Bahrain GP: Ferrari mechanic injured after botched Kimi Raikkonen pit-stop
Raikkonen released too early from pits and collides with Ferrari mechanic, who suffers double leg fracture; Mechanic has successful surgery in Bahrain; Ferrari fined 50,000 euros
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 13/12/18 12:11pm
A Ferrari mechanic has had surgery after suffering a double leg fracture at the Bahrain GP after a botched pit-stop saw Kimi Raikkonen released too soon from his marker.
Raikkonen was brought into the pits from third in an attempt to put pressure on Mercedes, but was given the signal to leave his stop when only three of his tyres had been replaced.
As the left rear tyre had not been taken off, when Raikkonen got back on the power he drove into a Ferrari mechanic, who was badly hurt as a stretcher was hurried towards the Scuderia garage.
The mechanic, Francesco Cigarini, suffered a shinbone and fibula fracture and had surgery in a Bahraini hospital following the race.
The footage was too dramatic to broadcast replays, and Sky F1 will not release the video for these reasons.
Ferrari were handed a 50,000 euro fine by the FIA for the unsafe release at the pit-stop.
Cigarini posted on his Instagram page: "Surgery OK. I have to thank all the people worried for me. Nothing else, just a big thanks. Hugs!"
Raikkonen wrote underneath "Get well soon mate."
Raikkonen was forced to retire because of the incident, and had said after the race: "I don't know what happened.
"I go when the light is green. I don't see what happens behind and unfortunately he got hurt. My job is to go when the light says so. Hopefully he's OK."
It was the second time across the Bahrain weekend that Ferrari botched a pit-stop after the team were fined for another unsafe release in Practice Two. Their partners, Haas, also had two retirements in similar circumstances at the Australian GP.
Sebastian Vettel went on to hold off both Mercedes to take victory in Bahrain, and paid tribute to the crew member on the podium.
"I'm a bit sad as I think in the pit-stop with Kimi one of our mechanics got injured, so send him my best regards," he added. "It's a mixed day."
Ferrari's own race report concluded: 'Out on track, Bottas pursued Sebastian for 20 laps, but our driver never gave him room, even though his tyres were finished. That is Ferrari and that, Francesco, is for you. Hurry back.'