FIA will not renew Hartstein’s contract

Gary Hartstein, current FIA head doctor, has revealed that his contract will not be renewed at the end of the 2012 Formula 1 season. The well-respected 57-year-old has worked in the sport since the early 1990s and currently travels to every Grand Prix on the calendar, providing medical cover for all practice, qualifying and race sessions.

"Have just been informed that president of the FIA and president of FIA medical commission have decided not to renew my Formula 1 contract," Hartstein said via the social networking website Twitter. "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."

Born on Staten Island in the United States, Hartstein studied at the University of Rochester in New York. The 1970s saw him train as a doctor in Belgium before he returned to his homeland for a six-year spell at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The popular personality’s motorsport involvement was initiated in 1989 when he travelled back to Belgium. Helping at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, he was picked up by the FIA for the 1990 season, being assigned to the medical car alongside the late Professor Sid Watkins. Since 2005, Hartstein has held the role of Formula One Medical Delegate.

Of the reasons for the FIA's choice, which has not been officially announced, Hartstein added: "Not sure about the "why's" of the decision, but not down to me to know."

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