While the stewards deliberated over two cases of unsafe release from pit-stops at the German Grand Prix, the topography of the Nurburgring
copped the blame for the errant Marussia that brought out the mid-race safety car.
Force India and Red Bull
both copped financial penalties for allowing their drivers to leave their first pit-stops prematurely, but Jules Bianchi's runaway MR02 could have had equally serious consequences had it decided to follow a different path.
As it was, it teased the trackside crews by starting to roll backwards down the hill away from the final chicane just as the rescue truck arrived on the scene, crossing the circuit before finally coming to rest astride an advertising hoarding that, fortuitously, became wedged under its wheels.
Race leaders Sebastian Vettel
and Romain Grosjean
were the first on the scene and, although the car had already come to a halt by the time they passed, the safety car was scrambled to allow for a second recovery attempt.
The team made no mention of the incident in its post-race press release, but sporting director Graeme Lowdon later told Press Association Sport
that frustration at seeing a promising run for Bianchi ended by engine failure quickly turned to relief that a more serious incident had not occurred.
"Jules pulled off the track straight away, the car was in neutral when he stopped, and he then [returned to the car to] put the steering wheel back on, as he is required to do,” Lowdon explained, "There was a marshal in attendance when he left the car, which was stationary. There was nothing more Jules could have done.
"There was clearly no engine, he couldn't put it in gear, he couldn't do anything with it at all. What happened [next] is part of the nature of this circuit - it's hilly. [It's] obviously not something you want to see, but one of those things.
"Thankfully nobody had to avoid the car. There was obvious relief nothing happened, but it was pretty slow moving at the time and the yellow flags were also out."
Bianchi's exit capped a disappointing weekend for the Marussia team, which began with a stomach bug ruling the Frenchman out of Friday practice and ended with just one car reaching the finish.