Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon has issued a statement about his crash during the opening stage of the Rallye Monte Carlo that resulted in the death of a spectator.
The Kiwi was caught out by ice on a left-hand turn during the stage and rolled his i20 onto his side, but unfortunately a spectator, who was trying to get closer to the action, was caught up in the crash.
Hyundai decided to withdraw the #4 car as a mark of respect to the spectator, and Paddon has now issued his own statement about the turn of events.
“Upon reflection, I wanted to issue a small statement about yesterday’s events,” read Paddon’s statement.
“Firstly our thoughts are with the family and friends of the spectator involved. No matter the circumstances, this is never something we want to see.
“Secondly, John [Kennard] and I are humbled by all the messages of support at this time. Obviously my thoughts are with the family and that is my only concern at the moment. Not being able to return home to New Zealand does make it a little tougher but it is important we stay strong.
“I do want to take this chance to ask people not to speculate. Irrespective of how and why the accident happened, finger-pointing will not change anything .The most important thing is that we learn from this and I am committed to work with the FIA and rally organizers relentlessly to ensure this does not happen again.
“I will take this chance to ask spectators at rallies to please be considerate where you stand and to respect the instructions of the marshals. We all want to enjoy a good show and go home to the family afterwards. I also ask each and every rally fan at the events if you see someone in a dangerous position to request they move for everyone’s best interest. As a community, we can collectively work together to prevent this from happening again.
“Lastly, I please ask the respect from the media in these times, especially the for the family and friends of the spectator. I will not issue any further statements or conduct interviews at this stage. We made the decision to not continue this weekend out of respect, but will be back in Sweden where we will pay tribute.
“Thank you again for everyone’s support and for the support of the team – it really does mean a lot.
“Until Rally Sweden,