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Silverstone marshals plan tribute to fallen comrade

11 June 2013


Tributes will be paid to the marshal who succumbed to injuries sustained towards the end of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix when the F1 fraternity reconvenes at Silverstone later this month.

While drivers and team representatives took to Twitter to express their condolences to the family of the corner worker, who was caught under the wheels of a rescue vehicle recovering Esteban Gutierrez's stranded Sauber, there is now talk of British marshals planning to mark his passing during the British Grand Prix in two weekends' time.

The man, who remained anonymous at the time of the FIA announcement confirming his death, has since been named as Mark Robinson, a 38-year old volunteer member of the Automobile Club de l'Ile Notre Dame whom friends described as the ultimate F1 fan.

"F1 for him was like getting a chance to be a roadie for the Rolling Stones once a year," childhood friend Marty Devey told the Canadian Press, "He thought about it, talked about it. For a quiet guy, if you started talking F1 with this guy, you wouldn't be able to quiet him down. He looked forward to [volunteering at the grand prix] every year."

FIA president Jean Todt led the messages of sympathy following the tragedy, issuing a personal statement on behalf of the governing body.

“I would like to share my profound sadness, and that of the whole FIA community, following the tragic death of the circuit worker, who was working as a volunteer marshal at the Canadian Grand Prix,” Todt wrote.

“My thoughts, and those of the FIA members, are with the worker's family and friends and we all wish to extend our sincerest condolences, as well as our support, in these most tragic of circumstances. This tragedy has affected us deeply, and the whole of motor sport is profoundly touched by it.

“In volunteering to be a marshal, he had made the choice to give his time, his knowledge and passion in the service of motor sport.

All over the world, it is men and women like him who make possible the organisation of motor sport events. Without these thousands of volunteers who give their all selflessly, motor sport would simply not get off the starting line.

I and the FIA want to share with each and every one of the pain resulting from this death, a hurt that unites us all today.

Car-racing officials from the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile issued a statement concerning his death.

"This tragedy has affected us deeply, and the whole of motor sport is profoundly touched by it," said the statement from Jean Todt, president of the FIA world body.

"In volunteering to be a marshal, Mark had made the choice to give his time, his knowledge and passion in the service of motorsport. All over the world, it is men and women like Mark who make possible the organisation of motor sport events. Without these thousands of volunteers who give their all selflessly, motor sport would simply not get off the starting line."

Racewinner Sebastian Vettel also expressed his sadness at the news of the tragedy.

“The work of marshals is not always seen, but it is vital to our sport and without their commitment, time and dedication, there would be no motorsport,” the three-time world champion commented, “I am very, very sad to hear this news and my thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Both Sauber and Gutierrez, who had left the scene before the accident that befell Robinson occurred, used Twitter to record their reaction, joining others from the F1 fraternity including drivers Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

An investigation into the incident will not take place, although the Commission de la Sante et de la Securite de Travail suggested that a full report may not be available for six months.

“Our inspectors were on the site last night and looked at the overall situation and what they will try to figure out over the next couple of days is what exactly occurred,” CSST spokesperson Jacques Nadeau told CTV, “They probably know exactly how he went under the tractor that was carrying the car, but we need to let them cool off and let them find their senses. Our main concern is that the workers are in good health.”


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