Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Nurburgring, 2020

Raikkonen says Turkey Q2 crane incident was “far from ideal”

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers will raise the decision to start Q2 in Istanbul while a crane was on the circuit during this weekend’s briefing with race director Michael Masi

The second stage of qualifying began on a wet and very slippery track at Istanbul. The signal to start the session was given while marshals and a crane were still on the track at turn eight recovering the car of Nicholas Latifi, which had come to a stop at the end of the previous session.

Masi explained the decision to RaceFans and pointed out the yellow flag zone approaching the crash scene was extended before the session began.

However Kimi Raikkonen remains dissatisfied with how the situation was handled. He said it was obvious drivers would reach the crash scene before the crane had moved “because they were still recovering the car when they started the session.”

Raikkonen said it wasn’t sufficient to cover the scene under yellow flags because of the speeds F1 cars travel at.

“Obviously when we went through turn eight there was yellow flags or something, whatever it was that they kind of expect us to go slow. But in those conditions, especially how slippery it was, it doesn’t matter even if you go slow, you can lose the car. It’s far from ideal.

“I think it would have been better to wait until they pulled the car out and cleared the run-off areas because like I said we can go slow for us but it still might be a 120kph or something like that and when you lose it on those conditions you have zero control where you’re going to end up.”

Raikkonen said race control should have waited for the crane to be in a safe position before beginning the session.

“It was only the out-lap, but then we could as well wait three minutes longer and take zero risk.”

“I know it’s obviously not our decision,” he added, “we go when the track opens and try to do the best out of it.”

GPDA director Romain Grosjean said the drivers want to ensure the incident is not repeated in the future.

“There’s been some follow-up and yes, I believe it will be discussed at the drivers’ briefing,” said Grosjean. “I think all the drivers are aligned on this. We just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

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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
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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6 comments on “Raikkonen says Turkey Q2 crane incident was “far from ideal””

  1. Really this:

    “It was only the out-lap but then we could as well wait three minutes longer and take zero risk.”

    is the only logical conclusion one should make. They did not. I really, really hope they will in the future.

    1. Absolutely agree. Charlie Whiting has obviously left some large shoes to fill. The death of Jules Bianchi is still very fresh in our memories, an incident as obviously dangerous as this is completely inexcusable. Not to mention this comes shortly after the incident with the marshalls on track at Imola when the cars were allows to unlap. Michael Masi is playing with fire. I hope the FIA take this seriously as well for all their talk of “road safety”

  2. Massi is still finding his feet as race director. We want him to succeed and rev up to speed soon. F1 is a lethally dangerous sport.
    Maybe there should be a tribunal, eg, say Mika Salo and Hakkinen as assistant directors, to give Massi instantaneous advice when required.

    1. it’s Masi

  3. It’s especially grating when Masi will gladly add several minutes to a safety car period for something mundane and utterly useless as cars unlapping themselves. (creating an even more dangerous situation in Imola incidentally)

  4. Isn’t Masi caring about the concerns over the very dangerous incidents?

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