Why Did It Take So Long To Put Out The Fire On Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari? – WTF1
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Why Did It Take So Long To Put Out The Fire On Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari?

Carlos Sainz was the victim of a pretty scary incident during last Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix when his chances of a podium went up in smoke (literally). Flames quickly engulfed the Spaniard’s Ferrari, but nearby stewards weren’t exactly quick to respond…

Before his engine blew up, Sainz had been hunting down the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and was on the verge of securing a critical 1-2 finish for Ferrari.

But after his engine had other ideas, Sainz was forced to use a steep exit road on the approach to Turn 4. Then, in a very scary turn of events, he had to stay in the car to stop it from rolling backwards and onto the track 😳

From the moment Sainz pulled over, it took over 25 seconds for the first marshal to arrive on the scene with a fire extinguisher, leaving many fans wondering why it took so long.

Sainz explained that he felt “uneasy” about the incident and said that it was “definitely something we need to look at” and try to understand “what we could have done a bit faster because it was not the easiest situation to be in.”

“I was calling the marshals to come and help me to put something on the tyres to stop the car rolling down,” he said.

Onboards of the incident show a marshal arrive and place a chock under the Ferrari’s front right tyre, but the car rolls over it and continues to move backwards down the hill. The car finally came to a stop when it rested against a nearby barrier.

All in all, it was great to see Carlos get out unharmed, but he did categorise his recovery process as “a bit slow.” Not exactly what you need when you’re sitting in a fireball…

When The Race asked for comment on the marshal’s slow response time, the FIA confirmed that all actions taken in response to the incident were “conducted as per procedure” and that “any lessons from the incident will be learned”. Talk about vague…

At the time of the incident, the FIA deployed a Virtual Safety Car because, as the Ferrari was deep in the run-off area, “the full safety car was not deemed necessary”.

The marshals involved in recovering Sainz and his Ferrari have been scrutinised online, but someone claiming to be a marshal nearby spoke out on Reddit.

They first asked people to “stop praising the photographer” who was nearby as he “was blocking the fire marshals” and “was told to move away from the service road twice”.

They then explained that the first marshal, who stopped halfway to the Ferrari before running back to the marshal’s post, was ordered to return to “get the car with the big extinguisher”. According to the post, he is also one of the “most experienced marshals out there”.

Do you think the FIA should investigate this incident further? We’re just glad to see Sainz got out in time!

8 thoughts on “Why Did It Take So Long To Put Out The Fire On Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari?

  • ฬ๏ยtєг says:

    Easy to judge people from behind a screen. I think they acted quite adequately, especially as Sainz parked his car in such a way that he made things quite difficult for them. Sainz could have done a couple of things to stop the car from rolling. He could have turned right into the gravel so it would be perpendicular to the slope rather than in line with it; he could have stopped it against the barrier and turn the wheel left so it would wedge itself against it or he could have kept the car in gear rather than in neutral when switching it off (if that is possible… if not then it should be)

    But because he didn’t do any of these things, the marshals had to put themselves in danger and focus on blocking the car first (which is not easy with a burning and already moving car) before they could start putting out the fire. Many people have criticized these marshals online, but I doubt any of them have ever been in a similar situation as a 1st responder.

  • The car has a built-in fire suppression system with a trigger right next to Sainz’s left hand in the cockpit.

    • Rhavi Marques says:

      given the footage of what happens when those things go off by accident, its safe to assume the fire supression system douses the cockpit in foam, not the engine.

  • How about “complete incompetence on a world stage”? That work for anyone? Please stop trying to make it seem like a driver, held in by the stupid legs-up position/removable steering wheel/halo should also make sure he properly places a burning car in a position to fight the fire. I mean, really. Incompetence. Big time.

  • Sainz didn’t do them any favors by stopping straight on a hill. If he’d turned the wheel hard over, some grief could have been eliminated.

  • Craig W. Bickerstaff says:

    I think this article is shameful to say the least. Carlos was not sitting in a fireball, by the time the fire begins to spread in a big way the marshal is there at the car with the stopper and Carlos immediately exits the car. I don’t think the response time was nearly as bad as you claim it to be as well. Especially since once they arrived the fire was extinguished with in 10 seconds.
    According to the reddit from this article as I suspected Carlos actually probably could have gotten out of the car sooner.

    His car Was already smoking a lot when it stopped. We all think he should have gotten out immediately.

    25 seconds, I timed closer to 27 seconds but you write it as though it were 25 minutes! It’s not at all fair to the work the Marshals did that day, especially after I read some of their explanations from the reddit thread.
    I thought this one was interesting as well.

    The car is called in and race control decides what happens. Until that noone is allowed to move. In detail what happens is:
    The car is called in. Everyone is prepared. Race control gives orders. People are allowed to move according to orders. We need to make sure everyone is safe, not just the drivers (though their safety is important too)

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