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. SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 13th May 2012, 17:36

    i thought i seemed to take too long for the professional fire trucks to arrive plus police as well….almost 35 minutes as the crews already having put out the base fire…
    logic dictates that a professional fire tender be parked on site during such mass high octane mass spectator events…supposing the fire was in the grandstand areas..where there seems little equipment to put off the fire.??

    • SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 13th May 2012, 17:42

      correction …. i thought it seemed .. to take too long…

    • Noggin the Nog said on 13th May 2012, 18:12

      It too way too long for the fire crews to get there. I would have thought it was mandatory to have professional fire crews at the ready at such a big event, it was one hell of an explosion that went off, which could have had serious consequences had it got established (even concrete burns at high temperatures).

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 13th May 2012, 19:53

      Yeah, I thought the same aswell. Though the smoke probably made things worse, as there were a lot of people in the pit lane walking around, they should’ve got there much much quicker!

      • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 13th May 2012, 23:00

        Yeah apparently they were delayed because they couldn’t get there because of the smoke…

        …I’m sorry, but a fire tender delayed because of smoke?????? That would be like the Lifeboat being delayed because of some water…

  2. James Hosford (@hosford90) said on 13th May 2012, 17:43

    Remarkable pic. At least we see from that, just how effectively well the carbon fibre chassis’ do their job in terms of fire-resistance.

  3. Dave (@davea86) said on 13th May 2012, 17:48

    Hopefully nobody’s badly injured. On a less serious note, judging by that picture it looks like the team might have lost a chassis and possibly a gearbox and engine from their allocation. I’d imagine they’d discharge the KERS when they remove it so it was probably still attached to the car when it caught fire although it’s hard to tell the extent of the damage.

  4. NoName said on 13th May 2012, 17:48

    F1 needs to get rid of KERS until they can use it safely. So many incindents with KERS which could have ended deadly, come on. That’s really not worth it! Like the guy in the video says: 60KW sitting right next to fuel tank, are you kidding me?!?! What has to happen next until they realize that this technology is not safe enough as it stands!

  5. Bradley Downton (@bradley13) said on 13th May 2012, 17:52

    Update on BBC2 right now

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!!

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