Gelael disqualified for knocking marshals down

Formula 2

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Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael has been disqualified from today’s qualifying session after knocking two marshals over while restarting his car.

The Prema driver had come to a stop at turn seven when an electrical problem on his car caused its engine to cut out. The session was red-flagged allowing Gelael’s car to be recovered.

However as the marshals began pushing Gelael’s car away he restarted the engine, causing two of them to fall over.

Formula 2 confirmed Gelael “restarted his car which resulted in a dangerous situation for the marshals”.

“He was then prohibited from taking any further part in the session,” added F2 in a statement. “Furthermore, it was decided that he was disqualified from the results, but the Stewards have given him permission to start tomorrow’s feature race from the back of the grid.” As Gelael did not set a time in the session he originally placed 20th out of the 20 drivers.

“Those who patiently preserve will truly receive a reward without measure,” Gelael wrote on social media. “Electronic issues caused the engine to stop at the start of qualifying. Will start race 1 from the back.”

Gelael is set to start the race from 19th position as rival Mahaveer Raghunathan has been ordered to start the race from the pit lane for failing to stop at the weigh bridge. Raghunthan had already been given a 10-place grid penalty for the event after passing the chequered flag twice in the Bahrain sprint race.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Gelael disqualified for knocking marshals down”

  1. Well I doubt it was intentional, this seems unnecessarily harsh.

    1. Still stupid and dangerous. As for the latter the penalty seems lenient to me. Spending the rest of the weekend marshalling would have been a better ‘reward’.

      1. have to agree with @coldfly, at the least the addition of a punishment like Verstappen got would be appropriate. It probably wasn’t intentional, but he’s in a(n open wheeled) car, and that’s just reckless behaviour from him.

      2. Totally agree, dangerous and avoidable.

    2. I thought it was lenient.

  2. F2 driver Gelael disqualified for knocking marshals down

    However as the marshals began pushing Gelael’s car away he restarted the engine, causing two of them to fall over

    So which is it? Did they fall or were they pushed?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      26th April 2019, 16:45

      They were pushing the car but not from behind. They were holding on to the halo and sidepod. Suddenly the car started and lurched forward causing them to fall – luckily clear of the back wheels.

      I don’t 100% know the starting procedure of the F2s but if it involved the driver pressing a button to start the car at that point, it was incredibly dangerous.

      1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
        26th April 2019, 16:59

        Don’t know the starting procedure either. It does seem strange to push the car from the sides like that… in front of the rear tyres.
        Perhaps the cars need some form of handrail below the rear wing (folding out?) to enable pushing from the rear?

        1. @magnusrubensson I don’t think they knew he was going to try & restart his engine & were pushing it believing they were going to be pushing the car behind a barrier.

        2. It’s not advised but you can push an F2 or F1 car by the rear wing. If it’s sturdy enough to withstand 400kg of pressure from air resistance it’s definitely sturdy enough for 2 blokes to push it. I wonder what the marshalls’ intent was while they were pushing it. If they were trying to just position it to remove it from the track then pushing from the sides is logical, if they were pushing it to have it jumpstarted then they need to rethink their decisions while visiting the doc.

      2. @petebaldwin F2 cars don’t have onboard starters so he would have had to do a bump start by releasing the clutch while in 1st.

        I don’t know if it’s something that’s brought up now but I know that in the past drivers were told not to try & bump start if there car was been pushed ahead of the rear wheels due to the risks of those pushing not been able to get away from the rear wheels in time or potentially falling & been run down either by the car there pushing or (As happened in CART at Vancouver one year) falling in-front of a car passing from behind while trying to get out of the way.

        And in terms of those pushing. If there pushing to restart a car there always told to do so from behind while pushing the rear wing.

        In this case I don’t think they knew he was going to try & restart the car.

        1. (As happened in CART at Vancouver one year)

          Which resulted in the track worker suffering fatal injuries.

          1. I think i’ve seen that incident. Is Vancouver a street track with a very tight corner with a blind exit where this happened? It was gruesome

          2. @xenn1 Yeah it was a street track, Coming out of the tight left/right/left chicane near the BC Place stadium on the older pre-1998 layout of the circuit.

            Both layout’s they ran were nice little circuits. Not too dissimilar to Baku as far as been quite quick in parts with a long flat out stretch but also very slow/narrow & a bit fiddly around the back.

          3. @gt-racer Jesus i just checked and it’s still on youtube. One of the first things that pops up when you search ‘Vancouver Cart track’ on Google

        2. I would hope that in the next F2, F1 and all other open wheeler drivers meetings this comes up with a reminder why it’s very dangerous and needs to be not attempted by the drivers @gt-racer (you’d hope drivers in general are aware enough not too, but apparently there’s a need to be reminded for some, in the heat of qualifying); thanks for the factual information added which provides good context for talking/thinking about this incident.

        3. @gt-racer, just wondering, is it possible that Gelael did not intend to restart the car, but that the car might have been stuck in gear because of that earlier electrical problem?

          1. That is impossible without any driver input

        4. F2 cars don’t have onboard starters so he would have had to do a bump start by releasing the clutch while in 1st.

          Never knew about this. Thanks.


    Incredibly dangerous there. I hope the marshals are okay. One of them fell very badly and might have some bone fracture.

    1. wow. the tires indeed impacted their bodies. they were lucky.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      26th April 2019, 21:43

      @amg44 Wow, bizarre incident. Actually looks like the guy behind the car got flipped around by the wheel.

  4. What do F2 rules say for these cases though? Is the driver allowed to have the car started (unaided or not) and head back to the pits, or is he required to wait for the marshalls to collect his car and return it to the pits without him in it? Many uncertainties and the marshalls should’ve been a bit more careful if they were pushing the car with intent to jumpstart it and have the driver drive off. Not to remove any blame from Gelael as he didn’t wait at all for the marshalls to clear before driving off, but still, it’s not like the marshalls did themselves any favours by jumpstarting the car by holding it from its sides and walking right in front of the wheels.

    1. I don’t understand these comments @xenn1. Even if the rules allow a jumpstart and the marshals were aware of it, it is still the driver’s responsibility only to do it when safe to do so.
      There is not even a need for a rule on those situations; it’s common sense.

      1. Yeah that’s why i added

        Not to remove any blame from Gelael as he didn’t wait at all for the marshalls to clear before driving off

        But that makes the difference between a serious offense that earns a race ban and an offense that can be penalised with just a disqualification. There should be no tolerance if human life is put to danger, but there’s a difference between jumping in front of a car because you’re stupid and accidentally getting run over, that’s what i’m trying to figure out here

        1. Also to add: i’m not certain that the marshalls were within the driver’s field of vision

          1. Would you reverse your car knowing that your twin toddlers are on the driveway but outside your ‘field of vision?

            You seem to be digging deeper rather than just’adding’, @xenn1 :P

          2. @coldfly we’re talking about grown men who volunteered for the position and supposedly got some training for what they’re doing. You’re severely misinterpreting my comments.

  5. I think verstappens bloke on ricciardo last year at this track was far more dangerous, but verstappen didn’t get punished, instead he got rewarded by his team.

    1. Totally agree it was very dangerous and he should’ve got punished instead of rewarded.

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