Vettel has “zero tolerance” for decision to start Q2 with crane on-track

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc criticised race control’s decision to leave a crane on the circuit when Q2 began at Istanbul Park yesterday.

A group of marshals and a vehicle recovery truck were still on the track at turn eight recovering Nicholas Latifi’s car when the second stage of qualifying yesterday.

Vettel said the mistake which was made cannot be accepted.

“I think we are all humans and mistakes happen,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “But this mistake has a zero tolerance.”

Vettel, who is a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, says the matter will be raised with Formula 1 race director Michael Masi.

“We are all well aware and I’m very confident that it will not happen in the future again. We will for sure talk about this and disclose the reasons why.”

In 2014, Jules Bianchi suffered serious head injuries and later died after spinning into a crane during the Japanese Grand Prix. Leclerc, who was a childhood friend of Bianchi, was shocked by race control’s decision to begin a live session with a crane on the track.

“I think we have all been a bit shocked to see that and we will probably speak together at the next briefing to avoid thing type of situation,” he said.

“There’s no need to say what happened in the past with this sort of situation. I think it shouldn’t happen and we should make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Following the incident Masi said the FIA will “review our procedures to minimise the likelihood of similar incidents in future.”

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Author information

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
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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16 comments on “Vettel has “zero tolerance” for decision to start Q2 with crane on-track”

  1. Very serious misconduct or gross negligence on safety would be called if it was a normal job.

    After Jules… the safety standards are now so low…

  2. Yes, this decision to start a session with double yellow flags and a crane on track was crazy. Weird also that we still have no news about Max’s investigation for
    potentially crossing the white line at the pit exit. It is almost 3 hours after the race…

    1. I could have sworn I read that car33 was to be investigated at the end of the season.

    2. @bulgarian the stewards appear to have quietly slipped out an announcement on the FIA website about that, which is to say they won’t be taking any further action.

      The official announcement is that “Having reviewed video evidence from a wide variety of cameras and angles at the highest resolutions available, the Stewards are unable to find conclusive evidence that demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that any part of Car 33 crossed completely over the white line separating the pit exit from the track.”

  3. The unfortunate thing about the fiasco was that of all the tracks they chose to attempt such it was on the track all drivers found extremely difficult to stay on track be it wet or dry.
    To then make matters even worse, drivers were forced to drive slowly meaning they had even less heat in their tyres potentially making it a greater possibility of them running off track and endangering both their lives and that of others.
    Totally inexcusable.

  4. It was seriously very dangerous.

  5. “review our procedures to minimise the likelihood of similar incidents in future.”

    should read “review our procedures to remove the possibility of similar incidents in future.”

    1. Or even “review our procedures to remove all possibility of similar incidents in future.”

      An amazing reply from Masi that leaves an interpretation that this may happen again. A guy calls him up and says they are going to be off the track before the cars get to turn 8 and that was acceptable to let Q2 start. Then it turns out there was an issue…

  6. C’mon Seb, it was clearly a mistake. Give the guy a break, Masi is doing a great job!

    1. Nonsense:
      1) continuous improvement requires reflection, response to eliminate in future.
      2) Tyre across a white line, or a practice start from 2m beyond intended places are given career influencing penalties.

    2. Who then is the judge of the judges. They can’t be allowed to get away with such monumental errors when they are quick to penalise the most frivolous of driver infringements.

    3. A mistake until, for the second time, someone loses his life because lessons learned were not applied. Then it becomes criminally negligent manslaughter

    4. You seriously have a memory problem – eg. Bianchi’s death & Imola unlapping debacle.
      With lives at risk there is NO room for error. One can not rewind an incident like a video.
      Strongly suggest you volunteer as a circuit marshal. Should you be unfortunate to be in that situation, I find it extremely difficult to believe you would not change your opinion – DRASTICALLY!!!
      …..and have been a circuit marshal in a similar situation.

  7. Masi has time and again proven he’s not up to the task. FIA should replace him before a major f-up happens.

  8. Glad to read that, good to have said. Grosjean has not reason to let off either, and I am sure Leclerc and Gasly will have ample reason to agree it is important to (not to say other drivers will be happy to let it go, I think that after last race this one only showed it is really important to be clear about it).

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