The opening practice session of this year's Canadian Grand Prix weekend ended with medical crews rushing to the HRT pit to tend an injured mechanic.
Fortunately, the scenario wasn't as serious as first thought, as Pedro de la Rosa's number one mechanic, Craig Stubley, did not require urgent attention following the incident, which occurred during routine pit-stop practice. Despite being prone in front of the garage for some time, his injuries were restricted to bruising and a swollen right knee.
Coming so soon after the Williams pit fire in Barcelona, and a couple of incidents involving mechanics at other teams, it was a relief when both technical director Antonio Cuquerella and team principal Luis Perez Sala confirmed that there had been no serious outcome to the incident.
“The mechanic I think, happily, is okay,” Cuquerella told journalists at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, “He just got some bruises and a swollen knee, so it looked worse when it happened. Luckily he's going to be back with us tonight from hospital. Some checks have been done, but nothing important. He's going to have some pain but, in a few days, he's going to be back to work.”
Incident aside, HRT enjoyed an encouraging day, with de la Rosa consistently out-performing both Marussias, while Narain Karthikeyan also lifted himself off the bottom of the timesheets on his return to the Ile Notre Dame.
"It looks like we've taken a significant step forward here in Montreal,” de la Rosa reported, “Our set-up is working well, our top speed is good and, overall, the car is working well. We were quicker than the Marussias in the morning and the afternoon, but both the car and myself can improve. The rise in temperature expected for tomorrow is good for us [as] we're struggling to heat up the tyres in the last sector and that will help us.”
“Our only weak point was the brakes, but it's something we're going to continue working on to improve,” Sala added, “We're comfortably inside the 107 per cent [time], so this is confirmation that the wing is working well. Tomorrow we will evaluate again how the upgrades are performing, but we're running well.”