Start, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2017

Reasons for aborted first start explained

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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The original start of the Australian Grand Prix was aborted due to momentary confusion over whether the field was ready to start.

Race control had noted two separate points of concern ahead of the initial start which prompted the decision to delay it.

2017 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
A marshal near Daniil Kvyat’s ninth-placed car indicated a problem and triggered the yellow light panel while the grid was still assembling.

Race control could not see what the marshal was alerting them to. However they had noticed Sergio Perez had failed to pull into his correct starting position of tenth and had begun re-positioning his Force India.

It was in this moment of uncertainty over whether there was one or two separate problems on the grid that race control decided to delay the start in the interest of safety. The field was sent around on a second formation lap.

However as all the drivers were able to pull away and continue, no driver was held responsible for delaying the start and therefore no one was required to start the race from the pit lane.

Ricciardo had originally qualified in tenth position. However he was demoted to 15th place by a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, then had to start from the pits after experiencing a technical problem on his reconnaissance lap.

During last year’s Austrian Grand Prix the start was given despite Pascal Wehrlein having to reverse into his correct starting position having stopped too late on the grid.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Reasons for aborted first start explained”

  1. Having the only driver from OZ still in the pit, and rumours of fuel saving, did not hurt the decision either :p

    1. don’t start any conspiracies please Donald Trump :)

      1. The conspiracy theorists are the ones who still can’t get to grip with losing to Trump. Still pushing the Russian hacking fantasy four months after their election loss, and still not giving any hint of positive evidence to back it up. But hey, why should they let the truth ruin it for them?

        1. Because unlike you, most people don’t run on television commercial time.

        2. Theories other than all the clearly defined political and financial links to Russia you mean?

    2. Ben (@chookie6018)
      26th March 2017, 16:56

      There was a lot of confusion from the marshalls throughout the midfield and it was just a precaution. For those who think it was for Riccardo. It probably helped him by 40 seconds not the 5 minutes he needed.

    3. The first thing on my mind was how could teams try to indeed exploit these re starts to get their way either on tyres or fuel.

      1. Long time F1Fanatic right here, thinks of loopholes right away.

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