For anyone who doesn't already know, Dr Gary Hartstein, the previous FIA Medical Rescue Co-ordinator who rode shotgun with Alan van der Merwe in the Mercedes AMG C63 station wagon at the back of the grid for each F1 start, has moved on from mere tweeting and now writes his own blog, A Former F1 Doc Writes.

More recently, he has started a series of posts on how a medical response to a racing incident is articulated. The posts give an insight into how the process is managed at the very highest level of open cockpit circuit racing and are well worth a read. They are a good companion read to the Medicine in Motorsport textbook, for which Gary was the lead editor, particularly as the posts are not subjected to the publishing restrictions imposed on the book.

Gary walks (drives?) us through each step, from how a track medical service is deployed, to dealing with the potentially injured competitor and includes details such as the thoughts going through his head at each phase of response and the stream of communication relaying between himself, Alan, race control and the local medical team.

Among the current batch of posts there are two items that stand out for me particularly. The first is a paragraph in the "Medical car rolling" post where he talks about reviewing the approach sequence of "scene survey, driver survey, determining the extrication strategy and need for care on-site" and ensuring that there is no role ambiguity amongst the the medical car's occupants. This is really important to ensure that things go smoothly in a potentially chaotic and hazardous environment.

The second piece that I enjoyed, in the "Medical car on scene" post, was Gary's emphasis of the importance of a good medical car driver and the often underestimated roles that they play. Working with a driver who drives well and responds with an understanding of both race conditions and medical priorities makes an enormous difference and makes for a very pleasant event. These guys often don't get the recognition that they deserve.

The posts are a good read and it's reassuring to know that the processes that Gary details mirror what happens at Australian events at various levels of the different racing categories and I am looking forward to more of his posts. Maybe others will be inspired to post similar accounts from other race series, giving us insights into the similarities and idiosyncrasies of the medical car role at various motorsport events.