I am now in Dubai and during the eight or so hours I have been flying, a video has emerged which clearly shows what happened. This is very helpful to understand the dynamics of the crash. I do not intend to publish it here (on the grounds of taste) but I am sure that those of you who wish to look at such things can find it easily enough. The video shows exactly what happened and how the two vehicles ended up where they did after the impact. The video shows that the hit was actually a glancing blow with the rear end of the tractor, under the overhang at the back of the vehicle. This is what destroyed the crash structures of the Marussia. One can see how the damage to the left side of the car (which we have not yet seen) was so extensive. The video happens at such speed that it is impossible to ascertain whether Bianchi’s helmet hit the tractor itself, but the G-forces involved in the impact, highlighted by the amount the heavy truck was moved by the force of the impact, were obviously very high. Given the speed that Bianchi arrived, it would have been a huge accident even if the tractor had not been there. The video I saw does show a green flag being waved in the background but this needs to be examined carefully because while Adrian Sutil’s Sauber was being removed from the scene the flagman was waving double yellows. When the tractor with the Sauber reversed in front of his tower (it was only a few metres) he changed flags to green because the sector for which the flagman was responsible had become free of any danger and so the flagging was correct.
If you look at the video that is posted you will see early in it (at around 08.00 on the counter that there was a clear yellow light indicating the caution sector where the accident occurred and there was a green light clearly visible at the end of the sector. So, it is very clear from this that Bianchi knew that the sector was under caution.
And for those who think that the tractor is not an efficient way of removing vehicles, note also that videos that shows Sutil crashing out also show that Bianchi was on the track just ahead of the Sauber. That meant that it was about two minutes before he got to the scene of the accident again and the tractor and crew had almost finished the process of removing the damaged Sauber. And for those who might try to argue about it having been more than one lap, the actual number of the lap on which the crash occurred depended on whether it was counted using the leader’s laps or the laps completed by the driver concerned. I still lap chart each race and quote incidents based on the lap the specific driver was on when the incident occurred, but a lot of people quote the lap the leaders were on when the incident occurred. These are often different.
I have taken a still from the video so that you can see the angle of the impact and the amount that the tractor was moved in the incident.