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Sir Frank Williams has thanked the entire Formula 1 community, which together helped to recover the situation when his team’s garage caught fire in Barcelona on Sunday. The cause of the huge blaze remains unknown as investigations continue.
After Williams had won its first Grand Prix since 2004, courtesy of Pastor Maldonado, the Grove-based squad was celebrating when canisters of fuel appeared to explode in the back of the garage. Thankful, despite injuries to on a number of levels for 31 people, nobody suffered seriously. However, Williams has lost thousands of pounds worth of valuable technical equipment.
The Oxfordshire squad has confirmed that Spanish authorities continue to investigate the root of the inferno and that a further two team members have been released from hospital in Spain. One remains, having suffered burns; according to a statement, ‘he is stable and will return to the UK within the next 48 hours to receive further medical care. His family are in constant communication and he is in good spirits.’
“I was pleased to welcome back to the factory the majority of our team this morning,” says Team Principal Williams. “One of our people remains in Spain for further medical assistance, but we are all looking forward to his imminent return.
“Everyone at Williams F1 is extremely relieved that this event was contained as quickly as it was and the damage which occurred was, relatively speaking, limited in its nature. While the incident was unexpected and definitely most undesirable, it has demonstrated the genuine cohesiveness, camaraderie and spirit of co-operation that exists within the Formula 1 paddock. The astonishing response from the teams and other paddock personnel was immediate, unconditional and overwhelming.”
Also in the burning garage was Bruno Senna’s car, which had retired from the race following his collision with Michael Schumacher. It remains to be seen how much of the chassis is salvageable, but it is not believed to be acutely damaged.
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