By Nikki Grubb-Clarke
It was with immense sadness that we at Riding Fast & Flying Low learned on Monday morning of the death of 38-year-old Mark Robinson, a marshal at the Gilles Villeneuve Race Circuit at Montreal following an accident that occurred toward the end of the F1 race. We do, of course send all our thoughts and very much love to Mark’s friends and family at this tremendously sad time.
We would also like to take a moment to stop and convey our gratitude to a group of Super Heroes, without whom this sport we love so much would not be possible. They give up their time, place themselves in harm’s way, become the ‘First Responder’ Emergency First Aiders and Fire Brigade, for no reward.
As amazing as it can seem, having intimate access to F1 paddocks and race tracks across the globe, as a veteran of British motorsport, I can assure you it isn’t. Spending a day at a cold, damp track in the middle of a freezing March, losing the feeling in your fingers that are grimly clinging to the flags that you are responsible for, is about as far from glamorous as it is possible to get. As a spectator safely snuggled in 3 jumpers and a thick coat, I have often wondered what motivates marshals to do such things. But their motivation is simple. They have a passion and a love for this sport that exceeds almost everything else.
And I salute them. But for them we would have had no Hunt v Lauda. No Senna v Prost. No Valentino Rossi and no Lew-Lew. There would be no such thing as F1, Moto GP, World Super Bikes, BTCC; in fact, there would be no motorsport at all.
So please. Spare a thought today for those wonderful Warriors in Orange. The people who make motorsport possible. Our Glorious Marshals.
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photo credit: p_c_w via photopin cc