Wednesday March 14th, 2001
Formula One safety marshals have been urged to be extra vigilant and watch out for colleagues at Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix after the death of a trackside official at Melbourne's season opener this month.
But clerk of the course S.Subramaniam told Reuters on Wednesday no special safety measures were in place at the Sepang International Circuit.
"We have a lot of distance from the track, and marshals are much better protected," he said.
Subramaniam said he had warned marshals to keep their eyes on oncoming traffic and to watch out for colleagues who are required to face away from the action.
"The main thing is that they pay attention to vehicles on the track and not become spectators like a lot sometimes do," Subramaniam added.
"Only the yellow flag marshals will be looking the other way because that's their responsibility." Track marshal Graham Beveridge, 52, was killed at the Australian race after a wheel from Jacques Villeneuve's wrecked BAR punched through a small window in a safety fence and hit him in the chest.
He was the second Formula One marshal to die in five races. Both men were hit by debris from accidents and Sunday's race in Malaysia will be under close scrutiny.
Speed and track safety are the big issues of the moment in Formula One, and cornering velocities in particular will be watched closely by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
The world body is concerned that speeds have risen sharply as tyre manufacturers Michelin and Bridgestone fight for supremacy.