No need to change Safety Car restart rule – Masi

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

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Formula 1 race director Michael Masi sees no reason to change the sport’s rules on Safety Car restarts following last weekend’s crash in the Tuscan Grand Prix.

Four drivers were eliminated in a pile-up during the race’s only Safety Car restart. The same four, plus eight others, were given formal warnings for their roles in the incident.

Several drivers called for changes to be made in response to the crash. However on Sunday evening Masi said: “I don’t think there’s any need to review the Safety Car restart rule.”

Several drivers said the timing of the decision to restart the race contributed to the crash, a view Masi rejected. Race leader Valtteri Bottas was in between Scarperia and Palagio – turns 10 and 11 – when the call to restart the race was given.

Masi said the usual procedure to initiate a restart was followed at Mugello.

“The first phase is that we advise all teams through the messaging system, which is also what’s seen on the graphics, that the Safety Car is in this lap,” Masi explained. “So that therefore prepares all of the teams to advise their drivers accordingly.

“From there, the next point is that – at a predetermined point at each circuit generally – the Safety Car boards are withdrawn, however the yellow flags continue to be displayed. Then, once the Safety Car is clear of the circuit, the yellow flags are withdrawn and the green flag is displayed at the control line only. And that’s really the phases of it.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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  • 87 comments on “No need to change Safety Car restart rule – Masi”

    1. It’s getting increasingly irksome to see him make these comments. For someone in a position of safety to just dismiss these concerns, seemingly so flippantly, is worrying. If you have a safety mandate you investigate and assess every possible cause and whether improvements can be made, and you do it after the fact with a cool head.

      F1 didn’t get to the levels of safety they’ve reached today by being so complacent and dismissive. It’s 100% possible Masi is entirely correct, but to have reached the knowledge to be able to state that as soon as he did doesn’t inspire confidence.

      1. Drivers didn’t uphold the rules in pace, so drivers are going to make horrible crashes. Abide by the rules and stop endangering yourself and your colleagues by being opportunistic. It is not that difficult.

        1. The footage shows that most of them were – as far as they could tell – following the rules.

          The FIA’s response has been pathetic. Not bothering to single out and penalise the first driver (Russel) to accelerate and brake heavily, not bothering to investigate how it could’ve been prevented; instead they decided to blame two thirds of the pack and act as though it’s somebody else’s problem.

          1. Russel, and Kvyat too

          2. Oh yes, if the FIA bothered to actually police the rules, perhaps someone like Bianchi would have still been alive.

      2. @hawkii for once I wholly agree with Masi, the f2 kids did not pile up on the sc restart and they banged wheels plenty during racing, that alone dismisses investigation. In the end some drivers admitted to not being aware of the restart, this fact automatically means that the procedure is not to blame as it was the same as usual.

        1. “that alone dismisses investigation”

          …shows you’re completely missing the point. Safety is involved, this could have been catastrophic. As I said above, Masi is quite possibly correct, but you NEVER dismiss things that easily without a thorough look after the event.

          1. The thing is, the team did have a good look at all data, in car viess available and also data from the other races this weekend @hawkii. When information is available they don’t need weeks or months to have a good look at things.

            The picture of what happened, and how it played out was pretty clear, as @peartree writes, so that is it.

            1. The stewards had a look at it from the instant blame perspective while the event was still finishing and announced the result the same day. That is not the same as someone not looking to assign blame sitting back and looking at it objectively. The conclusion the stewards on the day came to is not the same thing as an actual proper “look in the mirror” analysis.

        2. “the f2 kids did not pile up on the sc restart and they banged wheels plenty during racing, that alone dismisses investigation”

          You use one example to argue it shouldn’t be worthy of investigation? Please, on behalf of society never agree to jury service.

      3. he is right to be dismissive though. it’s not his fault drivers misjudged their situation. just like the FIA wasn’t at fault for the “break-testing” incident in Baku 2017 during a VSC (or was it a SC? i don’t remember)

      4. @hawkii +1. But he’s not even correct.

      5. Completely agree with you.
        If Masi was around in the 60s he would be saying:
        “No need to remove Telegraph poles from the side of the track. Just keep inside the track and you have no problems”

      6. @hawkii Your assumption is that Masi may be 100% correct, but to you there is no possible way he could have reached that 100% correct state without more time? I would say that since he has seemingly reached a 100% clear conclusion that there is no need for a rule change, then he has taken the time that was needed, for after all he made it very clear that it was an insult to suggest he was being flippant about safety. So Masi only ever had safety in mind, these crashes from these scenarios are not common, so no need for knee-jerk reactions to rules that are already sufficient. The drivers were already overwhelmingly dealing with restarts just fine, and they will have learned from the weekend’s incident and will now be even better at restarts.

      7. Masi has been as thorough as anyone. Drivers and teams should know the process by now. Only the drivers who were too eager are to blame. Move on

    2. When these concerns are mere excuses from drivers that couldn’t follow the safety car procedure properly, then I agree it’s irksome, but for a completely different reason.

      These drivers need to stop blaming others for their mistake. The procedure is clear and has been the same for ages, but if you’re gonna go full loudpedal before the car ahead of you, then yeah, you’re going to end up crashing into other cars, go figure.

      It’s okay to make errors, but to reinvent a system that has worked 99.99% of the time, because George Russell was being a bit of a dummy one time and got everyone behind him caught out is shifting the blame to a procedure when it’s a driver error.

      1. I agree, not just Russell, Ocon as well, carrying on as if there was no restart, possibly they assumed there was no restart since Bottas did not go after the last turn, which is a bad excuse since this is f1 and to make matter worse f2 kids were aware you would become a sitting duck by going off after the last turn. In the end the top 5 or 6 went off at the line and the mid pack caught napping, strolled along dismissing the pile up they had just caused.
        I don’t know why mercedes told Bottas off on the radio. They sounded as if Bottas had done something wrong.
        Maybe they believe he caused the whole situation or maybe Bottas had been briefed to go before the last turn as it protects the 2nd car, probably the best strategy for the 1/2, had merc not have such power advantage Lewis would have lost at least 1 position, probably more.

        1. @peartree No, according to Bottas himself, Mercedes had briefed both their drivers to wait until the last moment (halfway down the straight) to restart the race. In the other race restarts, F2 and F3, where the leader had gone early, they had been passed by the end of the straight due to the slipstream. I took Mercedes’ reprimand to be more about his weaving, which was excessive and could have damaged both his car and Hamilton’s.

          1. I read that Hamilton was asked post race but before Bottas if they (the Mercedes drivers) were briefed on Sunday morning how to restart and his answer was basically: “No, not as far as I remember. Were we?”

            Can’t find the original quote though. Anyway Bottas did nothing wrong. Nor did race control in my point of view. It’s more the drivers aren’t used to restarts like this.
            But of course they should have a look at it and a really dislike the way Masi turns any critics down.

            1. @roadrunner I thought Bottas was sweeping pretty close to Hamilton and risked a collision, but that’s between them and the team, sure. He didn’t break any rule. I read that Hamilton did mention the conversation about race starts and implied FIA were more interested in ‘the show’ than addressing the concerns of Mercedes (and maybe Red Bull) about the restart. Though it wouldn’t be the first time Bottas and Hamilton were on different wavelengths, given Bottas apparently didn’t recall the team talk about not using party engine mode against each other at Spa…

    3. I think it was pretty clear nobody wanted the rule changing, just the lights on the car to go out earlier so the lead car can decide when to go in advance of the pit straight. We’ve not had any issues with restarts for decades then Masi takes over and drivers complain before eventually we have a huge accident. Clearly something is not right…

      1. This @slowmo. Masi’s attitude through all this is what worries me the most.

      2. Even if the lights would have been switched off at the start of the lap, then Bottas would still have made the same restart.
        Restarting earlier is just a guaranteed slipstream overtake.
        Masi has made a few weird calls/decisions, but this is not one of them IMO.

        1. Restarting earlier gives the leader a chance to build a gap through some aero corners @coldfly, so he doesn’t need the start line start tactic. As race control knows perfectly well…

          1. There aren’t enough ‘aero corners’ at Mugello to offset the slipstream of the start-finish straight. Maybe only if you allow a full lap of building speed and gaps.

            1. Of course there are @coldfly, that’s why so many cars couldn’t pass the car in front of them for so many laps even with DRS. Mugello is all aero corners. That is the whole reason race control put in the fix, because it was the only way to have a nice exciting bunch start with lots of action.

        2. That would then at least have been Bottas choice to do that then which should be his perogative as race leader rather than the race directors choice to force that restart.

          1. Bottas could’ve sped away before turn 15 (as the lights were out by then) and see Hamilton overtake him 1cm after the start-finish line (probably followed by Ricciardo).
            Yes his prerogative; but not very smart.

            1. Bottas could not speed anywhere @coldfly until the SC entered the pitlane, as he’s not allowed to pass it. And until its lights went out he had to stay within 10 car lengths of it. So with it keeping its lights on until the entry to the very last corner, he couldn’t drop back. This is the issue.

              Not being able to drop back, he can’t then go fast through the last few corners, to create a gap going onto the straight.

            2. @coldfly as Zann notes, Bottas was not allowed to do that because it is not legal to pass the safety car before it has returned to the pits (unless it is in the very specific case of a car unlapping itself).

              There have also been some fans looking back at the approach that the FIA has taken in the previous races this year where safety cars were deployed, and it does seem to confirm that Bottas’s complaint is correct. In Austria and Silverstone, when the safety car switched its lights off, it was between 50% to 100% further away from the pits than in subsequent races (Spa, Monza and Mugello) – if it had been switched off at a comparable place in Mugello as at Silverstone or Austria, the lights would have been switched out at around Turns 10 and 11, not on the approach to Turn 15.

              That points at there having been a definite change in policy after Silverstone, as there has definitely been a trend of the safety car switching off its lights much later in the lap than has been done in the past at those venues and when compared to the approach in the opening races of this season.

          2. The question then becomes, @zann, @slowmo, if race control knows the SC can come in at the end of a lap, but by the time they informe everyone it would be late enough that the lights switch off only at a late point in the lap, like we saw here, would you prefer they leave the SC out a bit longer so that they can then give the lead car more room to buld a gap on the next lap?

            Because that is what we all too often saw in the past, that the SC stayed out a lap or 2 longer than evryone felt was needed.

            1. Where does this IF come from @bascb? :) Are you claiming the track only became clear just at that moment the SC was entering T14?

              And how long does this ‘inform everyone’ take? It’s done with a computer! About .001ms after MM presses the button.

            2. @zann, I see you clearly underestimate the time needed to inform everyone – make sure all messages are received, everyone is prepared to get going. Think about how many people are involved in race control, in the pitlane, around the track as well as on track.

            3. the IF was because I take this as a hypothetical situation, since we don’t exactly know.

            4. @bascb to answer your direct question, yes I would rather they go around one lap more than release them at the last minute/corner when the leader then has no option other than to do what Bottas did or be swamped into the first corner. This is about making it fair for the majority of instances, obviously some tracks suffer more than others from safety car restarts such as Baku, Monza, Mugello and Spa giving a big chance to those behind to overtake.

              The point of the safety car should be to neutralise a race for safety reasons and then restart safely, not about spicing up the show. It does seem like the recent move to restrict the amount of preparation for the leader to restart is to hand the advantage to those behind and that’s not really fair as it’s rarely the leaders fault for causing the SC and they’ve already paid a huge penalty having any lead they earned being cut to nothing.

              None of this answers my real question though of why we seem to have had so many safety cars this year and that does need clarifying urgently in my opinion. Are there less marshalls on track, is there a reason that double waved yellows or VSC are being ignored as tools to be used on track now for example? Decisions are not being made on the grounds of safety if you purely go off comparing this years responses to incidents compared to the past.

            5. There is no feedback required in the system @bascb, we know this from Monza. It’s instant. Pitlane closed, safety car in or out, whatever. So your IF is really an alternative scenario of your personal making, not actually connected to the race.

        3. @coldfly Mercedes raised this exact point. By releasing the lead driver from the SC only very late, they would be forced to bunch up the field as far as the start/finish line to minimize the chance of a slipstream. If they released the driver earlier, he could bunch them in the last corners and get away without this problem. But FIA/Masi didn’t want that. Why? The suspicion was that they wanted the chance for overtakes on the main straight (‘the show’).

          The drivers and teams saw the potential for mayhem. Those responsible for race safety did not. Draw your own conclusions about competence. I don’t blame the drivers since the system is deliberately designed to be ‘suboptimal’ in terms of advising drivers when the race has restarted: it’s dependent on the race leader accelerating to race pace. So drivers are obviously all looking at other drivers (especially further back) to tell when that is. That’s intended to mix up the order and produce racing as some drivers get it wrong. Getting it wrong on a very fast, long straight with cars that accelerate to huge speeds in seconds, is a recipe for chaos and potential disaster. They need to ensure that the race has to restart in slower sections, at most on entry into the main straight.

      3. Yes absolutely @slowmo, it’s just being evasive talking about ‘the rules’. This, and the being offended thing, it’s not the class we need from the race director.

    4. There may not be a reason to change the Safety Car Restart Rule but Masi can’t know that until it has been reviewed, Along with all associated rules and procedures by himself and all relent parties. After every serious/major incident it is best practice to review rules and produces using all available evidence, no one just knows. It may lead to changes to the rules and procedures or it may point out deficiencies in the are drivers briefing procedures. Or actual teaching of drivers on how to act under Safety Car Restart situations.

      1. ^^ exactly this. It’s not the rights and wrongs of the specifics of this situation, it’s the process for reaching the conclusion.

      2. Indeed @johnrkh, Masi increasingly reads as having a

        worse to admit wrong than be wrong


        I hope behind the screens and words is a solid effort to check the footage, and see if there are tweaks to the rules and/or driver instructions for restarts that can be done, and why we have seen more issues this season that before (maybe new tracks too, I don’t know, and that is exactly the point – the FIA should know, or find out), but his words certainly do not inspire confidence that they are.

        Even if you see it as drivers blaming others – well, the FIA previously changed the SC to have the no-erratic driving rule exactly due to that sort of stuff, what’s the difference here? And even the red flag standing restart was probably a good thing to use on Sunday. See, it is possible!

      3. Absolutely – Masi cannot say that the restart procedure was perfectly fine without investigating it to see what the root cause of the crash actually was.

        It’s even worse that he defended the procedure because the F2 drivers didn’t have a crash. Using his logic, there would be no investigation into the Boeng 737 Max, because most pilots landed it successfully even when there was a sensor failure.

      4. @johnrkh I agree 100%. Dismissing even the need for a review after a dangerous pile up is a bad sign.

        1. Why the assumptions that Masi and his team hasn’t spent the bulk of his working hours since the race rewatching/reviewing that restart? The drivers were reprimanded. Does that not show that indeed upon review it became quite clear quite quickly that the drivers were overzealous, and that there is no need for a rules change?

          1. @robbie The assumption is that they want to keep the SC rules as they are as a policy to induce more exciting (less predictable) restarts. The way Masi responded didn’t convince me that assumption is wrong. Reprimanding 12 drivers out of 18 – with the rest up front – suggest to me a problem with the current system, not the drivers. It just takes one driver to accelerate a bit too much, for whatever reason, to trigger a cascade of increasing reactions, so that the drivers to the rear think the race has restarted. That’s what we saw happen. Who are you going to blame when the drivers have to take their cue from everyone else and will lose out heavily in the race if they don’t respond when the race starts? It works OK when speeds are low. On a big main straight, with the rear drivers approaching uphill and unsighted, it’s almost bound to generate serious situations.

            1. @david-br Or they can learn from this and take more caution next time. Reprimanding whatever number of drivers indicates to me a problem with the drivers. It takes one driver to accelerate too much? That has always been the case and it is up to the trailing drivers to be wary of that, as always. As it is there is no passing until they hit the line anyway. I would have thought that a rules change over one incident at one track would have been seen by just as many as knee-jerk, as are reviled by Masi for not changing anything but rather reminding drivers of their responsibility in this.

              As a little aside I think this is yet another thing that is going to be helped with the new gen cars. Currently there is a desperation to not dare lose a spot, so difficult it is to manage tires and get back ahead, with such reliance on drs as well. Once the new cars can race more closely and will only be negativity affected in dirty air by a much smaller degree, I think there will be less ‘panic’ for a trailing car to risk collision on a restart, as they will have much more opportunity in the subsequent laps to pass.

            2. @robbie Sure the caution to drivers is fine, but not if it’s made in a way that refuses to acknowledge other issues. You also have to take into account the particular configuration of Mugello, which the teams and drivers seem to have anticipated more than FIA. I agree with your point about being desperate to overtake. But again, I don’t see any problem with these tense ‘edgy’ restarts if they’re at lower speed. Collisions will happen, but not the kind of life-threatening crashes that could have resulted on Sunday with some cars spinning on track and others striking at high speed.

            3. @david-br No that’s fair comment, and I just think rules changes over one incident at one track are just as vilified as being knee-jerk. I think most would agree this incident does not represent the start of a trend.

          2. @robbie the fact that Masi acted and within 24hrs shows me he definitely has not carried out an in depth investigation. Infact it’s more akin to an effort of moving on the conversation ASAP. The nothing to see here fortress mentality is very unprofessional to say the least and dangerous at it’s worst.

            1. @johnrkh Fair enough, I obviously see it the opposite way in that it took so little time because that is all the time that was needed.

              Hey if those within F1 are up in arms about this then I expect they are saying things directly to Masi akin to your last sentence, and demanding extensive investigation. But are they? I can’t say I have scoured all sources for every quote about this from the players involved, but I don’t get the sense that there is much pressure on Masi over this from within. That he actually is thought to have a track record of being flippant towards safety. He was under Whiting’s wing. I wonder if armchair quarterbacks are more distressed about this than the teams or drivers, other than their initial comments, which I would consider inevitable, but not the same as extended pressure and concern towards Masi. As someone else around here suggested, perhaps it will be addressed in the GPDA, and perhaps a change will be made. Let’s see.

          3. Robbie whether anyone is up in arms over it or armchair quarterbacks are distressed has no effect on the fact that a thorough investigation should be held. Masi shouldn’t feel pressured before he decides to do what is a fundamental part of his job. If someone wanted to be mischievous they could lodge a complaint to the EU Agency for Safety & Health at Work.

            1. @johnrkh Ok but I just think that Masi has done his due diligence on this given that it would seem to him a no-brainer that the drivers just have to be more careful, and that no rule change is warranted. So I wouldn’t expect him to investigate further when he thinks enough has been investigated, unless there is pressure from the teams or drivers that would drive him to have to come up with a more comprehensive answer. I guess I’m thinking of it like protests. If someone protests formally then the FIA has to have the stewards investigate. If nobody protests they move on.

          4. @robbie according to the FIA’s own records, out of the 12 drivers who were reprimanded, only 3 were asked to come to the stewards office to share their account of what happened – so three quarters of those cited for a reprimand were not asked to provide their account of what happened on track.

            Furthermore, the three drivers asked to attend were Latifi, Magnussen and Kvyat – drivers whom many seem to think were not the instigators of that crash in the first place either.

            @johnrkh saying that Masi “acted within 24hrs” is a bit generous – according to the FIA’s own timings, the accident was at 15:28 and the decision at 20:08, meaning that there was only 4 hours and 40 minutes between the accident occurring and the final decision being published.

            1. anon Fair enough and imho if that seems sloppy or lazy or rushed and not thorough enough of an investigation, then the team(s) concerned can protest and get further investigation, no? But have they? Not that I’m aware of. Which leads me to believe they pretty much agree with Masi that no rule change is needed and that caution is warranted if this scenario comes up again.

            2. @robbie I believe that a formal warning to a driver is on the list of penalties which teams are not allowed to protest against. In that case, it would not matter how much the team disagreed with the decision – the appeal would be automatically rejected and no investigation would be held.

              If you look at Alfa Romeo’s attempt to have their penalty in the 2019 German GP overturned, the judges only looked at whether the case was admissible, before confirming that it was not admissible – at no point during the proceedings did the judges look at how the stewards came to their decision or whether it was an appropriate penalty to impose in the first place.

              If a team was to try to launch a protest over what happened in Mugello, what would almost certainly happen is the judges would look at whether the appeal would be allowed to go ahead, and would then say it was inadmissible: there would be no investigation into the decision itself.

    5. While I think it might be worthwhile to review this thing (just in case), the main issue was the drivers doing something stupid. I think the FIA should simply enforce the gaps behind the safety car more strictly.

    6. The real problem is that the rules now say that the safety car restart line is the start line, but on such a straight where a tow is so likely the lead car either gives up and lets other past using the tow or does what Bottas did and go very slowly until the last minute and that is bound to bunch everyone up jockeying around to ensure they are no a millisecond too late in flooring it.

      Surely the sensible solution is to have an old fashioned safety car line at the start of the straight and as the teams all knew that a safety car restart would require the tactics Bottas used then surely the Race Director and his driver steward knew that too, and in knowing that knew there were serious risks to consider.

      The fact that F2 escaped the same pile up doesn’t disprove the risk, it just shows both good fortune and lower power machines were involved.

      1. Not sure if this accident would have been avoided by moving the line elsewhere. Back when the line was the SC line, there was still a period of time where the SC left the track and the lead car becomes the de facto safety car. If the backmarkers decide to speed up earlier than the line because they think the front leaders will have sped up by the time they close the gap they left, as Russell did, then the crash still happens.

        The thing to fix here is the driver’s behaviour, not the position of the line imo.

        1. The issue is that the drivers more than a few cars back can’t see where the leaders are or if they have sped up. Therefore they are essentially guessing whether they should be putting the foot down or not.

        2. @aiii No, the issue indeed is allowing overtaking only from the timing line rather than SC1 as used to be the case. On most circuits, the timing line is close to the final corner, though, so not a problem.

    7. Masi is being a bit arrogant, isn’t he?

      1. He’s the race director, he dictates the rules, i’d say putting his foot down is part of his job.

        1. The ‘Balestre’ school of management. Great, that’s all we need.

          1. He’s not a manager, he’s an authority.

            1. I would say he has only appeared arrogant because he was insulted at the insinuations that he doesn’t take safety seriously when indeed that is his main goal. But he can only control the behaviour of overzealous drivers so much.

    8. Not really an article is it? It’s already been covered. It’s up to the GPDA now…

    9. When the SC pulls in, VSC rules could apply with VSC ending at some point around the first lap.
      This would be a sensible way to go about this, but the race director seems to have forgotten about the VSC completely for reasons unknown. Sure it does ‘spice up the show’ though doesn’t it having all these angles of cars crashing, Sky probably love it.

    10. Of course.

      1. I’ll point out the same things I’ve pointed out before: Allow overtaking from SC1 line again, and only do rolling restarts following a red-flag stoppage as that’s both faster (overall race time-wise) and fairer to all drivers than a start from a standstill from potentially unfavorable grid slot. Also, use VSC when suitable, not full SC for every single situation merely for the sake of it. This also gets the races done in less time as it doesn’t break the flow as much as a full SC.

    11. What I think is crucial here is that, they safety car normally turns of the lights at a certain “sector” of the lap to indicate the race is about to restart. In that case the drivers would not mind if the cars all crawl to the start finish line and take off from there. But in this particular instance, the lights on the car stayed on till very late, Bottas was still very close to the safety car when it drove into the pits. Then all of a sudden they saw the lights go green whilst still thinking they may still be going for another lap.
      Of course the immediate reaction is to bolt immediately the car in front of you does the same thing, because you are not able to watch the race on television to see the drivers far in front.
      Then when you realise something ins wrong, you immediately slow down and that is where the issue stems from.
      The drivers received conflicting signals and reacted with confusion.
      Another mistake is to assume because it didn’t happen in GP2 F1 drivers are in the wrong. Just so you know, the acceleration and braking potential of an F1 car is so much greater than that of a GP2 car, such that they are already hitting over a 100km in just a few cars lengths as such they are forced to slow down just as hard, which can bring them to a standstill in even less distance.
      As much as Whiting used to annoy us most time, he usually would come up with an explanation of exactly what happened and address it. But Masi seems to be so carried away with his new position that he is adopting an almost god like attitude.

      1. + 2 Whiting got things wrong too, but was pragmatic, interactive with the drivers and teams, and sought solutions, not blame.

    12. Procedure is poor. Leader has advantage on restarts.

      That alone should be the cause for change.

      Bottas did what was good for him. But not what is good for F1.

      Rollimg start, when lights (on the light boards) go out everyone races.

      And be done with this silly anti competitive procedure.

    13. Two weekends in a row decisions by the race director and his team have been mistimed.

      As Racefans’ article on Monza detailed Hamilton needed more time to avoid entering closed pit. Appearently only Russell would have avoided that mistake. As a result cars entered a closed pit.

      Drivers are claiming the timing of the safety car lights at Mugello were a problem. The person in control says of course not. Regardless, there was a major crash.

      The safety car picked up Bottas (2nd) instead of Hamilton. Another mistake from race control.

      So clearly some if this is on drivers and teams. In particular I thin
      Both suggest race control not understanding how there decisions will play out. They need better preparation so they can act quickly,

      1. *Very fustrated with my phone recently. Keep getting delayed inputs, post key is right under space bar.*

        So clearly some if this is on drivers and teams. In particular I think the Monza incident begs for driver training.

        All suggest race control not understanding how there decisions will play out. They need better preparation, and maybe system changes, so they can act quickly. They also need to take a serious look at what happened in Monza, and it doesn’t sound like race control is open minded enough to handle it.

      2. @slotopen that is something which seems to have been largely overlooked due to other events, but does indeed raise questions about why the safety car mistakenly picked up Bottas instead of Hamilton – maybe it might have been more understandable in the past, but less so with the introduction of modern tracking devices which make it easy to tell where a car is on track.

        I do feel that standards have been getting worse in recent years, perhaps in part because of all the staff appointed by Watkins that the FIA subsequently kicked out after his death, and then with Masi’s attitude that seems to consider any questions about safety standards as being a personal attack.

        1. When you have Mercedes and some drivers directly accusing them of endangering drivers to spice up the show, I think he has some justification to be angry at that. If they’d raised something as constructive criticism rather than trying to play politics with it, the entire thing would probably have been dealt with differently. You could just as easily say Mercedes should have been more grown up about something that happened to disadvantage them in this instance.

          At the end of the day in this particular incident, one or two drivers caused that accident and it’s their driving which should be criticised most heavily. Yes, review procedure in case there is a better solution and regardless of if he’s saying it publicly, I’m sure they have looked into that.

          @slotopen, Monza race control did nothing wrong. Mercedes made a mistake and brought Lewis in when the pitlane was closed. He wasn’t so far ahead from others on track, and they didn’t come in because their teams told them not to come in, including Bottas. Are you suggesting they deliberately timed the SC to allow Lewis time to pit when it was closed, hoping the team would get a penalty? We can’t expect race control to rush decisions based on the position of the leader on the track – they wont be paying any attention to where specific cars are on track at the time when things like that are required.

          The car other than Lewis that came in to the pits at Monza, was he not given enough time to know too? He had AGES and they still called him in! It was just a mistake – blaming race control is an easy way of deflecting attention away from their own (rare) failure.

          1. @mysticarl Agreed. Well said.

          2. @mysticarl Despite Masi’s protestations, there have been fans measuring where the safety car switched off its lights in the races where it has been used in 2020 and demonstrated that there has been a definite trend of the safety car lights being switched off much later in more recent races, providing evidence contradicting Masi’s claims that nothing has changed.

            As others have noted, normally the trend was for the safety car lights to be turned off on the approach to the final sector of the lap – and that is what was done in Austria and Britain when safety cars were used in those races, with a quite large gap between where the safety car was and the pit lane (usually over 1.5km from the pit lane).

            However, in subsequent races, such as in Belgium and here at Mugello, the safety car lights were turned off when the car was a lot closer to the pit lane – indeed, in the case of the Belgian Grand Prix, some of the commentators in that race were commenting with surprise about how late the lights were turned off on the safety car.

            If the same approach that was adopted in Austria and the UK was applied in Mugello, the safety car lights should have been switched off around Turn 11 – despite Masi’s claims, there has been a change in procedure and it is one that he has not explained.

        2. The safety car picked up Bottas because Hamilton was about 20 seconds further up the road. The time it was deployed Bottas and Hamilton were just approaching the pit entry.
          Bottas pitted but Hamilton went on and past the safety car on his way out of the pits.
          It’s normal procedure and happens almost evrytime because they have to deploy the safety car as soon as possible and rightly don’t care where the leaders are.
          The right packing order can be sorted once the race is neutralised. Although it probably safed Hamiltons day I don’t see any problem here.

    14. I was reading yesterday that the SC restart procedure since the mid 1990’s was that the SC lights had to be turned off at the start of sector 3 at which point the race leader could start to control the pace, Drop back from the SC & prep for the restart.

      That system worked so there was no need to change that this year, Especially since it appears it was done purely for entertainment purposes (Keeping the field bunched up longer). Just admit it was perhaps an unnecessary change done for the wrong reasons & switch it back to the way it was done before which was something that drivers seem to universally feel was safer.

      1. Correct @roger-ayles. He’s not listening though.

      According to this I think the 9. position driver (Alpha Tauri) or 11. position driver (Williams driver Russell) made the biggest mistakes when they were too far from the car in front of them then they pushed too hard then they slowed down. Behind Russell (11. position driver) everybody thought the race restarted and pushed hard.

    16. Speaking of safety, any idea about what happened to Stroll?
      Looked like another catastrophic Pirelli failure to me.

    17. What the FIA needs is a new, and competent, race director. It’s time to lose Masi.

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