FIA race director Michael Masi has responded to Sebastian Vettel’s criticism of releasing cars back onto track at the start of Q2 for the Turkish Grand Prix, saying he was ‘more than comfortable’ with his decision.

A crane was still on circuit and marshals were clearing Nicholas Latifi’s car in the wake of a Q1 off, when the green light was shown to allow the remaining cars to head off on track again. It meant the cars had reached the corner before they had a chance to get fully clear.

It was a situation that Vettel described it as a ‘zero tolerance’ situation that must be addressed, saying:

"I think we are all humans, and mistakes happen. But this mistake has a zero tolerance. I think we're all well aware and I'm very confident that it will not happen in the future again. But we will for sure talk about this and disclose the reasons why.”

Though the topic of cranes on track when the circuit is live has been a sore one following the incident that befell the late Jules Bianchi, Masi says the fact it was marginal and the cars were on an out-lap meant the call was otherwise sufficient.

“As I said yesterday, in the comment that was put out, it was quite close to the barrier opening, the crane was on its way,” he said.

“And we were given assurances that it would be well and truly clear. And looking at everything, I was more than comfortable with the local assurances on that basis.

“So as I said, the benefit of hindsight, you would do something different. But based on it all and the available information at the time, that was the call that we made. Obviously, it was a double yellow flag anyway, regardless, which is normal protocol, even when there aren’t cars on track. And further to that, that sector was extended even further. And it was an outlap.”

From an FIA perspective, we review every incident that takes place, be it minor, major in between or otherwise, at any point in time during a session, outside of the session, and continually learn from everything that takes place,” he said.

“So, from that end, we’ll continue to learn, no different to a team learning about different elements over a weekend and in between. We are absolutely no different.

“And from our end safety is our number one priority, and you learn from everything, every time a car rolls out pitlane, every time you look at something different.”

 

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