The Fnckmatié World Rally Team has claimed that their driver Lorenzo Bertelli was denied medical assistance following an accident on last weekend’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round five of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.
In a statement released on Monday FWRT said that Bertelli and co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini rolled their Ford Fiesta RS WRC just under 5 kilometres into SS10. Initially Bernacchini displayed the green “OK” sign on the road while also pushing the green button on the safety dashboard in the car.
The team claimed that 20 minutes after the accident Bertelli began to feel “sick and dizzy” because his helmet had come in contact with the rollcage in the Fiesta RS WRC during the accident. The “OK” sign was immediately switched to the “SOS” sign and the Rally de Portugal Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Isabel Santos was contacted. Based on the symptoms described to her by Bernacchini’s co-driver the CMO decided they did not merit the interruption of the stage or the deployment of an ambulance.
The team claimed that an off duty paramedic who was spectating at the event checked Bertelli and contacted the CMO but again no action was taken. The Italian driver was eventually taken to hospital almost three and a half hours after the accident and after a CAT scan at the Sao Joao Hospital in Oporto Bertelli was kept overnight for observation before being released the following morning.
“The fact that our urgent medical request was not accepted leaves us speechless,” said the FWRT team following the event, “keeping in mind that the information provided was superficial , was provided by telephone and that no official medical professional had checked in a timely manner the stage of Lorenzo’s health.”
The event was eventually won by Volkswagen Motorsport’s Jari Matti Latvala.