Paolo Gislimberti

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Paolo Gislimberti
Born Paolo Giancarlo Faletti Gislimberti
(1967-05-19)19 May 1967
Trento, Italy
Died 10 September 2000(2000-09-10) (aged 33)
Monza, Italy
Occupation Firefighter, Youth Coach
Spouse(s) Elena Campestrini (1998–2000)
Children 1

Paolo Giancarlo Faletti Gislimberti (19 May 1967 – 10 September 2000) was an Italian volunteer firefighter and youth coach. He was killed by a loose wheel from Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan Formula One car in the 2000 Italian Grand Prix.[1]


Gislimberti was born in Trento, Italy, and often spent his spare time working as Deputy Commander of the volunteer firefighter brigade in Lavis, where he lived. In 1990, he was a member of the CEA Squadra Corse, a well known firefighter company that fielded more than 200 men. Gislimberti also worked as a youth coach for the Trentino Volley team.[2]


In the 2000 Italian Grand Prix, Gislimberti was working for CEA Squadra Corse at Monza. Before the start of the race, he moved further up from his post, taking his fire extinguisher with him. During the first lap of the race, Gislimberti had stopped for a brief moment after running back to check on his fire-fighting equipment, as a multiple-car accident at the Variante della Roggia corner sent a wheel from Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan flying, striking Gislimberti with full force, leading to massive head and chest injuries.[3] His red helmet came loose and rolled towards the side of the track. Another firefighter standing next to Gislimberti attempted to save his life before medical help from Sid Watkins and Gary Hartstein arrived on the scene. He was taken to the First Aid Room at Monza Hospital where he was pronounced dead.[4] Gislimberti's death was the first Formula One related fatality since the death of Ayrton Senna in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, and the first for a bystander since Team Osella mechanic Giovanni Amadeo was killed in the pitlane at Zolder in May 1981. An autopsy reported that Gislimberti also suffered from cardiac arrest when he was struck by the wheel of Frentzen's car.[5] He was survived by his pregnant wife of two years, Elena, who had a daughter named Lisa born in December 2000, and has received financial help from the Formula One community via a fund.[2] His parents, two brothers and sister also outlived him.[6] Bernie Ecclestone donated $40,000 and the teams donated $10,000 with the drivers holding an auction to sell their overalls used in the 2000 United States Grand Prix.[7]


Gislimberti's funeral was held in Lavis at the Sant'Udalrico church on 14 September. His coffin was wrapped with the flag of Ferrari, as Gislimberti had a passion for the team, which was represented by Luca Badoer, Claudio Berro and Stefano Domenicali. His widow Elena and other friends and relatives were present along with Formula 1 driver Gastón Mazzacane. A cushion of pink flowers and Gislimberti's helmet was accompanied by fellow firefighters. 110 red roses were sent by Rubens Barrichello and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, while the top teams and the FIA sent wreaths for the occasion.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ Italy's Grand Prix? Only at Monza - Sep 7, 2012 – A track marshal, Paolo Gislimberti, was killed by debris from a car during an accident in 2000. Monza has always been the home race of the .."
  2. ^ a b "Paolo Gislimberti". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Tremayne, David (2000-09-12). "Safety in F1 - an ever-moving target". 
  4. ^ Nidetz, Stephen (2000-09-11). "Official Killed In Italian Race". Chicago Tribune. 
  5. ^ "Formula 1 News - September 2000". F1 News. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Carambola cursed, Death of a volunteer". Corriere Della Sera. 2000-09-11. 
  7. ^ "Motorsport People - G". GEL Motorsport. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "On rend un dernier hommage à Paolo Ghislimberti" (in French). 2000-09-14. 
  9. ^ "Jordan drivers attend Gislimberti's funeral". 2000-09-15. 
  10. ^ "Formula One says good-bye to Paulo". 2000-09-15.