Marshals had a very close call, says concerned Lewis Hamilton

Briton feared for safety of officials who ran across the track to push clear stranded Sauber

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 11:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 11:08pm

Lewis Hamilton said he had feared for the safety of German Grand Prix marshals who ran across the track during the race to push clear Adrian Sutil's stranded Sauber while other cars were lapping at speed.

The Mercedes driver, who finished third in a race won by teammate Nico Rosberg, said he had been surprised by what happened when the Sauber was left in the middle of the track after the final corner on lap 48.

I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned
Lewis Hamilton

While many expected the safety car to be deployed, the race director decided not to.

"I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned," said the Briton.

"When you come around that corner at serious speed, and then there are marshals standing not far away from where you are driving past. For me that's the closest it's been for a long, long time."

The 2008 world champion said he had been reminded of the 1977 death of Welshman Tom Pryce during the South African Grand Prix when he hit a marshal who was crossing the track with a fire extinguisher. The marshal was also killed.

"I used to work at a driving school in Bedford [England] and one day I came in and they had this video that was playing all the time," recalled Hamilton.

"It was a video from a race from years and years ago, and a car had stopped on the track, a marshal ran across the track and got hit by a car coming past. That was the first thing I thought about.

Obviously, we are not going as fast as on that straight, but I was worried about the marshals ... Fortunately, no one got hurt
Lewis Hamilton

"Obviously, we are not going as fast as on that straight, but I was worried about the marshals ... Fortunately, no one got hurt."

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen, meanwhile, hit back at Felipe Massa's claim that he was to blame for their first corner collision at Hockenheim, saying he had nowhere to go.

Magnussen, 21, said he did his best to avoid driving his McLaren into Massa's Williams, causing an accident that sent the Brazilian upside down as he bounced across the circuit.

Massa was unhurt, but blamed Magnussen for the incident. The race stewards said no action was needed. "For sure, if I had another place to go I wouldn't have had contact," said Magnussen.

"I didn't see the replay. It's a bit difficult to comment if you haven't seen the accident.

"I'm sorry about the situation, but I did my best and tried to avoid him, but I didn't really have anything to do. I wasn't really trying to do anything with Felipe - so to have contact with him was very unfortunate."

Reuters, Agence France-Presse