Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2023

Verstappen wins chaotic Australian GP under Safety Car after three red flags

2023 Australian Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen won a chaotic Australian Grand Prix which was interrupted by three red flags and finished under Safety Car after multiple crashes at the final restart.

The world champion led the field over the line behind the Safety Car after the race was red-flagged on the penultimate lap after the second standing restart of the day. Lewis Hamilton finished second, with Fernando Alonso completing the podium in third despite being hit by Carlos Sainz Jnr on the final restart and dropping down the order.

George Russell led the early stages of the race after making a good start and drawing alongside pole winner Verstappen on the inside on the run to turn one. The Mercedes driver aggressively held his line into the corner and took the lead as the field filtered through the narrow right hander.

Verstappen lost second to Hamilton at turn three, while Charles Leclerc spun off into the gravel trap after contact with Lance Stroll. The Safety Car was deployed to recover the Ferrari, with the race resuming at the start of lap four with Russell leading away from Hamilton, Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jnr in fourth and Fernando Alonso in fifth.

Verstappen ran close to Hamilton for second place, while Hamilton kept well within a second of his team mate leading ahead. Russell briefly went defensive into turn 11 feeling pressure from Hamilton behind him, with the top three pulling a small gap to Alonso behind.

Race start, Albert Park, 2023
Poll: Vote for your 2023 Australian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend
On lap seven, Alexander Albon in sixth place lost control of his Williams through the fast turn six kink and crashed into the barriers, putting him out on the spot and littering the track with gravel and debris. The Safety Car was deployed for a second time, with Russell opting to pit out of the lead and switch onto the hard tyres, presumably to run until the end of the race. Russell dropped to seventh, while Sainz also pitted for hards and fell to 11th place.

Hamilton inherited the lead ahead of Verstappen. However, less than a lap later, the race was red-flagged due to the level of gravel and debris on the circuit. Cars were brought into the pit lane and remained there for over ten minutes while the circuit was cleared. The red flag allowed every driver to change tyres, effectively giving Hamilton the lead over Verstappen with Russell down to seventh.

The race restarted with a standing restart on lap ten, with the entire top 10 now on fresh hard tyres. Hamilton successfully kept the lead from Verstappen on the run to turn one, with Alonso third and Pierre Gasly sitting third. Russell gained two places at the restart to sit in fifth behind the Alpine.

DRS was activated at the start of lap 12 and Verstappen immediately put Hamilton under pressure for the lead. Verstappen tucked up behind the Mercedes and used DRS along the Lakeside Drive straight to sweep around Hamilton long before the chicane and take the lead. Verstappen instantly broke free of DRS range of the Mercedes to pull clear by two seconds by the end of the lap.

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Russell slowed on lap 17, reporting a power unit problem. With flames licking from the rear of his car, he pulled off at the pit exit into retirement. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed as Russell’s car was extinguished, eventually being cleared on lap 19.

Race start, Albert Park, 2023
Poll: Rate the 2023 Australian Grand Prix
Verstappen duly pulled away out front, while Alonso remained within two seconds of second-placed Hamilton. With all the front runners running on their hard tyres until the end of the race, there was little in the way of strategy to play out with many drivers managing their tyres to get to the end of the race. Verstappen led by over ten seconds, but he lost a handful of those by running wide and onto the grass at turn 13.

With six laps remaining, Kevin Magnussen ran into the wall on the exit of turn two, causing his tyre to break off the wheel and coming to a rest on track on the run to turn three. After a minute of the wheel carcass sitting on the track the Safety Car was eventually deployed on lap 54. A lap later, the race was red flagged for a second time.

With cars returning to the pit lane, drivers were able to change over to soft tyres for the second standing restart and the third grid start of the grand prix. As Verstappen held the lead ahead of Hamilton, chaos unfolded behind.

Alonso was hit by Sainz at the first corner, sending the Aston Martin driver spinning down the order. The two Alpine drivers of Gasly and Esteban Ocon collided, sending both into the wall, while Stroll ran off track at the track at turn three. Further back, Logan Sargeant clattered into Nyck de Vries.

The red flag flew for a third time, with just a single lap of racing remaining. After a delay of more than half an hour, the field were sent out for the final lap behind the Safety Car under the order of the penultimate lap restart. This promoted Alonso back into fourth place and Stroll into sixth, although the two Alpine drivers were denied the ability to restart with their heavily damaged cars.

The field completed the final lap under Safety Car to take the chequered flag and make the result official. Verstappen won by a tenth of a second over Hamilton, with Alonso taking third for Aston Martin. Sainz took fifth, but received a five second time penalty for the collision with Sainz at the final standing restart.

Stroll finished fourth, with Perez recovering to fifth at the finish. Lando Norris secured McLaren’s first points in sixth, with Nico Hulkenberg taking seventh ahead of the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri. Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda. Sainz was classified 12th, the last of the running cars, after his penalty.

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2023 Australian Grand Prix reaction

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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110 comments on “Verstappen wins chaotic Australian GP under Safety Car after three red flags”

  1. I think AWS should design another AI, ML based on past races to decide VCS, red flagged rather than book rules 😁

    1. Absolute unnecessary chaos.

      I don’t get this “race must finish under green flag at all costs”. It’s so dangerous.

      A crash happened near the end, it sucks…but end it under the damn safety car.

      By inducing an artificial 2 lap sprint race, you massively increase the likelihood of some kind of crash/contact and I predicted as much before the restart. A complete mess and it makes F1 look stupid. Destroyed races for no reason.

      We may as well scrap races and have 2 lap sprints if this is what the FIA/Liberty want.

      1. It’s not dangerous. It’s just absurd and not very fair. Wittich’s race “directing” strike me as how someone who had never watched F1 (or racing in general) before but had read the rule book cover-to-cover. Also strikes me as the type of guys who would put child safety covers on his outlets even if never expecting to have children over and/or the type to wear a helmet when walking to his mailbox.

        1. strikes me*

        2. I disagree that it’s not dangerous.

          They are taking a situation which is controlled, right at the end of the race, which can be ended safely (under the safety car) and probably fairly based on how the race has unfolded as a whole, and are instead creating a highly contrived and dangerous sprint [by red flagging and standing restart].

          A two lap dash just to end the race under green flags is only for the “show”. The “show” means action and potential collisions. So, they are baking into the red flag that it is likely to cause “action” at the restart and therefore, entertainment. A restart which compresses the field with the added pressure of it being everything to gain, for those outside the points, and everything to lose for those at the front.

          When you add into the fact that the cars are at their fastest, and they are all on pretty fresh rubber, you also have the added unknown of exactly how the cars will behave from a cold start.

          Furthermore you are basically resigning the last 2hrs of racing to the bin. We may as well have 2 lap sprints for our races from now on if that is the kind of action Liberty want.

          A the very least, if the FIA are desperate to go down this route, it should always be a rolling start.

  2. Why am I even still watching this utter circus

    1. That was my thoughts. There was a time when we questioned whether TV companies had too much say and races were run because the race needed to fit into the TV slots of broadcasters.

      It seems we’ve gone the other way, red flags aren’t the major event they once were. But that looked very unnecessary / contrived.

      1. Did you not see all that debris on a narrow track, how else were they supposed to clear the debris?

        1. Under safety car, like it has always been done. After they queue behind the SC, there’s plenty of time for debris cleanup.

          1. Agreed that you would want to and should be able to clear the debris under a Safety Car.
            Problem is the cars are faster, the lap times shorter and the Safety Car is being run a lot faster than it used to be. End result, there isn’t the time available between the last running car and the Safety Car (next lap) to do much track clearing or to haul away stalled cars. Hence, the profusion of Red Flags.
            After Magnussen’s off, they used a street sweeper to clean up the gravel on track.
            18 cars at 5 m each and 10 car lengths between is around 1000m or 20% of the lap. Yep, ya need faster sweepers.

      2. Ever since Whiting passed after the 2018 season, we’ve gone from common sense lime staying green with a local yellow to recover a car that was way off the track/on the same side of a turn’s apex/leaving it out there if it was on the shoulder of a long straight to VSC, safety car or red flag regardless for almost anything, including a piece of styrofoam on the grass. It’s sad and embarrassing.

        Also, car retrieval is so much slower than it used to be. I am sure having to confirm it’s not a shock danger slows it down slightly, but not by that much. I have watched many GPs where cars that crashed on the first lap were recovered before the pack even got back again for the second lap. Now, it takes them 5+ laps to retrieve cars and restart if we’re lucky.

        1. Jonathan Parkin
          2nd April 2023, 13:15

          Take Monaco in 2001 for instance. Nick Heidfeld went into the barriers on Lap 1 then Juan Montoya crashed at the Swimming Pool on Lap 3 I think it was. No Safety Car needed in either case and both cars were cleared rapidly

        2. Maybe ask the drivers why they don’t respect yellow flags anymore.
          If they did, perhaps Race Control wouldn’t need to neutralise so often….

        3. Absolutely. Considering how many new tracks we now have, you’d think a requirement of doos track design would include condiferation of how to remove broken down or samage cars, such as more pull off points, cranes, winch wires, etc, and as you say, I remember a time when cars were regularly removed before the pack got back around again. I think as well as poor track facilities there are two other problems. One might be KERS, that I think marshalls have to wait until someone with rubber gloves has ensured the car is safe to touch without being electrocuted. The other is that drivers are told to stop cars immediately to save engines, and no longer try to grind it around to a safe parking point. I’d like to see the FIA clamp down on that.

        4. The car retrieval in the 80’s was better than it has been in the last 10 years. They used to have cranes all over the place on the outside of the circuit fencing and just lift the cars over. Or just push the cars quickly to a safer spot and leave them there. Someone like Bianchi would have never been killed like that in the 80’s and there was never a need to red flag races like this. Gee, let’s bring a giant wrecker out onto the circuit because in the intervening 30 years we’ve somehow forgot how to manage races. There aren’t even nearly as many cars as there used to be and the few that we do have don’t break down nearly as much.

    2. I asked myself the same thing.

    3. + 1. Circus is not a strong enough word.

      1. Circus. Just for the record I have been watching Formula since Jackie Stewart was racing. Formula One has ALWAYS been described as ” The Formula One Circus “.
        Just roll with it lol.

      2. I think abortion is the word you’re looking for.

    4. @huhhii Even a circus cares about entertainment. Today, the FIA didn’t even manage that.

  3. Niels Wittich caused unnecessarily lots of damage to some teams by unjustifiably red-flagging for something small & close to the end. Hopefully, he’d never again do Masi-like choises.

    1. ‘choices’

      1. 7 minutes 🙄

    2. I would say it were ‘unMasi’ choices. But what a chaos… you could argue if a standing start is a good choice after a red flag.

    3. @jerejj I think this weekend, combined with the unnecessary safety car in Jeddah, shows that this is not simply a “Masi problem” and goes much deeper to the way race direction works in F1.

      They were all over the place last year too, with the wet weather shambles in Monaco, Singapore and Japan and a few other questionable calls throughout the season. We also had a repeat of last year’s Monza scenario today, in that it took way too long to deploy the safety car after Hulkenberg’s accident.

      Race control needs a proper shake-up, and a reminder that they are principally there to ensure a safe and fair contest for everyone, not to create good telly.

      1. This just goes further to prove that Masi was a scapegoat and that that championship was rigged.

    4. Well the damage was done by Sainz and Gasly who drove like juniors on the restart. One would hope that the best 20 drivers could handle a third standing start.

      1. Both Sainz and Gasly are utterly incompetent at wheel-to-wheel racing. At least Sainz is intelligent. Gasly is, frankly, extremely dim, which makes him unpredictable, crash into your car at anytime type driver.

        1. This is just infantile name calling.

    5. He’s also done stupid things like, instead of using discretion, issuing penalties for technicalities that posed no possibility of gaining an advantage or posing a risk to safety like the grid box penalties. So, instead of thinking hey let’s show some discretion and common sense here, let’s make the boxes wider and have a centering line, which works out to the same by giving them more room to position their car one way or another. An absolutely perfect example of bureaucratic idiocy and inefficiency.

    6. @jerejj he should never been in charge of a race again.

    7. @jerejj As far as I can see, it was against the regulations due to the limited time F1 races are allowed to be running.

      Granted, replacing Neils would be difficult even if the FIA were of a mind to do so because it looks like all the ones who know how to run a race safely are fully engaged in other series. However, it has removed my faith that anything has been learned from the numerous wrecked races from 2022.

      We have not heard the last of this race, either.

      1. @alianora-la-canta
        I’m not necessarily advocating for sacking him, not that changing the race director would automatically eliminate overkill red-flagging unless the successor were against this approach from the get-go.
        The only necessary change is to stop red-flagging for entertainment purposes for good & only ever resort to red-flagging over SC (or SC over VSC) when truly necessary on safety grounds, such as a largely blocked track, but never for situations that have been safely manageable under SC neutralization before.
        I don’t get what you mean by against regulations due to limited time.

        1. @jerejj F1 races since 2021 are only allowed to be 3 hours total from start to finish, including stoppage time. (They’re also limited to 2 continuous hours, which comes up a bit more often). At the end of that time, it is required to stop the race and not restart it.

          1. @alianora-la-canta Indeed, & while the 3-hour overall limit has existed since 2021, the 2-hour limit on track running has existed for a long time.
            Nevertheless, stopping without restarting is a requirement when running entirely out of time.

  4. Since seeing my first race in the 70s ,l have seen such a chaotic race in terms of racing, a ridiculously long safety car and the governance of the points…crazy

  5. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    2nd April 2023, 9:26

    If we don’t take into account the whole red flag mayhem and we look only on the racing side, we can see some interesting things.

    Leclerc seemed way too desperate to gain positions on lap 1, and it kinda reminded me his 2020-2021 incidents,when he was often erratic in his attempt to gain positions in the underpowered Ferrari.
    Generally speaking, Leclerc seems a tad underwhelming thus far and i don’t know if this a sign of him looking to leave Ferrari or just this year’s package is troubling him.

    Moving on from Leclerc, such a shame for Albon to end up in the barriers,after delivering a stellar weekend till his mistake. Gasly was having a great race and it’s a shame he didn’t score any points. He has done a pretty positive start to his Alpine stint, although his qualifying pace needs some work.

    Hulk needs a couple of races to regain his aggression, but his pace is there since day 1

    1. James Whiteley
      2nd April 2023, 9:52

      I don’t think it’s Leclerc being underwhelming really. It’s just a racing incident and I don’t think there’s much more to it in this instance.

      1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
        2nd April 2023, 10:10

        I don’t know, Leclerc doesn’t give me the same ”vibe” lets say as he did last year when he was driving on a great level. He had a troubled start to the year(mostly not his fault) so this might have impacted him overall as well

        1. Too soon to say (F1 fans and media are so impatient they like to make dramatic declarations about drivers and teams from race-to-race), but I agree on the “vibe” thing too. It’s non-measurable and therefore impossible to prove one way or another, but it’s fair to conclude that CL has lost a lot of trust in SF’s strategy decisions, ability to give him timely warnings and dat- and to consistently deliver a good car. That would make anyone short on patience, frustrated, etc. and we may have seen that come out on the first lap.

          Either way, until he shows the ability like Max, Fernando or Lewis to go for long periods without making mistakes, he shouldn’t be put in the same tier as those drivers.

          1. Max used to regularly make mistakes prior to 2021. When he realized that he has a real shot for the WDC, he raised his game and even in that season he made some silly moves when battling with Hamilton. In 2022 he changed his approach completely because he had the most dominant car. Idem for Hamilton who only learned to stay away from trouble when he moved to Mercedes.

            I can’t think of any F1 champion, including Senna and Schumacher, that was involved in so many incidents in a single season like Hamilton did in 2011. Alonso on the other hand has been consistently clean with the exception of 2007 since his first championship.

            Leclerc is approaching racing with the same state of mind Max has before 2021 when it was a matter of when the WDC will be over rather than who will win it. Not to mention the current state of chaos at Ferrari which is certainly affecting him.

          2. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
            2nd April 2023, 14:34

            Hopefully both Ferrari and Leclerc can work on their business relationship and fix their current situation.

            It’s quite interesting to see how different the situation was exactly one year ago after the 2022 event in Melbourne,with Leclerc having just achieved his most dominant victory and Ferrari seemingly having his back

          3. @tifoso1989 Max still regularly makes mistakes. He did some today, too. They just happened when it didn’t matter.

          4. @alianora-la-canta
            Indeed. He also got away with it last year in both Spain and Hungary.

  6. After Alonso got tagged by Sainz, the Aston Martins must both be thankful to the Alpines. Had the Alpines not taken each other out the race would have continued and Alonso would have finished at the back of the field.

    1. @Ajaxn Alpine collision wasn’t the only thing causing the third stoppage.

      1. Care to explain?

        1. @Ajaxn A few other drivers also stopped.

          1. @jerejj it would only bring out a full SC so Alonso would be out of the points, red flag was for the alpine carnage left on track not just stopped cars.

            It is a shame Tsunoda got robbed by the “non-restart” rolling finish because he would’ve finished 4th taking into account Carlos penalty, he never gets any credit or mention for his great drive with no crashes and also considering that the AT is the worst car on the grid and he was driving the entire race with a mechanical issue..

          2. @ccpbioweapon Alpines, De Vries, & Sargeant all contributed by stopping on the spot, which was effectively my point.

    2. Well, that collision was triggered by Sainz punting him off. So, it was all part of the same incident.

  7. Great day spoilt by a farcical finish.

    1. Sounds familiar

    2. It was farcical from the beginning though.

  8. Verstapen is special.
    He can start where he wants and there is no 5 secs penalty?

    1. Analysis from F1 TV already showed that his starting position was legal.

      1. Unfortunately that analysis is contradicted by every video piece shown of his parking.

    2. Apparently his tires were touching the white line and so technically he was within the starting box, just.

      1. Alan Torres
        2nd April 2023, 16:58

        the white line does not define the longitudinal position, is the yellow one and is clear that he passed it.

        1. Alan Torres
          2nd April 2023, 17:06

          Sorry now I see that the yellow line is only reference, so now everyone would look to pass the yellow.

    3. Maybe you should pay attention better…

  9. If this is the image of F1 Liberty is pushing, I’m out. Bunch of commercionalized clowns.

  10. Watched the highlights. Farcical.

    There are grounds for a good couple of race bans in just those eight minutes.

    1. F1 is officially becoming the motorsport WWE.

    2. Bans for Wittich above all. Whiting must be rolling in his grave.

    3. Including for the FIA.

  11. I’m ok with the (second) red flag, because it’s nice to finish a race under green. However I do think standing starts are a bad idea. They are one of the highlights of the weekend and shouldn’t be used excessively.
    Safety Car restart would do it and prevent all those do or die moves at the end.

  12. I think there’s an argument now for a rule that, in the event of a red flag in the any of the last 3 laps, there would be a 3 lap sprint race. Cars would be allowed to refuel to accommodate this if required.

    1. @mattb Would not have helped here due to the 3-hour running time limit.

    2. I disagree. Personally I think the old format of running behind the Safety Car to the finish, if there is a big accident several laps from the end, is the fairest way to do things. Is it the most entertaining way? No. But a surprising number of people forget that sport is supposed to be entertaining for the competitors, as well as the fans. And there’s nothing fun about having your hard work completely undone, by a nonsensical stewarding call. Just ask Alpine.

      1. Exactly.

  13. 2 restarts in 2 laps – somehow managing to show both the best and worst of current F1.

  14. Manufactured chaos to be honest. Brought to you by F1-WWE Inc.

    1. Unfortunately losing a few true race fans means nothing when you’re gaining millions of ADHD american fans who spend money like crazy on stupid fads.

  15. Today just further highlights some of why i’m feeling less connected to F1. This weekend was the first time in 20 years I didn’t bother staying up to watch practice live & this will be the first year I don’t watch all the races either as i’m planning to pick & choose what I watch going forward.

    When the show gets put above the sport your going to end up with situations like we saw today & Abu Dhabi 2021.

    I will admit that I don’t watch NASCAR & only really see bits & pieces of it so maybe i’m wrong with this assessment but it feels that when they do the green/white chequer finish thing to try & ensure a green flag finish that more often than not it ends up creating more chaos & more restarts because when you put drivers in a situation where they have potentially 1 attempt to gain a few spots it ramps up the pressure & they get desperate.

    And with 20+ drivers in close proximity on a restart with even a few of them going into it with that desperation of trying to make something happen your just massively increasing the chance of an accident occurring.

    It’s taking a 58 lap Grand prix race & boiling it down into more of a lottery than it should be, Especially with a standing restart on cold tyres/brakes (Potentially worse if they ban tyre warmers next year) in cooler conditions, The sun getting very low late in the day & with half the track littered with marbles & dust/dirt that collects offline over the GP distance.

    And then restarting it again just to complete the last lap behind the SC when it could have easily been called with the race positions decided by count back (As was traditionally the case with late race red flags) was just even more ridiculous.

    1. And as someone who’s watched F1 since the ‘90s, it’s depressing to see how nanny state they’ve become. No incident is ever too small nor any car ever far enough off the track (even when behind barriers) or in a non-dangerous position for them to issue a VSC, SC or RF these days

    2. I walked out after the lap 57 crash, disgusted with the large amount of teams’ money the FIA deliberately wasted on an event its regulations do not permit, that only happened because the FIA insisted on it.

  16. After a minute of the wheel carcass sitting on the track the Safety Car was eventually deployed on lap 54

    Even with the farcical ending, I think this statement is the most damning. How is a loose wheel not an instant VSC at minimum???

    1. I’d suggest it’s a direct result of the discontent when SC’s have been called too early in the recent past.

      No matter what they do, someone will always be unhappy. It’s always going to be too fast or too slow.

    2. One minute was in fact a sufficient amount of time…for Formula One’s American overlords to calculate if they could commercialize a VSC. Upon realizing they couldn’t, they threw the red.

    3. My impression was that either they were seeing if they could recover it unde rdouble-waved yellows, or they were giving the drivers the chance to make the most of a racing lap an gain/lose positions before they got around to the hazard where the SC was sitting waiting. If they wer ejust giving drivers more opportunity to race, I thought that was okay. If they were waiting to see if they could recover it, well, when do they ever recover anything under double-waved yellows any more? Maybe they can longer trust drivers to lift enough for safety. The safety of the driver in F1 has increased massively, and maybe that makes them less aware of the dangers they pose to pit crews and marshalls. Or maybe it is because the race director could face criminal charges if any steward gets injured, so he has to do a health and safety assessment before they touch anything.

      1. Deciding what type of caution was required for an incident never used to take this long. It has only started happening in the past several seasons.

        1. Craig, I’ve watched F1 for many years, since long before the SC came in, and I’m pretty sure I remember cases throughout that time where they hold off on putting out the SC immediately in case the obstacle could be cleared before the pack came around again. I also think in the early years there were times when they tried double yellows for a couple of laps and then decided they couldn’t clear the problem, or it was more dangerous than they’d thought, so they bring out the SC. I think that what has changed in recent years is that they are quick now to roll out the SC, and it takes forever to get the debris off track.

          1. You’ve definitely been watching for longer than me then. Although, I am no spring chicken either. Born 1993, and been following religiously since age six.

            Our memories are definitely conflicting. That’s fair enough. However stopping races that don’t need stopping? That’s a relatively new one, I am sure. The wheel on the track today could have easily been recovered safely, without a red flag. I’ll copy and paste a paragraph I wrote to someone else here, as I don’t think I can rephrase it better…

            “Personally I think the old format of running behind the Safety Car to the finish, if there is a big accident several laps from the end, is the fairest way to do things. Is it the most entertaining way? No. But a surprising number of people forget that sport is supposed to be entertaining for the competitors, as well as the fans. And there’s nothing fun about having your hard work completely undone, by a nonsensical stewarding call. Just ask Alpine.”

            I will add to this, before I finish off, that it didn’t need to be a full Safety Car. Throwing a VSC would have been sufficient.

  17. What an absolute farce! What are the incompetents in charge doing? Race control should be sacked.

    It’s debatable if either of the red flag restarts were really required. Why is this necessary? In previous years these incidents would have been dealt with as a Safety Car.

    It’s just trying to artificially contrive excitement when it’s not necessary. It negates a lot of the effort of the teams and drivers to provide what those in charge consider excitement. I’m really fed-up with this.

  18. So, I guess the Americanization of our once great sport is now complete? Throwing red flags whenever someone’s wing mirror falls off, to artificially create drama. And the end result? Unnecessary chaos costing teams and drivers well earned results. All in the name of entertainment. Utterly ridiculous. Magnussen’s lose wheel stranded on the circuit was a double waved yellow at minimum, and a full safety-car at most. In no sane, non-American universe, was THAT a red flag! How long is it before Formula One gets a horrendous playoff system, to decide the champion? Allowing Liberty Media to purchase Formula One was a grave error. We need Europeans back in control of the sport, and fast.

    1. + 1. These make the days of Mr Eccelestone being in charge, halcyon days.

      1. Too right. Bernie Ecclestone did say some daft things from time to time (though usually in jest), but he was a master at balancing sport, business, and entertainment. And these Liberty clowns know naff all about two of those. No prizes for guessing which.

    2. I deeply regret having complained about Ecclestone at the time, I think all of us who love (or loved) F1 owe him an apology.

  19. Imagine this race was a title decider?

    Race control would go down Massi route.

    They tried to force a good show with mixed results.. Should be different.

  20. Good race. Good decisions as far as I’m concerned. Though I think the second red flag should have been earlier.

    People seem to forget track marshall deaths, Surtees, Bianchi and Justin Wilson

    1. And the restart following it should not happened at all.

    2. Nah, they can’t be milking that word safety anymore. It became excuse for everything. They could ensure safety without creating a circus, and we know very well why they had to do all this. Same reason we now have damn sprints, and soon we’ll have competitive “practise” sessions (what an oxymoron). You know, they are risking their lives by driving, it’s not perfectly safe at all. They should stop driving at all. I’m sure they can find more “entertaining” ways to earn points, instead of racing, to satisfy the Netflix teen fans.

  21. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    2nd April 2023, 15:40

    What is not known is how long it would take to clear the track after either incident. If your guy is in a good position you don’t want the race stopped but is it really a good look going round and round following a SC and losing racing laps?

    It’s only looking bad because some drivers steamed into crashes of their own making. Look at Stroll for example flying off at turn 3 all on his own.

  22. Masi world wwe championship race..

  23. Alan Torres
    2nd April 2023, 16:53

    Are they investigating Verstappen for wrong position on the restart? they already penalized Alonso and Ocon for the same….

  24. Three back-to-back street races (Jeddah, Melbourne and Baku) among first four races in the calendar definitely creates excitement, however clouts the whole season with a lot of controversies and extra pressure on drivers. This also slow the straight line speed development of cars and difference will be seen when the racing starts at high speed circuits.


  25. It seems that all of sudden PER remembered how to drive. Amazing since the Red Bull fans were criticizing PER’s driving abilities and not what RB did to his car on Friday and Saturday. Low IQ fans don’t understand that drivers at the top of their game, don’t just lose their abilities in 2 weeks, maybe over 2 years, but not 2 weeks. RB will continue to “work” on the car until PER is comfortably behind their #1 driver.

  26. I watched it dozen of times in slow mo and it seems that Magnussen had a tire failure before the tire made a contact with the barrier. I’m afraid it’s a serious issue on Pirelli’s account covered with poor alibi of accusing the driver.

  27. DRS was ridiculous today. And not just for RBR’s optimized system. It was way too powerful.

  28. My wife’s comment after watching this race: “I’m pretty sure there is no rulebook.” She based that on the fact that it took forever to make any decisions. I agree, if there was an actual rulebook, they would just make a ruling, but they don’t. SAI’s penalty was ridiculous as no one else was penalized for the insanity that occurs after a standing start. Ferrari should have served that penalty in the pits by having the crew stand around his car with their hands up, count to 5, and then touch the car before the last restart. Also, Max was over the line and should have received a 5s penalty putting him in 11th.

    1. Bearing in mind that in every marriage there are at least two persons, one is always right and the other is husband, I’ll agree with your wife.

  29. BW (@deliberator)
    3rd April 2023, 1:35

    Personally, I don’t think standing starts should be used under any circumstances if the race has already run two full laps. The (original?) point of restarting the race is due to a major start collision (think SPA 98, or Germany 01) where a “reset” is the most viable option. Any incidents later in the race should be covered under a VSC/SC. If the incident is too dangerous to resolve under a safety car, then everyone can park in the pitlane, and when the incident is cleared, the race can be restarted under a safety car and rolling start.

    I’ve been watching F1 since the early 90s, and in that time there have been only two deaths. As tragic as they were, that is still an incredible safety record, especially when compared to Indy, MotoGP, etc. And now, it seems as though the FIA is doing everything to make things more dangerous again. A standing restart at the end of the race is asking for trouble, as yesterday proved beyond doubt, with everyone trying to take their “last chance” rather than thinking of the longer race “bigger picture”.

    And also, this idea of having to complete the race distance when it has been red flagged with only a handful of laps to go is also ridiculous. Races have been stopped close to the end and the results stood (Canada 97 and Brazil 03 spring immediately to mind, but there are certainly others). In fact, a standing start with two laps to go makes a mockery of everything F1 – because qualifying is effectively worthless, and the drivers have a sprint “lap” for a “do-or-die” attempt. Frankly, the 10 minute kart races at your local kart track would hold more substance.

    1. greasemonkey
      3rd April 2023, 3:23

      Technically, I think that from “early 90s” it is either 3 or 1, depending on if you include Imola. Imola was 2 deaths, not just 1.

      1. greasemonkey
        3rd April 2023, 3:30

        Oh, and for everyone complaining about money taking priority over X, note that Imola was a disgusting example of X being safety and even respect for the dead. It is fine to complain, so it can get better. But as bad as NASCAR-fiication is, where the X being sacrificed is “sport”, it could be worse, and X could go back to being safety. Just keep things in perspective and don’t advocate going too far some other bad direction.

      2. BW (@deliberator)
        3rd April 2023, 4:41

        My mistake – it is 3 – I was thinking just deaths in races but you are correct to include RR from Imola.

  30. On the local Australian TV coverage there was this gem during the lap 57/58 stoppage. “So let’s just run through the retirements so far. We had Charles Leclerc on lap 1 which was about 3 days ago…”

  31. If this is how it will continue i will probably watch fewer races in the future, it feels like all the time I invested by looking at the race goes down the drain with these crappy restarts.

    1. You watch only for the result? Why watch it at all?
      What happens along the way and how the result comes about is the entire point of watching.
      Results are posted afterwards…. Just wait until then.

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