16 October 2014
F1: Prost’s shock at FIA in Japan
Alain Prost says he was "furious" and "shocked" at the way the FIA handled the situation which led to Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix
Alain Prost says he was shocked by the way the FIA handled the situation which led to Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Bianchi hit a recovery tractor which was trying to remove Adrian Sutil's Sauber amid increasing rain at Suzuka, with the track sector under double waved yellow flags rather than a safety car. While Prost says the work that the FIA does regarding safety is impressive he was “furious” that the weather didn't change the way it dealt with having the recovery tractor in front of the barriers.
"I don't want to make any polemics, obviously, with the FIA,” Prost said. “I have a lot of respect for what has been done in terms of safety in the last 20 years because it is cars, tracks, everything [that's improved]. There was only one thing left: this f**king truck on the track.
"I was furious. I was really shocked by the accident. The way they respond is talking about the procedure. My feeling is any procedure [may be] good, but you have to adapt your decision according to the [circumstances].
"You have the procedure in Suzuka where the weather conditions were getting worse and worse with more and more water, half the cars were on intermediate tyres and half on wet tyres so visibility was very bad. So you cannot have the same decision according to the procedure if the weather was good or bad. That is why I say I am not convinced. In this condition, especially with all the experience they all have in terms of decisions about safety, they should take the zero risk [approach]."
And Prost says the FIA should have known how difficult the conditions would have been for drivers in different machinery.
“You have drivers at the top that are fighting for the championship. In the middle of the field you have some concerned by a good result, some maybe say 'OK in these conditions I slow down, I don't care', some say 'You should stop the race' on the radio. And at the back of the field you should never forget that in these conditions, for the bad cars it is the only opportunity they have to do a good result. So you just need to take that in to consideration. That is why I was shocked.”
Prost explained that his shock was due to the unexpected way the FIA dealt with the situation having been so cautious earlier in the race.
"When it was not safe in the beginning when it started with the safety car, it was a difficult decision from the FIA to stop the race after three/four laps and then start again. So they always did the right things. That is why I was shocked, because you take the right decision at one stage.
"It is huge bad luck, but you should not judge the cause of the accident, you should judge the consequence. You don't want to have that. If it was my son, you don't want this type of accident with a truck on an F1 track. That is what I cannot accept."
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