Following Kimi Raikkonen’s disastrous second pit stop in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, Ferrari mechanic Francesco Cigarini was seen lying on the ground in agony as the Finn was forced to pull his car to a halt yards away.
During the stop, Raikkonen was given the green light to leave the pit box, which is the driver’s only indication that all is well, yet Cigarini – working on the left rear – was having problems. As the car moved away, it knocked the unfortunate mechanic to the ground.
After receiving attention from the medical staff at the circuit – F1 medical facilities are among the best in sporting circles – Cigarini was taken to a Bahraini hospital where he was treated for a fractured tibia and fibula on his left leg. Given the speeds involved, things could have been much worse.
Cigarini posted a picture of himself in his hospital bed, looking cheerful and showing a thumb’s up sign, on his Instagram account, with a message reassuring all that he is fine and thanking everyone for their concern.
Following an investigation into the incident, the governing body of Formula 1 – the FIA – fined the Ferrari team the equivalent of £45,000 for ‘releasing the car in a manner endangering team personnel and causing injury’, and Ferrari has stated there will be a full enquiry into how the incident came about.
Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne said, in a statement released by the team a few hours after the race: “I wish our mechanic a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on track soon”.
There are strict regulations as to the number of people who can work on a Formula 1 car in the confined area of the pit lane that are designed to minimize such instances which, it should be said, are few and far between. Cigarini is expected to make a full recovery.