Schumacher understands why Vettel ‘felt the need to leave’ drivers’ meeting despite fine

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In the round-up: Mick Schumacher says he understood why Sebastian Vettel walked out of a drivers’ meeting last week, for which he received a suspended fine.

In brief

Drivers meeting went on “longer than necessary” – Schumacher

Vettel was fined €25,000 for leaving the meeting before he was supposed to last Friday. Schumacher explained how frustrations grew between drivers in the discussion over enforcement of rules in F1.

“I just felt like we were going in circles with some of the things that were discussed,” said Schumacher. “It kind of was getting longer than necessary. I fully understand the reaction from Seb and I think there were a lot more drivers that kind of felt the need to maybe leave the briefing as well.”

The Aston Martin driver refused to elaborate on what happened in the meeting when asked after Sunday’s race.

Albon encouraged by “first proper race” for upgraded FW44

Alexander Albon said the first proper race outing for Williams’ upgraded car, following his first-corner retirement at Silverstone, was “at some points exciting.”

“We were running P10 at one point, which I was really happy about,” said Albon after finished 12th on Sunday. “Our pace was much better than yesterday.

“With the medium tyres we took a step up in performance and I was happy. I felt like it’s our first proper race with the new aero package.

“We will learn a lot from today, we’ll have a look at the data and conclude where we are strong, where we are weak. We’re clearly still missing a little bit but we’re still getting to grips with the car. I felt as a a genuine debut outing, first outing for the car, it was not a bad day.”

Fans’ smoke no problem – drivers

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2022
Drivers say smoke from fans wasn’t a big problem
The huge clouds of orange smoke produced by fans at the Red Bull Ring did not present serious problems for drivers, though it did obscure their visibility at times.

“On the formation lap, you couldn’t see the apex of turn seven, and at the end of the race, you couldn’t see anything through turn six,” said Lewis Hamilton. “So fortunately, it wasn’t necessarily the case during the race but maybe they should just save them more so for the end? I can’t believe they’re already good environmentally either.”

Max Verstappen said he “saw one flare they threw onto the track or into the grass, I think that’s the only thing they shouldn’t do.

“But as long as you keep it on the grandstand, the wind blows it over the track for like one lap, so it doesn’t arrive within the track. I think it’s okay.”

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Comment of the day

There was room for improvement in the recovery of Carlos Sainz Jnr’s burning Ferrari on Sunday, says Kris Lord:

Normally parking on the access road is a good idea, but when it’s a slope that’s always going to be an issue, especially if you need to get out the car quickly, so I’d say Carlos could have positioned the car better.

However that doesn’t explain the poor marshalling. On the video there’s a man with extinguisher who puts his down and then goes somewhere – perhaps to get in the rescue vehicle? Also I’d you’re positioned on a slope having some wheel chocks bigger than a Toblerone would be useful.

In previous races the first hint of smoke and there’s marshals eager to spray the car and this just seemed the opposite – real fire and only one marshal trying his best on his own.
Kris Lord

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Abishek, Sohan and Speeder_76!

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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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27 comments on “Schumacher understands why Vettel ‘felt the need to leave’ drivers’ meeting despite fine”

  1. That crowd video at Austria reminded me of how abysmal the General Admission is at Montreal. A handful of people got a view as good as this shown here. Silverstone, also, was lined with fans. I don’t know why Montreal does it

    1. @Keith Circuit Gilles Villeneuve doesn’t have GA unless I’ve never noticed something.

    2. In 2017 I was there. I brought a protable chair with me and my dad. However, we splitted up on the section to try to get different views and more videos of the cars. I was staying by the fence already, and lickily not many people were at that time. I’d imagine now, it would be almost impossible to have a clear view at that spot.

  2. Releasing smoke makes committing crimes easier.

    Would love to know how that meeting went. 16 lap times deleted instantaneously. 1 that happened at end of Q2 wasn’t ruled on until after qualifying was over. Nothing to see here, move along.

  3. I wonder if the Marshall who dropped his extinguisher and ran back was getting a larger extinguisher as the fire suddenly took hold more?

    They usually the handheld ones plus some larger extinguishers in a nearby safety vehicle as well as a dedicated fire truck to deal with larger fires.

    I’m sure it will be looked at as i think the FIA look at all these things as do the circuits & local marshal groups who bring in and train them.

    1. I work at race tracks and that’s my read on it. That small hand-held wasn’t going to be able to put out the fire and the marshal would have just put themselves in danger by trying.

  4. Gotta be honest– the two new field marshals are not impressing me. They’re obsessing over minor, petty infringements, and can’t get the race infractions consistent.

    There’s going to be another Abu Dhabi scale screw up at this rate.

  5. I don’t know but I’d not like to be within that smokescreen during the first lap of the grand prix I paid a couple hundred dollars to attend.

    1. Well, that was a huge grandstand of exclusively dutch fan. You also have to realize those smoke bombs get cleared away in 30 seconds. So, you couldn’t deal with bad visibility for 30 seconds on a formation lap? It is fun to see and an issue at only two races. Austria and Holland. So, not a real issue.

      1. Probably not. It could be the only exciting bit of the whole race. I understand for the show it’s good thi. But here in Argentina the circuit used to light flares in inside of the track during the formation lap, so you get the mood going without losing visibility from the grandstand.

        Also, a lot of accidents happened here with those flares and the like so they are now banned. Not sure it’s a good idea to allow them to be lighted from the grandstand. Maybe the circuit could organize something themselves like at Zandvoort.

      2. Nick T., it’s not just the visibility problem – it’s been pointed out that it is rather acrid and can leave people feeling unwell for some time afterwards if they inhale it, particularly when there are so many of those flares being let off simultaneously. For those with respiratory problems, I imagine that it would be, at best, particularly unpleasant, and at worst perhaps even potentially dangerous.

        The other issue is that it is not just those in the stands that are impacted – multiple circuits have banned those flares because they present a safety hazard to both the drivers and to track workers. As we saw in the opening lap, the smoke from those flares was drifting across the track and started to obscure the vision of the drivers – it was also blocking the line of sight of several marshal posts around the circuit, and that is a more serious issue.

        If there had been an accident on the opening lap, having large quantities of smoke billowing across the track is highly disruptive to the operations of the marshals and medical operatives. Vehicles could be obscured from sight for a lengthier period of time, and warnings from marshal posts might be harder to see or be obscured altogether, and it would make it harder to assess the condition of the driver and to make a judgement on what response is required.

        Vehicle recovery efforts would also be much more of an issue, to the point where it might be necessary to call a red flag to allow the smoke to dissipate to give marshals a chance to then enter the track safety – considering we have had fatal accidents when marshals have been struck by recovery vehicles, the last thing you’d want is a scenario that makes it significantly more difficult for a vehicle operator to see other marshals around them.

        There is also the issue that some fans were not just letting them off in the stands either – Verstappen has said that he saw at least one flare being thrown over the fencing and landing by the track itself, and other drivers reported also seeing a few flares being thrown over the fences as well. Whilst, in this case, the flares seem to have fallen short, having flares landing on the track itself would be, at best, highly disruptive, and at worst could cause a serious accident if a driver ended up hitting one.

    2. @fer-no65 Yeah, if I was there I’d probably not be overly pleased to be in amongst orange fog with no idea what was going on. I do however think it looks good on the TV. And has kind of become a feature of modern F1, least in Europe anyway. I quite like it, twenty years ago it was easy to not know if there was anyone attending a race at all (and probably often there wasn’t). But now with the camera angles, flares and what I presume are some sound trickery from Liberty on crowd noises (gasps as Lewis tries to go round the outside etc). The races do feel like they have more atmosphere.

      But no, if I’d paid several hundred dollars and then the person next to me pulled a flare out of their pocket just before the cars arrived I probably wouldn’t appreciate it.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if EA introduce orange flares to Zandvoort etc in the next F1 game.

  6. Seb had a good reason to leave prematurely.
    Who’d want to keep on listening to pointless & unnecessary lengthy arguments anyway?

    Why would one need a fire department to fit a Ferrari flag above the factory’s main entrance door?

    Positioning a car better is sometimes easier said than done, especially with fire to worry about, so for the situation, Sainz did everything he realistically. The fire extinguisher marshal, of course, should’ve acted more swiftly.

    1. The fire extinguisher marshal did exactly what his training said he should do. There’s no use trying to tackle a fire with an extinguisher that’s not up to the job. It can actually spread the fire and make things worse.

      The priorities for the marshal go in this order…
      Look after themselves (you don’t help by making yourself a casualty)
      Look after the driver (Sainz was already getting himself out of the car)
      Look after the car (it’s replaceable, people aren’t)

    2. Who’d want to keep on listening to pointless & unnecessary lengthy arguments anyway?

      That’s kinda what I come to this site for every day :D ;)

    3. I meant ‘unnecessarily’

    4. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      12th July 2022, 12:43

      When your pants are on fire you get the hell out but Sainz knew his car was going back down the hill and hung on until a marshal could chock a wheel.

      What he could of done is what folk do with their cars out on the street and set the steering such that the car would steer into the barrier.

    5. @jerejj I bet Vettel would have been given even more bigger fine or even suspension if he would have spoken about it what happened so he choose to close his mouth. I don’t know but FIA is starting to look like “a big bad corporation” which you are not allowed to speak against.

  7. Given the security at tracks these days, I’m amazed that punters are even allowed to bring flares in. Most sporting organisations have put a ban on them – surely they’d be confiscated at the gate.

    Who is going to cop the lawsuit if someone with a respiratory condition gets hospitalised (or worse) due to smoke inhalation?

    Just plain crazy to see that in a modern sporting event, and before someone says “we see them at the football”, yes you do but not in those sorts of numbers.

    1. surely they’d be confiscated at the gate

      Well, yes at most venues, they would. But the venue is owned by Dietrich Mateschitz, who just so happens to also be the owner of RBR

    2. @dbradock @gardenfella72
      Flares are less risky in open-air events than indoor ones, so I don’t see a huge issue.

      1. @jerejj well you wouldn’t would you, as long as they’re orange

        1. @gardenfella72 Color is irrelevant.

    3. @dbradock at least some circuits are known to have banned flares – people attending the Hungaroring have said that the security guards there were searching for, and confiscating, flares from those attending the GP last year.

      In the case of flares, there is an argument that they shouldn’t have been allowed into the venue as a form of pyrotechnic device, which is meant to be on the list of proscribed items – but, as mentioned by those present at the venue, it seems that the security guards were not particularly thorough about checking for banned materials.

  8. Maybe we can chip in for a fine fund to persuade Seb to tell us what actually was so boring during the FIA meeting

    1. Track limits were boring to Vettel in the driver’s briefing.
      As was fulfilling his obligation to be present for the entire driver’s briefing.

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