armco and a massive fireball. So on approach it looked really very odd and we’re piecing things together, where is the driver?” Roberts said.
“And then on arrival, we could see Romain through the hole in the Armco and obviously he was engulfed with flames, the instinct for a lot of things is to put out the fire, but actually the instinct here was how do we get to the driver through the fire, and we had the marshal who was trained to fight a car fire but not necessarily to point the extinguisher at the driver,” he continued
“The other thought was this is going to hurt because if Romain hadn’t had the fortitude to lift himself out, we would have had to go in for him. So we would have relied on both ourselves fighting the flame and to be able to go in and get him…so it was a really brave thing that he did, very harrowing.”
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