Caterham F1's head of communications Tom Webb has saluted the members of the paddock who rushed to assist the Williams
team when fire broke out in its garage following the Spanish Grand Prix.
Webb was working in his mobile office to the rear of the Caterham garage – located next to Williams
in the pit-lane – when the fire broke out, giving him a front-row seat of the unfolding drama.
Writing in his column for The Sun
, Webb saluted the 'heroes' who had put their own safety to one side to rush and help prevent the flames from spreading.
"The word heroes is used a lot," Webb wrote. "On Sunday evening in Spain I saw real heroes at work. There were no team allegiances. It was the F1 family pulling together to help a fellow competitor however possible.
"Some astonishingly brave people went in to tackle the blaze at the Williams
garage in Barcelona head on, in an environment that could have ignited fuel drums or gas canisters, while others helped injured people out of harms way."
Webb also commented on the moment that it became apparent that something had gone seriously wrong outside the truck in which he was working.
"Outside RT3 there was the usual paddock hubbub, more noisy than normal as Williams
team members celebrated as they were packing up their garage," he reflected. "Suddenly, above the normal background sounds, I started hearing raised voices barking orders and a couple of screams.
"I stuck my head out of my office door, looking straight back at the entrance to the Williams
garage and saw thick clouds of black smoke pouring out, and people from different teams all directing fire extinguishers and fire hoses on to the fire that was raging inside the Willys garage.
"Looking to the right I saw a number of my team-mates sprinting out of the entrance of the composites and consumables area of our garage, and more heading towards the same entrance with fire extinguishers.
"Within seconds the air was engulfed in acrid black smoke. Visibility was limited and people from a number of teams started emerging from the garages covered in dust, smoke and the powder that had been directed at the fire in the garage.
"Within minutes of it starting the fire was out. Unseen by me, the rescue efforts on our side of the garage were being mirrored in the pitlane and the blaze was being tackled from both sides by team members from every team up and down the pitlane, as well as local circuit staff and members of the media who had been recording the post-race celebrations in the Williams
"Seeing how the paddock acted as one shows me how lucky I am to work with real heroes."
Caterham team members were amongst those treated by medics after the incident.