The Grand Prix Drivers' Association has written to FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi to discuss how they can improve Safety Car restarts following a chaotic series of events last time out at Mugello.

The Safety Car restart at Mugello saw four drivers retire from the race and a subsequent red flag period which halted the race.

The stewards blamed 12 drivers for it as it issued formal warnings to the drivers involved.

Speaking ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean - who is head of the GPDA - confirmed he discussed the incident with representatives Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Wurz, and the association’s legal advisor Anastasia Fowle.

"We've had a few discussions with Seb, Alex and Anastasia on the GPDA WhatsApp group," said Grosjean. "And we wrote a letter to Michael Masi and tried to find out what we can do better.

"I don't think there was anything standing out in Mugello in terms of restarts. It was a lot of small things that led to a big crash at the end, but maybe a few tweaks in some of the rules could possibly help.

"And that's what we want to discuss, to avoid such a scary moment. And I guess we were kind of lucky with everything, that we didn't end up with someone being hurt, because it was quite a high-speed crash, and also a car flying into the fence could have been a bit naughty."

Red Bull’s Alexander Albon was one of the 12 drivers issued a warning and he believes one specific driver wasn’t to blame, more the nature of the circuit and positioning of the start-finish line.

“It’s obviously a concertina effect, Albon said. “I think it’s very much a track layout thing - you see it in Baku, you see it in Mugello - when the straight is long enough you're going to leave it to the last minute because these cars - the slipstream effect is so big on them and that’s a consequence.

“I don’t know if there’s a way we can make it safer to be honest, I am not sure how we’re going to do it. I think the Safety Car giving such little time to react to the situation doesn’t help that because I think Valtteri had to stay within ten car lengths up until the last corner so he didn’t have enough time to create a space.

“I don’t blame any driver. I just think it’s how it is and the thing is when you get these gaps forming everyone is basically trying to guess when Valtteri is going to go and that’s where you get people trying to accelerate to the line because that’s when you know when Valtteri is going to go. It’s one of those things, it’s not anyone’s fault driver wise. There just needs to be some way of changing the format."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...