FIA pacify furious drivers with statement

Following the first lap crash at the Japanese GP of Carlos Sainz, the safety car was deployed by race control and then marshals and a recovery vehicle were sent onto the track to recover the stricken Ferrari. Whilst the cars behind the safety car travelled slowly past the incident on lap 2, there was one driver who approached the incident at over 250kph.

Pierre Gasly had pitted at the end of lap one following damage to his car from an advertising board flung onto the crash by Sainz’s impact with the barrier.

Gasly also gambled on taking new extreme wet weather tyres and was playing catch up to the safety car. The problem is in such a situation the driver catching the pack is allowed to still travel at over 80% of full speed.



The French Alpha Tauri driver had not been told by his team of the tractor at work just after turn 12 and arrived on the scene at a frightening speed. Here’s what the Frenchman had to say about the frightening experience and how it was “disrespectful” to the memory of Jules Bianchi who lost his life here creating into a tractor in 2014.

There were other drivers who were horrified at the decision of race control to send out a tractor during such poor visibility conditions onto a live race circuit.



Sergio Perez described it as “a low point in the sport” and how what he saw made him “angry”.

Lewis Hamilton refused to be drawn on the issue, though he felt the stewards made exactly the right call after the red flag to restart the race under the safety car.



Esteban Ocon explained because he was in P4 behind the safety car he saw the tractor early and was travelling slowly. However, he admitted it would be a concern for those at the back of the train. “we’ve lost enough friends from a vehicle on track”, remarked the French Alpine driver.



There was a debate amongst the Uk Sjy F1 presenters who did criticise Gasley for traveling too quickly through a double waved flag area. Pierre was later punished by the stewards for this and given a 20 second time penalty post the chequered flag which saw him classified last.



The elder statesman and retiring Sebastian Vettel gave the most measured explanation of the issue and suggested it was more complicated than just the decision taken by race control. Vettel believed all the drivers started on the wrong tyres, it was too wet for the intermediates but the full wet tyre is too slow.

This together with a whole host of other matters need to be investigated by the FIA the German concluded. “Today w got away with it, we were very lucky.”


Late into the Suzuka night the FIA appeared to bow to paddock pressure to investigate what happened today at the Japanese GP.

Their statement said



“While it is normal practice to recover cars under SC and Red Flag conditions, due to the particular circumstances and also taking into account feedback from of a number of drivers, the FIA has launched a thorough review of the events involving the deployment of recovery vehicles during the Japanese Grand Prix.

“This is part of the common practice of debrief and analysis of all race incidents to ensure continual improvements of processes and procedures.” 

READ MORE: Binotto questions Japan stewards decisions


One response to “FIA pacify furious drivers with statement

  1. Having obstructions anywhere near the racetrack while cars are on it will always be dangerous so stop it happening. Simple.

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