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FIA looking into Imola restart incident

NEWS STORY
04/11/2020

In the aftermath of George Russell's off during the safety car period on Sunday, attention focussed on the obvious distress of the British driver as well as the tyre strategy of the drivers battling for the final podium place.

After several laps, as the safety car continued following Russell's crash, those drivers who had been lapped earlier were given the opportunity to un-lap themselves.

While Kimi Raikkonen and those right behind, including Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi and Romain Grosjean, backed-off as they approached the scene where the marshals were removing Russell's car, Sebastian Vettel and Lance, who were some way behind were carrying noticeably more speed, the Canadian passing extremely close to where the marshals were still working.

Grosjean and Vettel both radioed their teams to warn them of the danger but it is understood their concern was not passed on to Race Control.

According to Article 39.12 of the Sporting Regulations, when drivers are given the all-clear to un-lap themselves they "should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up position at the back of the line".

Double waved yellow flags were being shown both trackside and on the lighting panels, and the drivers obeyed the rules accordingly.

Nonetheless, in his post-race briefing with the media, Race Director, Michael Masi admitted that the incident highlighted the need to evaluate the current procedures.

"The safety of the marshals and trackside officials is of the highest priority for the FIA," said the FIA in a subsequent statement. "Race control was made aware of the issue and is evaluating whether any changes can be made to the procedures currently in place to further protect the marshals and officials and minimise the likelihood of a reoccurrence in the future."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by JR Martin, 05/11/2020 12:31

"@GordonG47

I agree with what you say which is also why I'm not keen on blue flags. It's racing and if you catch up to the backmarkers then show your skills and pass them. It would also spice things up a bit by allowing those behind the leader to close the gap."

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2. Posted by GordonG47, 05/11/2020 2:43

"Brings up a whole different question, though - WHY are drivers allowed to unlap themselves? You're a lap behind? Stay there. Drop to the back of the pack so you're not making a pest of yourself (as often happens) but you're still counted as a lap down - as you should be."

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3. Posted by Roli, 04/11/2020 17:24

"I reiterate, Masi should re-asses his position of race director. An ex F1 driver should take the role."

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4. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 04/11/2020 16:25

"Why am I not surprised that it was Stroll that was involved?"

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5. Posted by Burton, 04/11/2020 12:43

"Where the hell is Jean Todt? So much flying around the world with his wife campaigning from safety yet he has completely distanced himself from the motorsports and allows Masi to continually get away this type of farce.
"

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