Esteban Gutierrez has been sent to hospital for a routine check-up after walking away from a horror crash during today’s Bahrain Grand Prix that saw his Sauber flipped by Pastor Maldonado.
Maldonado tried to overtake the Sauber with a clumsy move at turn one on lap 40 of today’s race, causing Gutierrez to flip onto his roll cage. Thankfully, the car soon righted itself and landed on its wheels. After a few seconds, Gutierrez managed to hoist himself out of the car before being taken to the medical centre for a check up.
“According to first checks in the medical center, Esteban is ok,” the team tweeted. “Precautionary examinations will follow in the local hospital.”
Maldonado was given a 10-second stop/go penalty during the race, and eventually crossed the line in 14th place.
The Venezuelan driver has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks’ time and three penalty points on his FIA superlicense.
After such a horrifying crash, it is proof of just how far safety standards in Formula 1 have come that Gutierrez managed to walk away unharmed from the incident.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”