Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Malaysian GP Organisers Make Safety Pledge

Monday March 5th, 2001

Malaysian Grand Prix organisers will make every effort to ensure a safe race next week after the death of a marshal at the Formula One season-opener in Australia.

"If there is any need for us to do something to ensure safety on the track, we will take care (of it)," said Sepang circuit General Manager Azmi Murad on Monday.

Murad said he had received no word from Formula One officials about possible extra safety measures however.

"All the safety procedures have been in place and...I think we are at a very optimal level of safety," he said.

"First and foremost we give top prominence to the safety of the drivers and all of the parties involved on the track."

The marshal who died in Melbourne on Sunday was struck by a wheel that flew loose after Canadian Jacques Villeneuve's BAR car crashed into the back of German Ralf Schumacher's Williams early in the race.

Graham Beveridge was the second race marshal to be killed at a Grand Prix in five races. Italian Paolo Gislimberti was killed in an accident at the Italian Grand Prix in September.

The Malaysian Grand Prix, scheduled for March 18, is the 2001 season's second race.

Sunday's Grand Prix was won by world champion Michael Schumacher, who also triumphed at Malaysia's new Sepang circuit on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur last year.

There have been no fatal accidents at Sepang.

Changes were made at the track last year to improve safety, with a protective transparent shield added to the top of the pit wall and a gravel trap at the first turn extended.

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