The Bahrain Grand Prix will long be remembered for Romain Grosjean’s terrifying fireball crash on the opening lap.
Grosjean’s Haas was ripped into two and incinerated after he thundered into the railing at turn three at speeds of roughly 220km/h.
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The race was immediately red flagged as crews worked to contain the flames and remove what was left of Grosjean’s car.
As soon as the race was restarted, not even one lap in and another incident brought out the flags from marshals.
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was flipped over after making contact with Daniil Kvyat’s Alpha Tauri at turn eight. Stroll managed to crawl out of his upside down car, uninjured.
As those two moments, Grosjean in particular, stole the bulk of attention, it was a third incident that has largely been overlooked.
Sergio Perez’s Racing Point car became spitting out flames due to an engine malfunction, bringing out the yellow flags once again in the dying stages of the race.
But as McLaren’s Lando Norris made his way around the track he encountered something he never thought he’d see.
“There’s a guy f***ing running across the track!” he said over the team radio. “That’s the bravest guy I’ve ever seen.” A person over the team radio responded: “Brave or stupid”.
The man in question was a track marshal who disobeyed FIA instructions by crossing the track. He had a fire extinguisher in hand as he raced over to help put out the fire on Perez’s car.
Norris after the race spoke about the moment that left the 21-year-old British star feeling a sense of panic.
“I panicked because it was the last thing I was expecting, the guy didn’t look left or right before he crossed the road,” Norris said after the race.
“It was a double yellow and I was going slow enough because there was no point in risking anything at all.
“It wasn’t the most visible guy because at that point I’m looking at the sky, he’s wearing pretty much black or dark blue and it wasn’t that easy to see. All I kind of saw was a bouncing extinguisher.
“It wasn’t lucky, just a bit of a crazy moment. The guy had some balls on him so fair play.”
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl was quick to slam the incident and said no marshal should ever be running across the track.
“It’s obviously concerning if you hear a comment like this from Lando over the radio,” said Seidl.
“And it’s clearly something that should absolutely not happen. But I think as well, it’s something that’s important to analyse behind closed doors together with the FIA.
“I’m sure Michael is doing that, together with the input he wants from us.
“I’m sure the right conclusions will be made and we will keep working together on improving safety for our drivers and for all the marshals on the tracks worldwide.”
Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said the marshal had not received permission to cross the track, stating he had acted on instinct.
“There was obviously another fire with Sergio Perez’s car and a fire marshal reacted on his instinct without any instruction and just saw fire. I would have said, particularly under the circumstances of what happened earlier, the priority was to put the fire out,” he said to racefans.net.
The drivers return to the Bahrain track this weekend for the Sakhir Grand Prix with the race getting underway on Monday, December 7 at 4:10am (AEDT).