FIA confirms contingency plan

Chinese GP

Chinese GP

The FIA has confirmed its plans to reach a local hospital should poor weather in China prevent the medical helicopter from operating on Sunday, with two hospitals now set up for neuro trauma.

Friday’s first practice at the Shanghai International Circuit were halted when poor weather conditions meant the helicopter was unable to land at the designated hospital.

It was more of the same in FP2 where not a single lap was covered.

With bad weather forecast for Sunday, the FIA has not only set up a second neurosurgery team at a local hospital, just 5km away from the circuit, but has reportedly organised for a police escort for an ambulance to reach the hospital should it be needed.

A statement issued by the FIA on Sunday clarfied the plans.

“As explained on Friday, the medical helicopter could not operate during FP1 and FP2 because the low-lying cloud meant that it could not land at the Huashan Hospital,” it read.

“This hospital is the only one nearby with neurosurgery capabilities, however, as it is 38km from the circuit the transfer time by road is likely to be more than 20 minutes (which is the preferred transfer time for seriously injured patients).

“The FIA has therefore looked at the available options to ensure that the race can go ahead even if the medical helicopter cannot operate. The FIA medical delegate, Alain Chantegret and FIA deputy medical delegate, Dr Ian Roberts have further reviewed the facilities at the Ruijin Hospital.

“The Ruijin Hospital is only 5km from the circuit and a ten-minute journey by car but, whilst it is suitable for most anticipated circumstances, it does not have neurosurgery capabilities. However, special arrangements have now been made for a complete neurosurgery team from Huashan Hospital to be present at the Ruijin Hospital on Sunday.

“As a result, and following an inspection by the FIA medical team yesterday afternoon, the FIA is satisfied that the Ruijin Hospital will not only be easily accessible in all weather conditions, but will also be able to provide the required care.”