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Whiting explains aborted start

NEWS STORY
26/03/2017

Official race director, Charlie Whiting, has revealed why today's initial race start was aborted.

Initially it was thought that the aborted start was due to a problem with Kvyat's car, while others suggested Nico Hulkenberg had taken Daniel Ricciardo's grid slot after the Red Bull driver was forced to start from the pitlane.

However, Whiting has revealed that he aborted the start because a race marshal triggered a warning light.

"I aborted the start because there was uncertainty, and I always want to be certain, or as certain as one can be, that all is well before pressing the start button," he told Autosport. "Firstly, Perez had pulled up in the wrong position but, after a few seconds in that position, began pulling forward.

"At the same time, the marshal responsible for the light panel beside Kvyat's car pressed the yellow button which indicated a problem," he revealed. "Neither I nor my colleagues in race control could see a problem so I felt the safest option was to abort and send them off on another formation lap."

The warning light triggered referred to Kvyat's car, and it is possible the marshal was anticipating an issue following a "small fire" the Russian's car had suffered a few minutes earlier when first taking its place on the grid.

"It was clear from the video that there was nothing wrong with Kvyat's car nor did he make any signal," said Whiting, "so it may well have been a case of nerves on the part of the marshal.

"It doesn't fully explain why the button was pressed," he admitted, "but people sometimes do inexplicable things under pressure. In any case though, the main point is that there was uncertainty as to whether it was safe to give the start so it was aborted. No driver appeared to be to blame so hence no driver was required to start from the pit lane."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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