Medical support during Formula 1 races has changed dramatically over the last 20 years and is now one of the highest priorities at a race weekend.
Motorsport injuries can be incredibly severe. Speedy medical help is therefore vital to saving lives as every second counts. This means that the Formula 1 now has tiers of medical staff on hand. Paramedics and doctors will be based at various points around the circuit. They will provide initial first aid to drivers and marshals. There will also be a few specialist medical teams who are based in high speed cars who can be ferried to accidents if they are required. There will also be a medical helicopter on stand by in case anyone needs to be airlifted to hospital. These teams will also carry specialist equipment to cut free the drivers from their cars if required. The FIA’s chief medical delegate (at time of writing, Doctor Gary Hartstein) will be present at every race in his Medical Chase Car and he will be driven to the scene of any major accident on the track.
On top of all this, every circuit has it’s own full-equipped medical centre which contains resuscitation equipment as well as an operating theatre. Local hospitals will also be on stand-by so that they are on alert in case a serious accident does occur. All medical staff will carry their own radios and they will keep in contact with each other and race control.