The last thing you want to see at a race is someone get hurt—but it very nearly happened to a track marshal during last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
On Sunday, Racing Point driver Sergio Perez was accelerating out of the pit lane when he very nearly collided with two marshals who were crossing the track. Perez had to stomp on the brakes to avoid hitting one of the men; the other stopped moving to let Perez pass.
The incident took place during the safety car that resulted from Charles Leclerc’s collision with Nico Hulkenberg. No one was hurt—neither drivers nor track marshals—but I’m pretty certain that at least a few people needed a change of underwear after that near-miss. Perez came on the radio to ask, ““What was wrong with those marshals? I nearly killed him.”
Perez’s comments on the incident were later reported by The Guardian:
During the safety car I nearly ran over a marshal. They were running back across the track as I was coming out of the pits. I had to brake – they were very lucky I avoided them. They’re usually very good but it is safety at the end of the day and that is what is important for the marshals and drivers.
This brings up a pretty important safety question: Why would marshals be crossing the track at such a dangerous moment in the first place? It’s rare to have problems with marshals, but it’s always pretty mind-blowing when it happens at an event as big as Monaco, where F1 has had the time to practice their safety routine.