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Hyderabad "resounding success" due to FIA marshal training measures

The FIA credited the "resounding success" of Hyderabad's Formula E race to a new training programme for marshals at the Hyderabad E-Prix, and will implement similar measures for Cape Town.

A car is lifted by a JCB

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Hyderabad was the first of a series of three all-new races for Formula E, with Cape Town to follow on 25 February before the world championship heads to Sao Paolo in Brazil on 25 March.

With international motorsport in India having endured a fallow period since the collapse of its F1 grand prix, few marshals had extensive motorsport experience before the race weekend.

PLUS: Why the Hyderabad E-Prix is only a first step in India's motorsport emergence

The FIA thus introduced a two-and-a-half day training course for approximately 300 local marshals, overseen by the governing body's Formula E event operations head Javier Maffioli and deputy race director Marek Hanaczewski.

Training included the usual array of briefings, and the marshals were given an overview of their role and how they interact with race control and the trackside team, before moving onto the practical side of working at a track.

This included the recovery procedure, from the race control's signal to moving a stranded car off the track. With Formula E being an all-electric championship, this included additional safety briefings on the in-car light signals.

“Being a new addition to the calendar, the Hyderabad E-Prix required more preparation work than most other races – both on a logistical and human level,” explained Hanaczewski.

“There was huge anticipation and excitement in the build-up to the event, and I think it’s no exaggeration to say it was a resounding success.

PLUS: How Vergne kept his cool to triumph in spicy Indian Formula E encounter

“A large part of the credit for that must go to the local ASN and the Indian marshals, who participated actively and enthusiastically in the training we put in place before the race weekend.

Car of Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche after the crash

Car of Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche after the crash

Photo by: Andreas Beil

“Our firm intention was that they should benefit equally through the development of their own skills, and this exchange of information and expertise will stand them in good stead for future national events in which they are involved.”

At the end of the training sessions, the marshals were then tested to assess their reactions to a hypothetical situation, also receiving radio training to ensure that race control could ultimately understand any messaging.

This was put into practice during Pascal Wehrlein's crash in FP1, where the incident was cleared up swiftly to allow the delayed session to resume. The local marshals were tested once again with Jake Hughes' crash during the race, after the McLaren driver's mirror became lodged behind the steering wheel and forced him to careen into the inside wall at Turn 3.

His Nissan-powered McLaren was again cleared with minimal delay to proceedings, and the race was only paused for two laps as a result.

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