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Tragic Death of Marshal at Albert Park

March 4th, 2001

An Australian Grand Prix marshal was killed after being struck by flying debris during the first race of the Formula One season on Sunday. It was the second time in less than a year that a marshal had been killed at a Formula One race. Italian Paolo Gislimberti died at Monza last year when he was hit by flying debris in the first fatality suffered by Formula One at a circuit since the death of Brazilian world champion Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994.

The Melbourne marshal was patrolling the post at turn three, when he was apparently hit after the BAR of former champion Jacques Villeneuve collided with the Williams of Ralf Schumacher on the approach to Turn 4. The BAR flew at speed into safety fences, scattering debris across the track and losing its wheels. Villeneuve’s car sustained much damage as debris flew through the air. An ambulance was quick to the scene to extricate the marshal to a nearby hospital, but he passed away a short time later.

BAR team principal Craig Pollock said there was a deep sense of shock in the paddock. "I would just like to send my sincere condolences to the family," he said, "There was not much we can say because we don’t know the full circumstances about the accident."

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