June 9th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - A shadow has been cast over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend by the news that a track worker at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has died from injuries sustained while Esteban Gutierrez's car was being returned to the pits by a mobile crane after the race was completed.
The marshal stumbled in front of a recovery vehicle, which knocked him over and ran over his body. He was taken to hospital where he was treated, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
Messages of condolence have poured in on social media from teams and drivers. Esteban Gutierrez, whose car was being transported at the time of the incident, tweeted: "My dearest condolences to the family of the marshal who lost his life today, our prayers for him & his family. RIP."
Jenson Button, one of Formula One's most experienced drivers, tweeted: "Shocked & saddened by the news that a marshal who is there to keep us safe has lost his life during our race today. Rest in peace my friend."
Racing is inherently dangerous, despite the enormous steps taken in the last few decades in Formula One in particular. No driver has been killed in Formula One since Ayrton Senna's death in 1994, but there have been several fatal accidents involving marshals over the last two decades.
The FIA released the following statement:
"The FIA is sad to announce the death of a Formula One Grand Prix du Canada circuit worker, at 6:02 pm.
"The worker, a member of the Automobile Club de l'Île Notre Dame, was the victim of an unfortunate accident that occurred at the end of this afternoon's Formula One Grand Prix du Canada. The worker was helping to recover a car which had stopped during the race. The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.
"The worker was transported via helicopter to Sacre-Coeur Hospital where he was treated by the traumatology department of Dr Ronald Denis, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Dr Jacques Bouchard, Chief Medical Officer of the Grand Prix. Unfortunately, the worker succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
"The FIA, l'Automobile Club de l'Île Notre-Dame and the Formula One Grand Prix du Canada want to communicate their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim. The identity of the worker cannot be revealed at this time."