Serious fire in Williams pit after race

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Williams pit, Barcelona, 2012A serious fire broke out in the Williams pit after the Spanish Grand Prix.

It took hold shortly after 5pm local time as the team celebrated their victory in today’s race.

The fire was brought under control however the extent of injuries to team members remains unclear.

Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer told Sky one of their crew has been taken to the medical centre with smoke inhalation.

Thick clouds of smoke filled the area and the pit lane was evacuated after the fire.

Update at 17:24: Caterham have issued the following statement:

Caterham F1 Team was involved in a fire that started in the Williams F1 Team’s garage after the end of the Spanish Grand Prix.

All the team’s employees have been accounted for and four people have been taken to the circuit medical centre for examination; one with a minor hand injury and three with respiratory issues.

A further statement will be issued when more details about the incident are confirmed.

Update at 19:49: Williams have issued the following statement:

After today?s Spanish Grand Prix a fire occurred in the team?s garage which originated from the fuel area.

Four team personnel were injured in the incident and subsequently taken to the medical centre. Three are now receiving treatment at local hospitals for their injuries, while the fourth has been released. The team will monitor their condition and ensure they receive the best possible care.

The team, the fire services and the police are working together to determine the root cause of the fire and an update statement will be released in due course.

The Williams F1 Team would like to thank all of the teams and the FIA for their support in today?s incident.

Update at 21:08: The FIA confirms 31 people were taken to the medical centre following the incident:

The FIA can confirm that a fire broke out in the Williams garage after the conclusion of the Spanish Grand Prix. The flames were quickly brought under control through the combined intervention of staff from Williams, Caterham and Force India, supported by the circuit fire services.

Thirty-one team members were seen by Circuit Medical Centre staff and all have been released, with the exception of seven who were transferred to a variety of local hospitals where they are receiving treatment.

The FIA is collaborating closely with the Spanish authorities investigating this incident and will be providing a further update as soon as more information becomes available.

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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128 comments on Serious fire in Williams pit after race

  1. adam breeden (@abreeden) said on 13th May 2012, 17:54

    I’ve never seen a more telling picture. Given Senna’s Q1 performance vs Pastor’s victory. Senna’s career may be up in smoke just like his car if he can’t find way soon. Well done today Williams.

  2. sagar atgamkar (@) said on 13th May 2012, 18:14

    we should appriciate that these guys are able to fight fires as well. its a skill very much needed in this sport.

  3. Austin (@hypertek) said on 13th May 2012, 18:25

    That really sucks… Spoils the victory present for Frank Williams . Hope this doesn’t hurt the teams motivation or Bruno’s for Monaco.

  4. Womble said on 13th May 2012, 18:32

    How the fire started is for later investigation and not hearsay. What amazes me the the demonstration of true team work and human spirit! Team colours meant nothing, skin colour meant nothing, nor did race or creed. EVERYONE played their part and did what was needed without thought for themselves. Today, they have done F1 and motorsport proud! I take my hat of to each and every person who played their part in helping. I hope they are all rewarded for their bravery!

    • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 13th May 2012, 20:52

      Agree 100% with this.
      It is probably the only positive we can take away from this horrific incident; the demonstration of true human values.

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 13th May 2012, 18:48

    What an absolutely surreal day. I really hope that noone is seriously hurt and that the material loss won’t be too big either.

  6. robk23 (@robk23) said on 13th May 2012, 19:03

    There’s a picture on the Telegraph website of Pastor Maldonado carrying his cousin out of the burning garage, it’s good to see this and in fact the whole F1 community joining forces in a time of need.

  7. Valentino (@valentino) said on 13th May 2012, 19:08

    Mario Balotelli joined the party :)
    Good thing everyone is ok.

  8. wilhelmet said on 13th May 2012, 20:18

    Alonso will do anything to win a race, won’t he!!? Just got the timing slightly wrong.

    Seriously though, glad everyone seems to be ok.

  9. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 13th May 2012, 20:49

    See, this is what happens when you try to fit 70 candles on a birthday cake!!

  10. beckymorgan1982 (@beckymorgan1982) said on 13th May 2012, 21:09

    Shocked to hear the news about the fire in the Williams garage, had just finished watching the Grand Prix on BBC iplayer when I heard the news, what a horrible end to what has been a fantastic weekend for Williams, was impressed by the response from all the guys in the garage and also the other teams in helping to stop what could have clearly been a much worse fire which dire consequences for the whole of the sport.

  11. Mary Nelan said on 13th May 2012, 21:13

    Thank God no one got killed in the fire. Celebrate with the winner & don’t let the
    fire come in it’s way

    Congratu\ations to the winner.
    Mary Nelan

  12. Postreader said on 13th May 2012, 21:29

    Williams was on fire this weekend I see.

  13. JP (@jonathanproc) said on 13th May 2012, 21:59

    Seven people are in hospital due to this. There’s no need for comments like that.

  14. zicasso (@zicasso) said on 13th May 2012, 22:00

    I think Shumy started the fire with his mind. :) Crazy end of the day for Williams. I am glad no one got seriously injured.

  15. Josie Maunders (@jbmaunders) said on 13th May 2012, 22:07

    A horrible, horrible situation but one that really showed the camaraderie in F1. Found it incredible at how there were people from every team doing their best to help and make sure everyone was okay. Once hearing that there were no serious injuries, it brought a few smiles to my face to see that even though they’re rivals on the track, off track there is a great amount of concern and respect, and, after seeing Alonso and Raikkonen lift Maldonado onto their shoulders on the podium, the same can be said about the drivers.

  16. My best wishes to the old Williams excellent result! … with fireworks included. hehe

  17. Brownerboy (@brownerboy) said on 13th May 2012, 22:40

    How will the team manage with Monaco next with all the equipment that was damaged/destroyed? I don’t think they would have spare garage partitions etc?

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th May 2012, 22:45

      I think they will, with having to cater for fly aways @brownerboy

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 13th May 2012, 23:05

      Data will be backed up and equipment will either have spares (what if they got stolen or damaged in some other way?) or be able to be replaced in the space of 2 weeks.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th May 2012, 1:02

        The other teams are reportedly loaning Williams whatever they need for the next race in Monaco.

        Senna’s car might be a different story.

        • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 14th May 2012, 11:31

          They won’t have a problem replacing the car itself. They have to have the spares to build a new one from scratch in case of a major crash damaging the race car beyond repair.

  18. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th May 2012, 22:41

    I saw this unfold on Sky. Scary stuff. Sky did a great job of helping out and keeping us up to date. Kudos to them.

    An unfortunate incident but it seems that no one was seriously hurt.

    I’ll be curious to read the police report on this one.

  19. Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 13th May 2012, 22:46

    I think HRT and Marussia were in there helping too, think they deserve a mention, not to mention the Sky cameraman who helped someone out.

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