Minardi escapes from pitlane fire

Minardi's pit crew were lucky to escape without any injuries following a spectacular refuelling fire on Gianmaria Bruni's car in the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday

Minardi escapes from pitlane fire

The Italian had come in for his second refuelling stop of the race on lap 31 when he slightly missed his pit markings. That led to the crew failing to correctly fit the refuelling nozzle to the car because of the angle it was trying to be attached at and some fuel residue from an earlier stop leaked onto the hot exhausts before bursting into flames.

Despite the initial size of the blaze, Minardi's pit crew quickly dealt with the fire. But in their eagerness to look after Bruni, he was sprayed with dry powder extinguisher, which he subsequently inhaled. That left him unable to breath and he had no choice but to climb out of the car and retire - even though the car had not been damaged at all.

Speaking to Autosport.com, Bruni said: "It was a big fire. The guy who came to sort out the fire thought it was all over me so he put the stuff all over my race suit and it went through my helmet so I could not breath."

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said he was relieved that no-one had been
injured in the fire, but admitted that the blaze looked more spectacular than it was with less than one litre of fuel actually spilt.

"Although I have criticised the refuelling rigs in the past, they are actually very, very safe," said Stoddart. "The nozzle had gone on slightly skew-whiff and unless you get a proper connection it won't release what is in the hose.

"Obviously what got spilt came out of the nozzle and it was enough fuel, about 1.2kg, to make it look pretty spectacular. It wasn't actually an enormous amount of fuel."

Stoddart also confirmed that had Bruni not been given a face full of fire extinguisher then he could actually have carried on.

"Driver safety always comes first," he said. "The car could have carried on but it was a bit unfair on the driver. In a normal fire situation you would not look to go any further because it is game, set and match. This time the car was okay but we shot the driver full of retardant and he was not okay."

shares
comments
Ralf to test at Silverstone
Previous article

Ralf to test at Silverstone

Next article

BAR misses out on maiden win

BAR misses out on maiden win
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023