Fire breaks out at Williams

Cause unclear as fire engulfs pitlane

Last Updated: 14/05/12 8:08am

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At least four Formula 1 personnel have been taken to the circuit medical centre, or a local hospital in Barcelona, for medical checks after a major fire broke out in the Williams garage late on Sunday afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz, standing in the pitlane at the time of the fire, reported that he saw a "huge plume of orange flame" erupt from behind the divider in the Williams garage, where the team had congregated to celebrate Pastor Maldonado's earlier victory in the race.

Team members were then seen evacuating into the pitlane as clouds of dark smoke began billowing out of the garage and up the pitlane. Mechanics from other teams went in to help put out the flames with the fire put out within several minutes.

Although there is no confirmation over whether any injuries were sustained Sky Sports F1 understands that all team members are accounted for, with those in need of treatment taken to the circuit's medical centre. One mechanic is also believed to have been airlifted to hospital.

Sky Sports News believes that the source of the blaze was a KERS unit which sparked a suspected fuel fire at the back of the garage.

Ted Kravitz reported from the scene: "I saw the fire take hold and it just absolutely erupted. We were talking to Alex Wurz at the time and we were just having a look [into the garage] and suddenly I saw this wall of flame erupt from behind the Williams garage divider.

"It looked to be in the area where they store things like fuel and oil and gearboxes and computers and there will be an immense amount of damage to a lot of equipment."

Ted added: "Frank [Williams] was wheeled out very quickly, I saw it myself over my shoulder.

"I'm pleased to see I haven't seen any ambulances going to the aid of any people. I'm not saying there are not causalities because we just don't know that at the moment. There are a lot of Williams people who have inhaled smoke."

In a statement, the Caterham team announced:

'Caterham F1 Team was involved in a fire that started in the Williams F1 Team's garage after the end of the Spanish Grand Prix.

'All the team's employees have been accounted for and four people have been taken to the circuit medical centre for examination; one with a minor hand injury and three with respiratory issues.'

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