Missed chance for restart “not good for F1” and FIA must “do a better job” – Ferrari

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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The FIA must do a better job with future Safety Car situations, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has said, after yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix ended before it could be restarted.

The FIA said yesterday’s race at Monza could not be restarted because it took longer than expected to recover Daniel Ricciardo’s car, which caused the stoppage to begin with.

However Binotto pointed out there was another delay in organising the field to be ready for the restart. The Safety Car initially failed to appear in front of race leader Max Verstappen as required, and spent two laps running ahead of third-placed George Russell.

Binotto believes the correct rules are already in place to deal with such situations, which the sport scrutinised in detail following last year’s controversial championship-deciding race in Abu Dhabi.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of changing the rules,” he said. “The rules have been discussed, largely, especially after Abu Dhabi last year. They were discussed with the FIA, F1 and the teams, and we came to a conclusion that the current format is probably the right one to keep. So I don’t think it’s a matter of regulations.

“I am certainly disappointed for how long it took them to decide, and I think we are not understanding why it took so long to release the cars between the Safety Car and the leader.”

The presence of Ricciardo’s car at the side of the track should not have delayed organising the field into the correct order, said Binotto.

“I don’t think safety could be the right reason for it because when you are released, as a driver, you cannot go simply flat-out around the track. There is a minimum lap time, which is set by the regulations and this minimum lap time is there to make sure that whenever they are running and driving, they are doing it safely.

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“So what we do not understand is, on the current regulations, that we believe are right, why it took so long for them to decide.”

He accepted that the unexpected difficulty in moving Ricciardo’s car, which involved the use of a crane, had caused part of the delay.

Race start, Monza, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Italian Grand Prix in pictures
“But still, in parallel, I think that [they] could have, with the Safety Car, done a better job in order to prepare the entire train of cars to be ready for a new start of the race. That didn’t happen.

“So I think simply that was wrong and could have been done better without changing the regulations because the regulations are in place, it’s only a matter of applying them in a better way.”

The missed opportunity to restart the race reflected badly on F1, Binotto believes. “I think they simply need to do a better job for F1, the show,” he said.

“It’s not [only about] Ferrari and tifosi [fans] because if the Safety Car would have ended before, how the race would have finished, I don’t know. Max still was the fastest car and he was on new tyres.

“But generally speaking, I think we should try to end the Safety Car as soon as possible and give more track time, race time to all the drivers. So the disappointment of today was to see how long it took them to decide.

“We believe in that respect, they didn’t do a good job today. And they need to do a better job in the future because that is not good for F1.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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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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39 comments on “Missed chance for restart “not good for F1” and FIA must “do a better job” – Ferrari”

  1. Yes, things could’ve & should’ve been handled slightly better by SC picking up Max sooner, which took unnecessarily & unusually long.

    1. He made a late pitstop, so sc could pick him up there

  2. You know who really must do better? Ferrari.

    Cause they were slow yesterday, and wouldn’t have won the race with or without a restart.

    But go ahead, keep blaming others, Mattia. That’ll totally draw attention away from you failing to develop another car.

    1. @proesterchen but to be fair to Binotto, he doesn’t claim that if the race had restarted that Leclerc would’ve beaten Verstappen, he says that it would’ve at least been a race. Which is surely what everyone wants to see.
      Why did the safety car spend so long before getting the actual race leader behind?
      Were those two wasted laps the difference between finishing the race under green flag conditions or not?
      I’m not a Ferrari fan, and normally enjoy their discomfort, but Binotto is quite right to question what happened here

      1. It’s called a motor race @proesterchen

      2. @nvherman – It’s these sorts of discussions though that directly lead to what happened in Abu Dhabi. We heard lots of comments like “we spoke with the teams and there was an agreement to try and end the races under green flag conditions” etc. It ended up that the most exciting Championship in a decade was going to finish under the SC so they panicked and made it up on the spot.

        There’s absolutely no use in the teams whinging about it and criticising what the FIA did because in Italy, they followed the rules to the letter. If the teams want it done differently, the rules have to change and then they can be followed to the letter every single time instead.

        I’d personally keep it as it is now but if people want change then they have to change something – not just stand by and complain that it didn’t work out in their favour.

        1. +1 this is exactly what happened last year

  3. Once again F1 can learn from other race car series. Red flag the race and let it restart when its close to the end. Get the drivers on equal terms and let them race. Nobody wants to see a safety car ending or the red flag ending as it happend in F3. No wonder the crowd was mad as they didn’t get to see two out of four races actually finish (F3 and F1 didn’t, Porsche and F2 did). The best race out there yesterday was in fact the Porsche Super Cup and thats not really what people are there for or paying big sums for.

  4. Hamiltonfans think the opposite since last year lol

    1. No they aren’t. No Hamilton fans have said the rules should be ignored in order to finish the race under green flag conditions. The disappointment is that the procedures seemed to be very slowly followed which resulted in any chance of a restart being missed. The FIA will be criticised for the way things panned out but at least everything was done fairly and according to the rules and we had a legitimate winner unlike at Abu Dhabi.

      1. The winner at Abu Dhabi was still legitimate, and will forever be – the only thing that could be called ‘wrong’ was the decisions from Race Control.
        And again, they were here – just in a different way.

        1. So not following the rules, and infact making up new rules is legitimate. Okay. Maybe you should watch WWE instead.

          1. The competitors followed the rules they were given.
            That makes it completely legitimate.

            I would watch WWE if it involved car racing.

          2. The rules are what are written in the regulations. Not the whims of the Race Director on the day. The race was not run to F1 regulations.

    2. “There is a minimum lap time, which is set by the regulations and this minimum lap time is there to make sure that whenever they are running and driving, they are doing it safely.”

      This is the reason why all cars have to overtake as the ones allowed are not gonna fly into the distance, they still have delta times and sc have to leave a lap after, it has been the case for the last 70 years. There was a proper procedure to do it within rules and exciting end. Noone of it was done or followed! Noone says it shouldn’t have finished under green, it wasn’t done properly. It gave a massive disadvantage to ham, and massive advantage to max the way it was conveyed. Ham didn’t stop because it was either red flag safe for everyone, or sc finish. Neither red flagged nor sc finish disgustingly made up rules, unfair to rest of the field behind max, also last sec decision that made ham not prep for start, or mac’s start up antics? He should have been given penalty for this long time, but for whatever entertainment reasons, they allowed all the max antics all year only to ban them next after sending the scapegoat massi away. How is it any of this is fair? And a straight face can claim it is only fans? People are somehow ok and happy when their fav is given a win unfairly and with the most disgusting rule made up on the spot. But what goes around comes around. We ll see.

  5. There’s absolutely no doubt that it was a complete shambles and waste of time.

    The rules are still fine – everything that could have been done better is in the rules.
    This was just another case of F1 being F1, and completely forgetting that people want to see competitive racing.

    1. For once I agree. The core issue was in the execution of the processes. They took an age to call the safety car despite it being pretty obvious to everyone it was required. They then took a long time to pick up the leader. They then didn’t clear all lapped cars when it was safe to do so. I’d also argue that the recovery plans they had for that area of the track were quite poor and perhaps more should be done to make drivers more responsible for getting their cars into “recovery” areas on track where possible. Not saying that was possible in this instance but there have been other occasions this year where drivers have caused unnecessary recovery issues.

      1. @slowmo

        They took an age to call the safety car despite it being pretty obvious to everyone it was required

        This is what still baffles me because the failure to deploy the SC in a dangerous situation is only aggravating the issue from a safety standpoint.

  6. As soon as the SC picked up Russel instead of Max, you knew it was over.

    1. I don’t blame the SC, so many years it was automatic that the car to look for was a Mercedes …

      1. The deployment procedure was altered IIRC after the 2010 European GP (Valencia) farce. I don’t know what happened yesterday.

        1. I’ve noticed the last few times they e called a SC or VSC, they seem to be focussing on where people are on track to not benefit someone – eg just after the leader passes the pits but 2nd place isn’t there yet.

          I wonder if that contributed towards the delay (or if it’s just been co-incidence and they aren’t doing anything differently…)

          1. @petebaldwin

            they seem to be focussing on where people are on track to not benefit someone

            Indeed which is pretty dangerous. The main purpose of the VSC/SC is to immediately contain danger on the track. If they are waiting to deploy it so no one benefit from it then someone might get seriously hurt. The new race direction are reasoning with the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP events in mind.

            I think instead they should remember the 2014 Japanese GP and how a SC deployed on time could have saved Bianchi’s life.

  7. This was expected since the FIA have added a bureaucracy layer on top of their already overcomplicated procedures. 2 race directors consulting with the race support room and the former personal advisor of Toto Wolff is supervising them, great ! How can we expect them to make a good job. They were all concerned more about not losing their jobs and being bullied and cancelled the way Masi was rather than proper officiating the race.

  8. 1. Scrap SC/VSC.
    2. Use double-waved yellow flags in the first instance.
    3. If double-waved yellows in not appropriate, red flag the race.
    4. All cars return to the pits.
    5. Teams are not allowed to change tyres whilst under red flag conditions.
    6. Restart the race from the grid, using the positions the drivers were in when the red flag was triggered.

    1. Many interesting and considerable points here. As a complete package I would not mind this being implemented.
      Maybe with a difference: instead of a standing start, I would have a rolling start after a red flag. Because F1 is quite much about reliability and strategy nowadays, and standing starts often stir up the order quite much, or they add too much randomness to a result. Imo F1 is (and was) a bit too much about reliability nowadays, therefore it is a bit like endurance racing, and too many standing starts have too much random effect on the results. Often it annulates the advantages for some entrants, which they often built up with race-long fights or with good strategy. Imo at endurance-like racing it is a problem.

      An other problem with having too much standing restarts, is that standing starts are amongst the most dangerous moments of a race, therefore occasionally there would be red flags again right after the restarts. Are TV companies really happy when the race does not ends in the broadcast’s originally planned time window?

      Maybe if I would scrap something, that would be the Safety car. I would go for developing a much more fine grained VSC based on micro sectors. As the track is already divided into many smaller sectors:
      Based on in which small sectors the rescue job has to be done, the cars could be electronically limited to a very low top speed in those micro sectors, like in the pits or even lower. In the surrounding micro sectors their speed could be a bit higher (gradually higher and higher, based on the distance to the rescue event), and at the safe parts of the track they could actually race.
      So it would be something very gradual, and the safe speeds allowed in the micro sectors would be determined by very carefully reviewing every track and every micro sector one by one. The goal would be to allow racing at the largest sections at the tracks, while restricting speeds around the rescue spots as well, if that is possible to do without stopping the race. So I would not collect the cars if that is possible. In other cases, maybe a red flag + rolling restart.

      As they can not achieve close to 100% car reliability in practice (neither now nor in the close forseeable future), therefore trying to enforce too strict reliability requirements can not prevent breakdowns from being a championship decider, or being decisive factor at the lower ranks either. So I would scrap the reliablity requirements as well, to introudce some not so artifical drama, and to reintroduce some kind of different-than-nowadays engineering challenge.
      Meanwhile I have no problem with the cost cap, only with the questionable success of its enforcement. Entrants should occasinally take their beating, and tech rules should change more rapidly, things, technologies should come and go, and the return, and then go again etc. But for a lower cost. If they wanna do good, spend the a siginficant part of the rest on charity. Time will come when people will believe in corporate arguments less than they are believing in those today. They will spot, that many of the road going developments would happen anyway (there are more manufacturers outside of F1 than inside it, and largely they are doing the same in the end…), and they will spot that techologies and intellectual properties are flowing backwards into F1 instead of being “developed exclusively there”.

      If they wanna look good, invest into the improving the technology available to the stewards. If it gets very good, it could be partially used in investigating road accidents later as well. Would it be so bad or shameful? There is enough money in the pot nowadays to do so. I would not mind a much much larger board of stewards voting quickly about every incident’s severity, and applying the strictly numerical decision. Like on a [0..10] scale, for example
      0..2 racing incident
      2..3 reprimand / black and white flag

      7..8 stop and go 10 secs’s edition
      8..10 disqualification
      If there were a much larger board of stewards voting, the outcome of the investigations could be less debatable, more acceptable by most, the decisions could happen quicklier, as there would be a bit less responsibility on each steward, especially if the technology and support available to them would be greatly improved. If there would be a very large board of stewards voting like this, the role of the race director could be reduced. For example he would not need to decide whether to investigate something, they could vote about every suspicious event.

  9. Maybe give marshals jacks and trolleys to retrieve stationary cars so they don’t have to faff around with putting a tractor out onto the circuit. This would have also dealt with the issue of Ricciardo’s car failing to select neutral. Granted, the jack and trolley retrieval is not ideal for retrieving cars on a gradient such as Sainz at the RBR.

  10. “I don’t think safety could be the right reason for it because when you are released, as a driver, you cannot go simply flat-out around the track. There is a minimum lap time, which is set by the regulations and this minimum lap time is there to make sure that whenever they are running and driving, they are doing it safely.

    Binotto is asking for them to ignore safety of the marshalls AND drivers by having cars drive around (even at slower speeds) while there are marshalls working with heavy equipment on a relatively narrow and fast part of race track here.

    The SC is there to bunch up the field and give those Marshalls a window of time – about a minute or 2 – in between to get work done without having to worry about ANY cars going around them in such a situation.

  11. I increasingly think the full safety car should be scrapped. VSC in cases where it’s safe for cars to remain on track. Where it isn’t, red flag issued, cars park in the pit lane in their current order (including any lapped runners) and when it’s safe to return to the track, the lead car takes them round (at reduced lap time speed) for a rolling restart.

    Things to consider:
    – Clear scenarios for when VSC isn’t enough, so the red flag can be called promptly when needed
    – Quick restart procedure, given the cars are stationery (which increases time to get back on track)
    – Should lapped cars unlap themselves before the restart? (I think yes, but only once they leave the pits)
    – Should tyre changes / damage fixes be allowed during red flags? (I think yes, since previous strategies invalidated)

    1. I increasingly think the full safety car should be scrapped.

      Funny… I think exactly the same about VSC’s.
      Stick to Full SC’s which compact the pack to a few hundred meters long, leaving plenty of time for track workers to work without cars flying by. Just get rid of the extra lap before coming in. Still allow cars to unlap, just don’t let them catch the pack.
      No need to go red so often, as that just wastes even more time with the ridiculous 15-minute warnings they give them now.
      I don’t really like changes or repairs under red, but it’s impractical to outlaw it given the way F1 works now.

  12. Verstappen had around a 17s lead when the safety car was deployed. It’s all well and good to accept the free 17s and want a drag race to the end, and that would have been exciting for the fans, but the Red Bull was crushing it all day long and deserved to win.

  13. I agree with Binotto’s analysis of this. There was a survey on here yesterday asking if the race should have ended under the safety car. I answered strongly disagree but not because the rules are wrong, but because they have been badly applied in this instance.

    I think that the FIA do probably have all the correct rules, and this was clearly a safety car incident. However, the race directing team were too slow to decide what to do and then the safety car was incorrectly placed. It was a fiasco. Really it should have been possible for there to at least have been one full lap under full race conditions at the end, possibly two if they had been on the ball.

    Then I don’t think for one moment he is trying to say Charles would have been able to pass Max. At least there was a chance for a battle over the win though, which Ferrari would have been involved in.

  14. Maybe next time the FIA should try following Article 55.13 instead of breaking it. Would have saved a lot of problems for everyone.

  15. No pity for Ferrari as they did not protest Abu Dhabi and neither did McLaren which left Mercedes looking like the bad persons. SAI and RIC both got screwed over by Masi’s decision in that race as SAI was left with lapped traffic between VER and RIC was not allowed to go around and restart behind the racers that were positionally in front.

  16. So– is the safety car for safety? Or is it for spectacle?

    Worry about fixing your team first, Binotto, then worry about how to fix the FIA.

  17. Why must F1 do a “better job”? This is how late safety cars have been handled for years, and while it can be an anti-climax, previously there’s been a collective “that’s a shame” and then everyone has moved on.

    It’s only since one particular team lost out a couple of times that there’s been this unquestionable cult to “finish under a green flag no matter what”. What makes this even more irritating is the pretense that the team is doing it for “the fans” – as if the care one jot for the fans.

    Safety cars are already unfair enough, I vehemently object to steps that will make them even more of a lottery.

    1. You have clearly mis interpreted what he is saying.

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