If you follow Dr. Gary Hartstein on Twitter, then you’ve noticed some frustration on his part over the loss of his job at the FIA as Formula One’s doctor at race weekends. Gary replaced the late Sid Watkins and has been very vocal about his treatment at the hands of the FIA of late. regardless of his terse tweets, Hartstein has been officially replaced by Dr. Ian Roberts. Here is the FIA press release:
Dr Ian Roberts has been appointed FIA Formula One Medical Rescue Coordinator and will work within the FIA medical team at Grand Prix during the 2013 F1 season. He will report to Professor Jean-Charles Piette, the FIA’s permanent Medical Delegate to F1.
While Professor Piette will oversee emergency operations from race control, Dr Roberts will deploy to the track. His primary role there is to supervise the response of the local medical team.
Based in the UK, Dr Roberts is a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care and a veteran HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) practitioner. He is vastly experienced in trackside emergency response and is best known within the motorsports community as the chief medical officer of the Silverstone Circuit. As part of his role at Silverstone he has been chief medical officer of the British Grand Prix for many years. He sits on several motorsports medical advisory panels, including those of the FIA Institute and the UK’s Motor Sports Association.
What does Harstein think of the situation? Well, we have to look to his Twitter account to find out:
“Congratulations Ian,” Hartstein tweeted. “Would certainly have been on my shortlist. Really good doctor, skilled leader, great guy. Lots of luck and have a great time.”
There you have it, one bitter end to a life in F1 as a doctor and one shiny beginning for another doctor. I’m sure Dr. Roberts will do a fine job.