The return to Japan after 3 years absence almost turned into a disaster. Rain filled Skys and a wet track saw the race start with the cars on intermediate tyres. However, unable to see through the spray, Carlos Sainz hit standing water and aquaplaned into the barrier on lap one.
The safety car was deployed almost immediately however Pierre Gasly had been hit by an advertising board flung onto the track by the Sainz impact.
The Alpha Tauri driver pitted for front nose damage and then set off to chase the safety car.
Memories of Jules Bianchi in Suzuka
As Gasley approached the sector of Carlos incident there was a tractor recovering the stricken Ferrari.
In the poor visibility Pierre almost drive into the tractor at speeds the FIA declared to be around 250 kph.This led to criticism of the stewards for failing to learn from the FIA review following Jules Bianchi hitting a tractor at the same circuit in 2014.
Bianchi later died of brain damage from the incident.
Bianchi’s father incensed
Incensed the father of Bianchi, Philippe, reacted with criticism of the FIA on Instagram.
“No respect for the life of the driver, no respect for Jules’ memory”.
A number of the drivers criticised the fact there was a tractor on the circuit. Gasly himself complained he could have “killed himself”.
However the Alpha Tauri driver is being investigated by the stewards for driving execissvely quickly at speeds between “200-250 kph under the red flag.”
marshals were working on Sainz car as Gasly flashed by and clearly again double waved yellow flags are not being obeyed by drivers or enforced by the FIA.
"We lost enough friends"
"These are things we don't want to see"
Esteban Ocon gives his opinion on the incident involving a recovery tractor coming onto the tracks. pic.twitter.com/5pcgdYu3Z6
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) October 9, 2022