Safety Car, Imola, 2021

Vettel surprised by rolling restart decision despite damp track

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel admitted he did not expect race control to use a rolling restart during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin driver said he was “100% sure” the race would resume with a standing start after it was red-flagged due to the collision between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas. “I don’t know why it was a rolling start,” he said.

Vettel said he chose soft tyres at this stage of the race because he expected a standing restart would be used. “With the red flag we tried to start on a softer tyre, but there was a rolling start which we didn’t expect,” he said. “And then we had a higher degradation on the soft than others on the medium.”

Aston Martin CEO Otmar Szafnauer said the decision to use a rolling start was announced later than the team expected.

“We anticipated a standing start again, but then we were told it was a rolling start quite late,” he said. “All the teams were given the information at the same time and it was quite late that we were told that it was a rolling start.

“I think the last red flag situation we had – where was it, Monza? – that was a standing start.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Imola, 2021
Vettel expected a standing restart “100%”
FIA race director Michael Masi said the decision to use a rolling start instead of a standing start was made in line with the correct procedure.

“Generally we can post either a standing start or a rolling start once the cars have actually left pit lane,” he said. “And so on this occasion, we did it at I think it was about turn seven – there or thereabouts. The Safety Car lights went out and the ‘RS’ [rolling start] went up on the screens, which is the procedure as stipulated in the regulations.”

Masi confirmed a rolling start was used due to concerns about the remaining damp patches of track on the approach to the high-speed Tamburello sequence where Bottas and Russell had crashed.

“After a suspension we can either have a standing start, as we’ve seen previously, or a rolling start. And having looked at the situation, and particularly with the left-hand side in particular of the track on the approach to turn two, the far left-hand side being quite damp, determined that we would go for a rolling start.”

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69 comments on “Vettel surprised by rolling restart decision despite damp track”

  1. There is nothing wrong with the decision to go with a rolling start, and Masi explained that bit well. Though the lateness might have caught out a few teams (but, wetness really made it a bit more obvious I think).

    But, really wish Masi wouldn’t start with the legalese yes we can decide stuff. Given his answers so often tend to boil down to that and ‘this happened’ which does not explain why not differently, he nearly lost me before the real answer.

    1. Martin Elliott
      20th April 2021, 11:57

      Quite right.

      The frightening thing is that Masi keeps explaining he has followed the rules, BEFORE giving the reasons for choice where alternatives were allowed.

      It again heightens that just because the rules say one thing doesn’t mean they are right in all circumstances. However trying to get the FIA to proactively, rather reactively do anything for management or safety is wasted effort.

      1. Thats my problem with Masi, he seems always late to answer his phone or in making decisions.
        The rolling vs Standing start is probably what caused Kimi his points.

    2. peer pressure was the reason why they went for the rolling, they did not have the guts to go for a standing. It might have upset the top runners. the original start was a standing start and it was wet. There is absolutely no reason to have opted for a rolling, The cars will only get to the damp patches faster, there is no logic behind that excuse.

  2. As exciting a Red Flag restart is (and scary for fans of the race leader) it is already the most artificial ‘gimmick’ we have in F1 (yes IMO it even beats DRS). It doesn’t just close up the field and allowed lapped cars to unlap themselves (like a SC), but it also allows all teams to fit fresh tyres and free repairs, which other might had to do under racing conditions.
    Adding the lottery of a standing start – as exciting that may be for TV viewers – would make it even more unfair.

    For those who want more starts, they should just wait for Sprint Qualifying.

    1. That doesn’t have anything to with a standing restart.

      1. Maybe it doesn’t makes sense if you stop reading before:

        Adding the lottery of a standing start – as exciting that may be for TV viewers – would make it even more unfair.

        1. F1 is covered with unfairness. One can drive a Mercedes, the other has to do with a Haas. One team can spend 200Mln, the other only 100Mln. One’s car works the Pirelli tyres well, the other doesn’t. One car comes across backmarkers at some technical section, the other at a DRS zone. The red flag standing restart fits quite comfortably in that list. And I disagree a standing start is a lottery. It requires skill. Some drivers are known for their exceptional starts and others are less so.

    2. Red flags are caused by big accidents. Those accidents are anything but “artificial gimmick”. In these cases the race has to be suspended. There is no other option but to close up the field. Stopping the cars for tens of minutes requires cars to be looked at, prepared for an extended stop then prepared for the race start.

      It would be just as “unfair” not to allow drivers to change tyres for those who were planning to change them 1-2 laps after a red flag situation.

      1. The gimmick is doing a standing start instead of a rolling start after a red flag.

        How you got @coldfly saying “red flags are a gimmick” from his post, I don’t understand.

      2. One of this situation where there is no real good solution. If you allow for change of tires and repair, or forbid them, it’s going be unfair as some will get more advantage than others. Same with all gaps disappearing.

        Only fair solution would be to not allow repair or tire change, and have the car leave the pitlane with the time interval they had during the previous completed lap before the incident. But what if a car pitted during that lap?

        Stopping the race with a red flag is definitely the right thing to do, then there has been a perturbation to proceeding and there will always be a “what if”.

        1. @coldfly @jeanrien @f1mre @aiii @kuvemar
          Not allowing tyre changes (or repairs) would be unfair to those with possibly a very worn set and bring in unintended consequences, so not worth banning.
          Also nothing wrong with unlapping.
          I definitely agree, though, that a standing restart adds artificial randomness, so unneeded.

          1. looking from the other side: you can also say that changing the tyres is unfair to the ones who just changed them before the red flag

            you’re now highlighting it from one side… there are more sides, but there are always disadvantages

          2. @jerejj I disagree that there’s nothing wrong with unlapping, for the same reason I disagree with being allowed to work on the car and change the tires. A red flag means the race is halted, if the race is halted, than once the red flag is lifted, the race should be started the way it was halted.

            Now inherently you can’t do anything about the gaps disappearing, but this would also go for a safety car period so can be forgiven seeing as it is essentially a safety car restart anyways. However, there’s no good reason why lapped cars can’t still be lapped and in the exact position they were in when the red flag was raised. And the same goes for during a Safety Car period without a red flag. That is what’s fairest, you are on track where you are on track. There is also no reason to give drivers free pitstops and car repairs. If your car is damaged because you made an error, then tough luck. Maybe shouldn’t have tried to brave an overtake on the outside? If you want to get it repaired, make an extra pit stop during the race.

          3. @aiii The unlapping thing is (at least partly) about fuel load as was, for example, pointed out in Imola last year.
            By unintended consequences, I mean an unneeded danger element as continuing on a worn set can risk a sudden puncture at speed, which wouldn’t benefit anyone. Having to use an unsuitable set would be unfair to a driver in this situation. So would disallowing repairs such as front wing damage, etc.
            F1, as the highest level of circuit racing, doesn’t need artificial randomness, especially at the expense of safety. Nascar exists for the gimmicky stuff.
            Norris in Monza and Russell in Mugello wished tyre changing during a red-flag stoppage was disallowed, but I assume those were heat of the moment things without thinking how they’d feel if they were suffering from what they suggested.
            Another good thing about tyre changes is that more sets can get used for their intended purpose.
            One negative thing in banning work on cars would also be the possible impact on the championship if one contender suffered unfairly through gimmicks.
            I generally don’t see a need for changing things that work adequately well as they are, i.e.,
            ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

          4. @jeanrien @jerejj I think the best solution is to not allow any work on the cars under red flags, but run two SC laps before the race goes green again. That gives everyone who needs to pit an opportunity to do so under SC, which they would have been doing anyway if the race hadn’t needed to be red-flagged.

            I think pretty much every series I can think of handles red flags similarly, in part because none of them resort to the standing restart gimmick and in part because they use the SC laps before the restart to sort out the field anyway.

          5. @markzastrow A downside: Additional laps behind SC would take away laps under green flag conditions. Otherwise, a decent idea.

          6. @jerejj Yes, it would be one additional lap, on top of the one lap that is already necessary and counts towards the race distance today. But I think one lap of green flag running is a small price to pay to preserve the running order!

    3. F1 already has the technical capability to fix or at least greatly reduce any unfairness resulting from safety cars and red flags by implementing this system:

      1. Record the the exact gaps between cars before the safety car/stoppage (timing is already recorded any way at every moment)
      2. During the restart require drivers to drive to an individual delta (already possible with VSC technology) in order to re-establish those gaps
      3. Once gaps are re-established or after a predetermined amount of time green flag the race (like a VSC restart) with a penalty for any driver our of required gap.

      Front runners would maintain their lead. Lapped cars would stay lapped but would also not lose out relative to their competitors just ahead which hadn’t been lapped yet.

      Of course that won’t ever be done because bunching up is good for the show.

    4. Yep, I agree with you.

      Let’s not mention that they seem to unlap themselves in the position they were in the field when the flag was shown – under a safety car they unlap themselves and end up at the rear of the pack. That doesn’t seem to be the case for red flags.

      At the very least they should be correctly re-ordering the field and forcing cars to pit for repairs/tires when they are back racing instead of allowing everyone a free change to get back into contention after their mistake has left them a lap down and completely out of the points.

      1. That doesn’t seem to be the case for red flags

        They do end up at the rear of the pack don’t they @dbradock?
        I presume the difficulty lies in the fact that after a red flag, there could be many cars with damage and judging ‘how much’ damage is acceptable to repair is such a grey area (it has to be something, they can’t restart without a rear wing for example and pit after one lap, that’s just dangerous).
        As for standing restarts, I don’t think I’ve ever been in favour also like @coldfly. I wouldn’t go as far as DRS levels (!), but it does seem a little bit ridiculous however much I wilfully enjoy the spectacle.

    5. that is not the standing starts fault.

    6. Agree standing starts after red flag is way too much

  3. Made no sense to do a standing start given there was only 1 dry line, imagine all cars going for it right after light out. It would have been a mess, and those who wouldn’t have found space on dry patch would have to take the wet line and repeat Hamilton maneuver.

    1. what? did you watch the original start? there was no dry line then! conditons were much better at the restart, only masi knows why he decided to do a rolling restart

      1. @ivan-vinitskyy Agree completely. I expected a rolling restart.

        David the big difference from the original start is that they were all on intermediates, the suitable tire for the conditions, whereas for the restart they were all on slicks on a track that barely had more than a single racing line off which it became very tricky to stray given everyone’s slick tires.

        1. @robbie This is the worst justification ever.

          If everyone put the wrong tyres on, then that should just be their problem. Going for slicks on a damp track is a gamble, they could have gone with inters.
          Having the race direction decided by the competitors is backwards.

          As much as everyone bags out Masi for some of Race Control’s decisions, the regulations and the culture of F1 are both far, far from ideal too. Restarts after red flags should always be the same, regardless of which tyres the teams chose to put on.

          1. Restarts after red flags should always be the same, regardless of which tyres the teams chose to put on.

            Why exactly? A few seasons ago we didn’t even have the option of standing restarts. Having it at the discretion of the race director seems like a good compromise to me at least.

          2. Because there is too much inconsistency in F1. It’s unnecessarily complicated.
            A start, whether race start or restart, should just use the same system for simplicity, clarity and consistency.

            Just like track limits should always be the same everywhere, all the time. Simple, clear and consistent.
            Having those at the discretion of race control isn’t helping anybody – it just ruins races and opens up all kinds of arguments and controversy.

          3. If your main concern in consistency then this was VERY consistent. Race director always has a final say whether to start the race, stop it, safety car it, VSC it, close pit or anything else. It has to be a human to evaluate all kinds of risks. Computers just aren’t there. And yes, race director has cancelled first lap standing starts too when they were too dangerous. It is consistent and best approach to safety in racing atm.

          4. S ‘If everyone put the wrong tires on…?’ That makes no sense whatsoever. Going with inters would have been entirely the wrong choice as they were already past those due to the dry racing line. The choice was slicks, either soft or medium, as confirmed by Vettel’s words above. Just because the track was still damp in places didn’t mean they should use inters, and those would have lasted a lap at best on the dry line before drivers would have had to come back in for slicks.

          5. @ivan-vinitskyy
            Consistently inconsistent. Yes, standing race starts have been swapped for SC rolling starts when it’s been bucketing down, but not in perfectly safe racing conditions as this was. And when they do do it, it’s usually because they want to get a ‘race’ in before it gets dark or everyone gets bored of waiting around for the rain to stop.

            @robbie
            Right – so the teams/drivers were keen to use slicks for a standing start.
            Masi confirmed a rolling start was used due to concerns about the remaining damp patches of track
            So were slicks really the right tyres for the restart? Race control think all the teams made the wrong decision, evidently.
            So race control made a decision for them, by changing the type of restart.

          6. S Yes my understanding all along with the re-introduction of standing restarts after red flags is that they would only do so if safe to, and as well I believe, if I’m not mistaken, they have a rule that they won’t do so if it is within a certain number of laps to the end of the race, which is neither here nor there for this discussion. So yes of course it goes without saying that Race Control makes the decision as to the type of restart. It is and always will be about when it is safe and appropriate to do so, and the teams nor drivers don’t get to decide that, naturally.

            I think you are taking licence with you wording here. The choice of tires obviously doesn’t just come down to what would be best for the restart alone, and indeed, as we saw, teams were selecting tires that they thought would allow them to finish the race without stopping again, barring more rain that would have seen them have no choice but to pit of course. Lol ‘so the teams/drivers were keen to use slicks for a standing start’ makes it sound like you think that if they knew it was going to be a rolling restart they would have chosen inters, and nothing could be further from the truth, obviously.

            Surely you get that the appropriate tires for them to continue racing on was the slicks, and are using what can only be categorized as sarcasm to claim that just because there were wet patches that would have made a standing restart unsafe, means that inters would have been the better option, when you have to know that inters on the dry line as a racing option from that point onward would have been completely insane to have put on.

            This issue came down to being was it better to have them starting side by side, knowing their natural option was that they would all be on slicks in order to not pit again, in which case they’d be forcing drivers to be on some wet patches that still existed, or have them restart in-line so that they would all be able to stick to the dry line on their properly (only sensible option) selected slicks. Easy choice and based entirely on safety as it should be and as they said all along it would be.

            You haven’t got a leg to stand on with your suggestion that inters were the tires they should have re-started on.

          7. @robbie Did I actually say they should have gone with inters? Don’t think I did.
            They all accepted that a standing start on slicks was their best option – inters were not right as the rest of the track was too dry. Then the standing start was changed to a rolling start – primarily because everyone was on slicks.

            Given that everyone had been out there on slicks already, overtaking each other on the wet sections of track, proved that the track was more than ready for slicks.
            If that doesn’t scream out to everyone that Masi isn’t working for Liberty after all (to make the races more entertaining) then I don’t know what does.

            As I said elsewhere – standing starts with slicks on a damp track is not a new concept. They do it for race starts, there was no reason not to do it here.

          8. S Come on, you’re grasping at straws here. Your “So were slicks really the right tyres for the restart?” implies that you are questioning that. This is a no-brainer. They had to be on slicks. There were damp areas that meant forcing them, i.e. giving them no choice but to be on the damp via a standing start that would have had them side by side, was not safe. Overtaking each other on slicks on the wet sections only proved that the drivers were willing to take that chance as per each individual drivers feel and intuition and up to their choosing, weighing the risks themselves, but it is not Masi’s job to force them into that risky behaviour.

            And I would press you as well on your assertion that “standing starts with slicks on a damp track is not a new concept. They do it for race starts…” Do they really? How often? Can you cite examples and exactly what the circumstances were? I know they have forgone a standing start on occasion and gone with a rolling start for the very first start, when the track is quite wet and it is even debatable as to whether they should delay the start, but I think it is quite rare that they start with slicks on a damp track, and rather would start on inters knowing they’d quickly all be pitting for slicks once a dry line is there. Typically they only do a rolling start for the first race start under very extreme conditions, and otherwise it is always a standing start and drivers doing so with slicks on a damp track is rare unless you can prove otherwise. The re-start idea though, being optional as to standing vs rolling, is far more fluid an idea though, and far more optional and subject to the FIA’s discretion, just as it is for original race starts.

            But the difference is that for an original start on a damp track there has been no running on the track to form a dry line yet, so as I say it must be very rare, and I’m sure if you have any examples they are few and far between, when drivers have started a race on slicks on a damp track. It would be a very unwise thing to do, unless I suppose in any examples you have, the sun has come out and is drying out the damp by nearly dry track by the minute. That was not the case last weekend.

            That I am aware of Masi works for the FIA, not Liberty. Safety is his first and foremost mandate. If he was working for Liberty and theoretically wanted to make things more entertaining, wouldn’t he have instigated a standing restart, safety be damned? You’re not making sense. Masi’s decision “screams out” that he works for FIA.

          9. @robbie
            All those words and you still haven’t actually addressed my point – that the race director decided how to start the race based on the teams choice of tyres.
            If they’d all rolled out on inters (for whatever reason is unimportant) then we’d almost certainly have had a standing start.
            The decision on start type should at the very least be made 5 minutes before the tyres are even fitted to the cars – or shouldn’t even be a decision at all; with a single, fixed procedure unless the race is declared wet again. And it certainly wasn’t wet enough for that.

            Of course it’s rare that the track is in a condition where inters or slicks at the start can both work – Hungary last year comes to mind, with both Haas cars opting for slicks instead of taking the grid.
            But it’s legal. And so should have been allowed at Imola too, IMO. Let the teams decide how much risk to take in this situation.

            As for Masi – many here have commented many times that he’s been making decision (SC’s and Red flags) to spice up the show. This disproves that theory.

          10. S it is ridiculous non-starter to even suggest ‘had they all rolled out on inters’ for that was never going to happen in a million years. F1 has decided to have the option within itself to do standing re-starts when safe and appropriate to do so and therefore Masi made the correct decision, end of.

        2. Sorry Robbie this is where real racing experience counts.

          It may look like there is no dry line and the track is fine.

          It absolutely is not.

          There was a clear grip differential right across the grid that would have caused half the grid (certainly your boy) a major disadvantage

          It’s about temperature and rubber not just what you see as a ‘dry line’ fact is any standing start would have been an absolute joke and a total lottery

          Been there done it many times suffered the issues that just a decade ago caused crashes even off the line and yes we got the rules changed to rolling safety car starts.

          1. @drgraham Not sure why the ‘Sorry Robbie’ as I’m not sure where we disagree. I agree with Masi’s decision and thought I made that pretty clear. I do take your point about how a dry line can still offer challenges on such a day, but certainly in laymans terms and for the sake of what we were seeing on TV as the race unfolded, a ‘drier’ line, shall we say, presented itself such that they all switched to slicks mid-race, and such that slicks were the desired tire for the re-start, but a re-start that should have satisfied your rolling start preference, and as I had thought at the time that it should be, given my understanding that standing re-starts were to only be conducted at FIA’s discretion and when safe and appropriate.

      2. @david I think you misunderstood @ivan-vinitskyy. The fact that there was only one truly dry line meant that half of the field had to start on the damp side of the track and the other half on the completely dried out track. Apart from it being ‘unfair’ the restart would indeed be a mess with everyone on slicks. The original start was wet, so equal for everyone.

        1. Exactly, that’s perfectly reasonable grounds for a rolling restart.

          But whichever type of restart race control decides to use, they should notify the teams before they leave the pits so the teams can react accordingly. If the correct procedure according to the rulebook was followed in this case, the rulebook needs to be changed.

          Really, it seems as if the rulebook needs a thorough revision and update in the off-season. I wonder, since the sporting regulations are published by the FIA, is there anyone at F1 who is actually charged with the task of maintaining them?

          In many series, the race director would be responsible for writing and maintaining the race procedures. Does Masi have that authority here? If he does, is he using it? It seems like the rulebook is falling through the cracks, as if written by a committee with no single person taking responsibility for it.

  4. “Generally we can post either a standing start or a rolling start once the cars have actually left pit lane,” he said. “And so on this occasion, we did it at I think it was about turn seven – there or thereabouts.

    This rule needs to change. How can something as crucial as standing vs rolling start be decided so late? Drivers like Leclerc whose radio wasn’t working in fact thought it was going to be a standing start. Imagine if he slows down near his grid spot while others behind him speed up. We end with a mighty crash! As Aston mentioned, tyre decisions can change basis stated start procedure. There could be other battery / engine settings / recharge modes / tyre temps that need to be optimized for a particular start procedure.

    1. Just like a SC, there should be a flashing sign or flag to indicate the type of start, that would solve that particular issue.
      With regards the late decision, sometimes it might take a couple of laps behind the SC before they decide so I think this needs to be left open to a late decision.

      1. With regards the late decision, sometimes it might take a couple of laps behind the SC before they decide so I think this needs to be left open to a late decision

        But the SC can go and do laps on its own to determine the track conditions before the restart. Especially in a red flag situation where the safety car is just sitting idle.

        I don’t think it needs to be left open for a late decision. Teams, drivers and fans should know how restart is going to happen before they all leave the pits.

  5. Just tells us that Vettel has lost his instinctive feel for what is right or wrong in F1

  6. I was happy for the rolling restart as the standing one brings in artificial randomness that F1 doesn’t need. The more traditional rolling start is fairer to everyone, as well as less risky and gimmicky.

    1. Indeed @jerejj. I think the difference in getaway depending on the side of the grid would have been grossly unfair.

      1. @john-h Same scenario happens at race start, on occasion. Is that less ‘unfair’ then?
        That’s racing. Sometimes stuff goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.

        1. @S It’s less unfair if you do the unfair thing fewer times.

          1. @markzastrow Or to flip it to the positive (because that’s too many double negatives for me) – it’s perfectly fair if you do it every time.
            You win some, you lose some. That’s racing.

          2. @S True, from that perspective, it’s fair, but so is setting the grid positions by lottery. I’d rather watch sport.

            Of course, there’s a continuum, and random events are part of what makes sport exciting. I like chaos. But there’s something unsatisfying about giving a boost to an even half of the grid to me. If a driver gets hit by a localised downpour at one corner of the track, that’s a random event that I embrace as part of the sport — but it’s a natural kind of randomness. Being forced to start on the wet side of the grid by the rules when there’s a perfectly reasonable alternative doesn’t get me quite as excited.

          3. So I come back to my earlier comment – it happens occasionally at race start when support races have dried the racing line.
            It’s not unfair – it’s just the conditions.

  7. SV’s comment that they chose reds anticipating a standing restart, but then suffered higher deg than had they gone with mediums doesn’t make sense to me. Of course they were going to suffer higher deg on the reds, standing restart or rolling. Did they think that he’d have an advantage to pass a few cars at the restart by choosing reds and not suffer more deg than had they gone mediums? Not eventually be at a tire disadvantage to those around him on mediums?

    1. Given the difficulty in overtaking, the best opportunity in the 2nd half was going to be at the restart. Hence, soft tyres give maximum opportunity to overtake at the restart. Defending position on higher deg tyres was going to be easier on this track compared to others (e.g. Even Lewis took 3-5 attempts on each of Sainz, Leclerc, Norris inspite of having a car at least 1.5 seconds faster)

      1. Norris did it on the rolling restart and that seemed to work out ok for him.

        1. Norris was aided by Leclerc’s lower top speed and Leclerc’s non-working radio which meant Leclerc thought it was a standing start for a long time.

      2. sumedh Fair comment, but that doesn’t guarantee that reds would have been the best option long term and that he would have been able to defend on them, but I do take your point about the possibility of that.

  8. The bigger reason not to do a standing start for me wouldn’t so much have been the damp patches on the run to Tamburello, But more the damp patches on the grid. You would have had some drivers starting on a dry spot & others on a damp spot which would likely have resulted in a good chunk of the grid been severely disadvantaged.

    As to comments above regarding the standing restarts been a gimmick, I don’t agree as remember this is how races were always restarted after a red flag up until the mid 90’s when the adoption of the SC gave them the rolling start/restart option.

  9. The rules are clear. If a Mercedes is leading then standing start, else rolling start. As others have stated, it is a gimmick and keeps the race entertaining. Hamilton had a 4 second pit stop, destroyed the front wing, raced in reverse for an entire turn, and still finished second.

    1. I do not get how people are still super salty towards Mercedes, or Lewis…

      Reply moderated
    2. @ Jim from US:
      I have to say I was also expecting a standing restart but you seem to have a point; can you imagine the fallout if they had gone for a standing restart and Norris being on the soft tyre and 3rd on the grid directly behind Max is able to use it (quick to warm, more grip for launch) to jump him (Max) for the lead or they end up side-by-side into turn 2 and crash into each (similar to Ham & Max during the original start), that might end their race…or god forbid, Max sustained a race-ending or a race-losing damage?
      ALL hell would have broken loose!!!
      But one has to really wonder; if it was a Merc in the lead, then wouldn’t it have been very tempting for Masi to decide on a standing restart just to ‘spice’ things up as some of his previous decisions seemed to suggest?
      Hmmm, I’m really wondering…?!

  10. Something just came to my mind: if Leclerc had overtaken Verstappen when he went off (as Norris would have done), and Verstappen hadn’t taken his position back, would he have got a ‘slam dunk penalty’ of 30 seconds like Raikkonen got?

    1. That’d depend on the questionable decisions made by race control and the stewards.
      Probably not, but given precident set during the race, he definitely would of.

      Reply moderated
    2. I see that Keith just wrote an article about that, haha.

      1. @hunocsi Great minds and all that!

  11. ?

    I am struggling to remember a single wet standing start that Seb has undertaken in his career?

    This rule came in a year ago following a number of years of safety car wet starts

    Can anyone think of a time where Seb has undertaken such with a single dry line across the start line thus penalising half the grid for no fault of their own?

    Honest question – I frankly think this was the fairest thing to do regardless of opinions.

    Watching the leader dump it at the line and not taking advantage – hmmmm

    1. @drgraham “single dry line across the start line thus penalizing half the grid for no fault of their own” Exactly. You seem to think I was arguing otherwise further up this page, but I was not. Masi’s decision was the safe one, and as you say also the fairest thing to do.

  12. Massive mistake by the fia. f1 is fast becoming wwe. drs is fine red flags are fine but an actual restart might cost the top teams too many positions. ban standing starts then.

  13. I think looking back over the past year Masi has been consistent, he’ll make a decision based on what’s best for the show and use whatever legalese available to justify it during the following week.

    I expected it when watching the race live, best thing for the show (read championship) was Max winning without additional drama. Decision made. The fact that there’s wet track down the road means nothing, it wouldn’t impact their decision making on the race start and they’ve restarted damp races from standing before. If you ask yourself “what’s best for the show?” next time you’ll find yourself much less disappointed if you were pulling one way or another.

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