FIA explains why race restart wasn't possible


Amidst growing anger and frustration at the damp squib that was the conclusion to the Italian Grand Prix, the FIA has explained why the race couldn't be stopped and restarted.

On the 46th lap of the 53 lap race, Daniel Ricciardo pulled to the side of the track between the two Lesmos after suffering an issue with his car.

While it was anticipated that the VSC or full Safety Car would be deployed as is usual under such circumstances, this merely being a car having stopped and not an incident involving debris or requiring repairs to the barriers, it was widely thought the race would resume once the car was pushed to safety.

However, with the McLaren stuck in gear the marshals were unable to move it and hence called for a recovery vehicle.

The Safety Car was deployed and the field continued behind the vehicle, however as the laps counted down it became clear that the race would end behind the Safety Car, much to the frustration of the fans who voiced their anger, loudly booing.

Further frustrating the situation was the fact that the Safety Car had been sent out ahead of third-placed George Russell instead of race leader Max Verstappen, causing a delay in the field taking up position

At race end there was widespread criticism from drivers, team bosses and fans, all wondering why the race couldn't have been stopped and restarted.

"They had more than enough time to get that going," said Christian Horner at race end. "They picked up the wrong car and then they had to let all those cars literally catch up again.

"We need to go through the details of it," he continued, "but for me, there was more than enough time to get that race going again with a car that wasn't in a barrier, it was parked by the side of the track.

"We don't want to win a race under a safety car," he insisted, "and that's something that we've talked about for many, many years that they should finish racing.

"We had the faster car, and we would have liked to have won the race on the track, not behind the safety car. So we share the disappointment of all the fans because it took away a grandstand finish.

"If there hadn't been a safety car, we had enough pace in hand on the one-stop that we'd adopted. We'd saved a new set of tyres, we had a new set versus Charles' scrubbed set, it was all set for a grandstand finish that we didn't get to see.

"It goes against the principles of what we've discussed previously. I think the biggest losers today unfortunately were the fans, but we need to look quickly to address that."

"I was a bit disappointed for the ending," added Mattia Binotto. "Finishing behind a safety car is never great for F1, the show.

"There was plenty of time for the FIA to act differently today," he added. "It was fully safe to run on the track towards the end. To wait so much is simply wrong.

"We need to have discussions on how to improve because the aim should be to restart the race as soon as possible. The FIA need more experience but they need to do a better job because F1 deserves it."

Reacting to the growing frustration, at a time the sport is still recovering from the Safety Car shambles that was Abu Dhabi, an FIA spokesperson explained the reasoning behind the decision not to stop the race and restart it.

"While every effort was made to recover car number three quickly and resume racing, the situation developed and marshals were unable to put the car into neutral and push it into the escape road.

"As the safety of the recovery operation is our only priority, and the incident was not significant enough to require a red flag, the race ended under Safety Car following the procedures agreed between the FIA and all competitors. The timing of the Safety Car period within a race has no bearing on this procedure."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 11/09/2022
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