Masi investigating Gelael’s spine-damaging incident

Date published: August 19 2020

Sean Gelael PA

FIA race director Michael Masi will investigate Sean Gelael’s incident in the Spanish GP F2 Feature Race as part of his post-race review.

The Indonesian driver was diagnosed with a spinal fracture flowing an impact with a kerb during Saturday’s F2 race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He stopped on-track during the last lap and had to be extracted from his car before being transported to hospital. He was discharged later that same day.

Gelael suffered a mid spine D4 fracture after a reported 45g-impact with a kerb, and after missing the sprint race on the following day he is also expected to be absent from the Belgian round next weekend.

So unsurprisingly Masi will be investigating the incident as part of his regular post-race review.

Though he did make it clear that the kerbs are safe to use under FIA rules.

“They absolutely are fit for use, and safe from an FIA perspective,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.

“Safety is something we are continually evaluating, circuit design solutions and so forth, and this is no different to any other.

“We’ll have a look at the details of the incident, together with our safety department, gathering all the footage and all of the available data, and if there’s amendments required, then we’ll make those. It’s fullness of time, it’s not a knee-jerk reaction at all. Certainly something that we’re looking into, the causes of the true picture.

“I do a circuit inspection, a track condition report after every event, recommendations are made for the following year’s event that you see through all the various circuit changes that occur year on year, some of which are quite public on television.

“And you can see that F1 through their graphics has been showing some of those, and some of them are more pure safety features that are upgraded. We’ll continue to evaluate as we always do. Safety is something that never ends.”

Speaking about his recent visit to Imola and Mugello, both circuits which were late additions to the 2020 F1 calendar, Masi said: “I visited both venues after the Hungarian GP, and having never been to either of them, it was good to see.

“Both of them, there are some changes required from a safety perspective, but having said that, obviously with both circuits holding an FIA Grade 1 circuit licence, there were few improvements that were needed for an F1 race that will be made to both.

“And both circuits have been absolutely willing and accommodating to make those changes.”

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