The Formula One doctor, Gary Hartstein, will be leaving his position as doctor at the end of this year, following the decision of the FIA not to renew his contract. He has been in the medical car since 1997, alongside Sid Watkins for 8 years until Watkins retired in 2005 when Hartstein was promoted to head F1 doctor. He is the first responder to the crashes, especially those that happen at the start of the Grand Prix as he rides in the medical car, right behind the grid.
Hartstein made the announcement on his Twitter account, “Have just been informed that president of the FIA and president of FIA medical commission have decided not to renew my Formula 1 contract. Not sure about the “why’s” of the decision, but not down to me to know. Brazil will therefore be my 247th and last Formula 1 Grand Prix. It’s been a life changing experience and something I’ll never forget.”
“Long list of stuff in my life that’s been ignored or not done coz of F1. Like vacations, learning to fly, waking up at home every weekend… And time now to start banging away at that list. If I’ve brought even a small bit to this sport of what it’s brought me in personal fulfillment then it was all worth it.”
It is not yet known who will replace Hartstein.