Tatiana Calderon, Mick Schumacher, F2, Monaco, 2019

F2 race control blunder put more than half the field a lap down

Formula Two

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An error by race control during today’s Formula Two feature race in Monaco led to 11 drivers losing a lap to the race leaders.

Following a protest lodged during the race, the stewards ruled the restart procedure was not followed correctly after the race had been red-flagged.

The race was suspended after Mick Schumacher spun Tatiana Calderon at Rascasse, blocking the track. At the time of the collision all 19 runners were on the same lap, but when the race was restarted just eight drivers were still on the same lap as the leader.

Schumacher, Calderon, Louis Deletraz, Sean Gelael, Anthoine Hubert, Ralph Boschung, Nicholas Latifi, Jack Aitken, Nikita Mazepin, Giuliano Alesi and Mahaveer Raghunathan all had extra laps incorrectly added to their race positions.

The stewards ruled that while a mistake had been made, there was no way to rectify it post-race, and so the result was left unchanged.

“The protest is well founded and the protester did not act in bad faith,” noted the championship in an official statement. “The protest deposit is returned to the competitor and the stewards take no further action.

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“Upon receipt of the protest, the stewards investigated the matter in depth with the race director, race control personnel and timing personnel. In the course of this investigation it was revealed that race one was suspended with a red flag that was not preceded by a safety car. The cars were subsequently correctly assembled in the pit lane under Article 41.3 of the aforementioned sporting regulations.

“In preparation for the restart, the cars were properly re-ordered in the pit lane in the order they crossed the last timing loop prior to the red flag period. A decision was subsequently made not to further adjust the restart order.

“Article 42.3 of the 2019 FIA F2 Sporting Regulations specifies the manner in which the restart order is to be re-established at the restart. That process was not executed in that those cars originally in pit lane ahead of the leader as well as lapped cars were not allowed to transit the course and join the restart order at the rear. While this procedure negatively impacted the remainder of the race by putting significantly more cars down a lap than would otherwise have been the case, the stewards find no equitable method to resolve this error and accordingly leave the results from race one as they stand.”

According to the F1 rules, the drivers who were incorrectly penalised a lap should have been allowed to drive a lap of the course prior to the restart to rejoin the back of the field. Article 42.3 of the F2 sporting regulation states: “At the two minute point, any cars between the Safety Car and the leader, in addition to any cars that had been lapped by the leader at the time the race was suspended, will be allowed to leave the pit lane and complete a further lap, without overtaking, and join the line of cars behind the Safety Car which left the pit lane when the race was resumed.”

The stewards also disqualified Luca Ghiotto, who originally finished second, after his team was found to have used steering rack stops which did not conform to the technical specifications. Nobuharu Matsushita is therefore promoted to second place ahead of Sergio Sette Camara. Louis Deletraz moves up from eighth to seventh and therefore loses pole position for the sprint race to Anthoine Hubert, who took eighth.

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Keith Collantine
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13 comments on “F2 race control blunder put more than half the field a lap down”

  1. The only somewhat acceptable solution would have been to get results before the red flag, give everyone who had not made mandatory pit stop 30-second penalty (that’s the penalty for not pitting in a race ended early), give Schumacher 20-second penalty (for collision, equivalent of drive through) and award half points. Pretty sure de Vries would have still won, but many of the lower point positions would have been affected.

    1. It would still affect the race of many drivers that didn’t stopped. I think they should had allowed to those that didn’t stopped to make the mandatory tyre change within the red flag. And let the ones that got lapped to unlap under the safety car. Everyone would be at the same position to fight the end of the race.

      1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        25th May 2019, 10:25

        They should have done a lot of things. They didn’t. @bleu is correct, it might not necessarily be fair but the second portion of this race is invalid per the series own regulations.

        It is impossible to go back and do it right, therefore the race should be declared over at the red flag and the appropriate provisions in the regs should be deployed. That’s the only way to produce a valid result. As it stands, the stewards have fudged it.

  2. DAllein (@)
    24th May 2019, 23:22

    Yeah, because just consider them as being on the lead lap is impossible *sarcasm*

    If their race controlling software can’t do it, they could do it the old way, with paper and pen, and just announce results reading a paper.

    I guess no competitor, organizer or race control representative would have protested against such grievous violation of Sporting Regulations!

  3. So, the whole race was ruined because there was an incident involving a woman? Sheesh.

    1. Calderon did nothing wrong, that was 100% Schumacher’s fault

    2. the incident is caused by nepotism

    3. I only had to scroll down two comments to see some snide remark about women drivers. Well done.

    4. DAllein (@)
      25th May 2019, 13:10

      I didn’t know Schumacher was a girl.

      On the other hand, today you can never know for sure.

  4. I don’t understand why they pushed the leaders past everyone else in the pit lane (I actually skipped most of the red flag but I assume that must have happened). If they had lined up in pit lane based on the order they entered the pit lane it would have at least been tidier, and much easier to release the lapped cars

    1. good point there @bigwilk

  5. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered very much in the final result. Even if the others were allowed to unlap themselves De Vries would still have won, as he ended up being first at the finish line.
    Deletraz didn’t unlap himself after De Vries and the others pitted. He still was in seventh or eighth place at the track at that point. Only Markelov would have finished outside of the points, as he was really a lap down.

  6. Not a good reflection on those running the race. Pretty poor mistake to make when if the data didnt tell you the answer the red flag was more than long enough to wind back a recording see it with your own eyes and sort it.

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