Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on Fire During Brazilian Grand Prix Practice
Despite efforts to maintain the highest safety standards possible, the fire proves just how dangerous F1 can be. Adding to this is the fact that after parking, unstrapping, and exiting the cockpit, Alonso had to rummage around the backside of the barrier to find a fire extinguisher and personally put out the blaze. Marshals eventually showed up to the scene, but not before the two-time world champion had casually averted disaster.
Watching the scene play out, you’d almost think this sort of thing was routine for the Ferrari driver. Alonso is no stranger to pressure, but kudos for keeping it cool and saving the rest of the car despite the slow reactions of the marshals.
After his team replaced the toasted motor, Alonso managed to qualify eighth on the grid, eventually taking a sixth place finish on race day. The Spaniard is poised to leave Ferrari at the end of the season, but it’s uncertain which team he’ll end up driving with.
Click past the jump to read more about F1’s safety standards and to see the video of Alonso putting out the flames.
Why it matters
It should be noted that deaths and injuries in F1 have gone down substantially in the past few decades. Safety standards have increased, but that doesn’t mean F1 is safe. Danger is still a very real possibility, not just from driver error, but also from mechanical failure like we saw here. This event should highlight the importance of maintaining well-trained marshals that are quick to react, and even though Alonso managed to (almost nonchalantly) keep things from getting out of control, it would have been much better if safety personnel were close by, poised with fire extinguishers at the ready.