The Friday of the Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix was about the rain, but most of all the fog on the Nürburgring: the weather around the naming mountains did not allow the rescue helicopter to reach the emergency hospital in Koblenz within 20 minutes as required.
Helicopter transportation is not mandatory anyway, but they would not be able to cover the distance between the track and the hospital at this location by car in that amount of time. So it’s scary that if there’s a time like Friday left over the weekend – and there’s a pretty good chance of that on Sunday – the field has traveled to Germany in vain, and security considerations will override everything.
However, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) has stepped in and found a solution that seems good. According to Motorsport, the decision-makers, led by race director Michael Masi, calculated that a car-helicopter mixed mode of transport could have a twenty-minute limit. I would first take the injured racer out on four wheels 3 kilometers from the track – this area is already surrounded by fewer mountains and so the weather conditions could be more favorable.
“The forecasts are better, but we are working on an emergency plan for similar cases,” Masi said. The FIA was also looking for alternative solutions in 2017, when the Chinese Grand Prix free practice stood out due to foggy and rainy weather. Then, from the on-duty hospital, the necessary neurological devices set out in the regulations were taken to the field, so the weekend could begin.