Tony Fernandes has revealed that FIA president Jean Todt contacted him personally after the Spanish Grand Prix to thank Caterham team members for their help in dealing with the fire that broke out in the Williams garage after the race.
Caterham staff were amongst those to rush in to fight the fire, which broke out around 90 minutes after Pastor Maldonado had taken victory at Catalunya and is still being investigated.
Speaking ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Fernandes – who wasn't present at the circuit due to his attendance at Queens Park Rangers' final match of the English football league season – took time to praise his team for the manner in which it had reacted to the unfolding drama and said the spirit displayed was what it needed to use to make forward progress up the F1 ranks.
"After the [Spanish] race I was absolutely delighted for Sir Frank and the whole Williams F1 Team that they won their first race in eight years.,” he said. “Williams is one of the cornerstones of F1 today and Sir Frank and Patrick have served as mentors for me in F1 so I owe them a great deal.
“When I saw what then happened in their garage I was obviously concerned for the safety of my team and all the people from teams up and down the grid who showed incredible bravery, putting themselves in the middle of a very dangerous situation to help a fellow team.
"Since the team returned to base I have received a very gracious communication from Jean Todt, thanking our boys for helping put the fire out on Sunday. The actions of the Williams team, people from our team and everyone else who helped out, stopped the situation escalating and it makes me incredibly proud to be part of a sport that shows such bravery and spirit.
“For us, teams like Williams set the standards we must reach on track, but we showed that when faced with adversity, we behave like a championship winning team. That spirit is at the heart of our team and it is what we will call on to keep progressing and keep fighting to emulate the teams ahead."