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F1 mourns 'absurd loss of life' following track worker's death

updated 12:52 PM EDT, Mon June 10, 2013
A crane lifts Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber car at the end of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
A crane lifts Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber car at the end of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
  • Track worker dies after falling under crane during Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix
  • Marshal has yet to be named following accident at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
  • Sauber team issues statements of condolence to the man's family and friends
  • He was the first track worker to die at an F1 race since 2001

(CNN) -- The Sauber Formula One team has expressed its sympathy to the loved ones of the track marshal who died Sunday after falling under a crane that was removing one of its crashed cars from the Montreal circuit.

The man was helping move Esteban Gutierrez's vehicle during the Canadian Grand Prix when he tripped and fell into the path of the crane, the F1 website reported.

He was taken to Sacre-Coeur Hospital but died of his injuries.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the marshal who sadly passed away and we would like to offer our sincere condolences," Sauber said on the team's Twitter page Monday.

Mexican driver Gutierrez had earlier tweeted: "My dearest condolences to the family of the marshal who lost his life today, our prayers for him & his family. RIP."

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel also offered his condolences.

"The work of marshals is not always seen but it is vital to our sport and without their commitment, time and dedication, there would be no motorsport," Red Bull's triple world champion said on his website.

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The Ferrari team of second-placed Fernando Alonso also issued a statement.

"The winners and losers from this seventh round of the championship, along with the workers and the fans who watched the race from the grandstands or on television, are all thinking of someone who lost their life in an absurd way while involved in what was surely their passion -- racing," its website reported.

"Indeed, without the work of people like him, events like Formula One grands prix could not even take place.

"Ferrari wishes to express its condolences for the death of this track marshal too: we are doing it here, via the internet, to invite everyone who shares our passion for motorsport to be thinking of the family and friends of the victim."

Motorsport's ruling body the FIA released details of the incident late Sunday .

"The worker, a member of the Automobile Club de l'Ile Notre Dame, was the victim of an unfortunate accident that occurred at the end of this afternoon's Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada," it said in a statement.

Read: Vettel claims first Canadian victory

"The worker was helping to recover a car which had stopped during the race. The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.

"The FIA, l'Automobile Club de l'Ile Notre-Dame and the Formula One Grand Prix du Canada want to communicate their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim. The identity of the worker cannot be revealed at this time."

It was the first time an F1 track worker has died since 2001, in Melbourne, while another passed away at the Italian circuit of Monza the previous year.

Graham Beveridge was killed at the Australian Grand Prix after being hit by a flying wheel from Jacques Villeneuve's BAR-Honda, just months after volunteer firefighter Paolo Ghislimberti suffered fatal head and chest injuries when a loose wheel from the Jordan of Heinz-Harald Frentzen struck him.

Those incidents prompted a major review of safety precautions at F1 races.

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