Italian GP: Why did race end behind Safety Car? The explanation, rival views and Abu Dhabi comparisons


Sky F1's Karun Chandhok explains why the Italian Grand Prix ended behind the Safety Car and the options available to the FIA in situations like these.

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Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok explains why the Italian Grand Prix ended behind the Safety Car and the choices obtainable to the FIA in conditions like these.

Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok explains why the Italian Grand Prix ended behind the Safety Car and the choices obtainable to the FIA in conditions like these.

The Safety Car ending to the Italian Grand Prix denied a “grandstand finish” between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on Sunday, with the odd scenes prompting flashbacks of final season’s Abu Dhabi GP title decider – and differing views from Red Bull and Mercedes’ crew bosses.

With Verstappen now 116 factors forward of Leclerc and doubtlessly one race away from his second Formula 1 world championship, let’s clarify the finale that upset Ferrari’s house followers, and the next feedback…

What occurred and why followers have been denied finale

Verstappen was cruising in direction of his fifth win in a row – 16 seconds forward of the two-stopping Leclerc – when Daniel Ricciardo floor to a halt in his McLaren on Lap 47 of 53, stopping his automobile in between the Lesmos.

While yellow flags have been instantly waved, there was a slight delay earlier than a Safety Car interval was signalled.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix as the race ends behind the Safety Car.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix because the race ends behind the Safety Car.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix because the race ends behind the Safety Car.

Still, Verstappen and Leclerc adopted a lot of their rivals into the pits on the next lap, becoming mushy tyres as groups anticipated the race to get below manner once more shortly for an epic finale.

However, useful time was wasted when the Safety Car got here out in entrance of George Russell’s automobile, in third, and not Verstappen. It additionally did not initially launch Russell and the 11 automobiles between him and the chief.

Mercedes advised Russell to overhaul the Safety Car, though the British driver refrained, with no inexperienced mild exhibiting to offer him confidence to take action.

Another hindrance was the actual fact marshals have been unable to maneuver Riccardo’s automobile, and a cherry picker solely began to recuperate it with three laps remaining.

Christian Horner admits they would have preferred Max Verstappen to win the race under normal racing regulations, rather than behind the Safety Car.

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Christian Horner admits they’d have most popular Max Verstappen to win the race below regular racing laws, relatively than behind the Safety Car.

Christian Horner admits they’d have most popular Max Verstappen to win the race below regular racing laws, relatively than behind the Safety Car.

Shortly after, Russell and the opposite automobiles have been allowed to make their well beyond the Safety Car, however Verstappen solely obtained to his required place on the entrance of the Safety Car queue on the end of Lap 51 of 53.

“At this point it became clear there wasn’t going to be enough time for all the cars to circle back around, join the train, and then release the lapped cars to finish the race under green flag conditions,” stated Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok.

Verstappen and Leclerc have been cut up by two lapped automobiles – Yuki Tsunoda and Valtteri Bottas – on the penultimate lap, when the Monegasque was advised earlier than the ultimate lap that this was how it might end.

That prompted cries of “come on, the track is clear” from Leclerc, and boos from the followers. Verstappen was additionally booed on the rostrum.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says it was unfortunate that he was not able to fight for win in the closing stages, with the race ending behind the Safety Car.

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says it was unlucky that he was not in a position to battle for win within the closing phases, with the race ending behind the Safety Car.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says it was unlucky that he was not in a position to battle for win within the closing phases, with the race ending behind the Safety Car.

What was stated and why Red Bull, Merc disagree

The Safety Car end on Sunday was the other ending to what occurred in Abu Dhabi final yr, when Race Director Michael Masi did convey the Safety Car in, permitting automobiles to un-lap themselves rapidly, earlier than Verstappen pounced on sitting duck Hamilton to assert a controversial title.

On this event, the principles have been adopted appropriately by Race Director Niels Wittich, although Christian Horner made it clear after the race that Red Bull wished the race to restart regardless of Verstappen’s benefit.

“We don’t want to win a race under a Safety Car,” the crew boss advised Sky Sports F1. “It’s something we’ve talked about for many many years, that they should finish racing.

“There was sufficient time to get that race going. I feel they picked up the incorrect automobiles, picked up Russell.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was unhappy with FIA's implementation of the Safety Car regulations in the final stages of the race.

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was sad with FIA’s implementation of the Safety Car laws within the remaining phases of the race.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was sad with FIA’s implementation of the Safety Car laws within the remaining phases of the race.

“We had the faster car and we would have liked to win the race on the track, not behind the Safety Car. We share the disappointment of all the fans, because it took away a grandstand finish.

“It goes towards the rules of what we have mentioned beforehand. The greatest losers have been the followers.”

Leclerc said he was “anticipating the restart” but acknowledged that “perhaps there have been issues within the background” stopping it. Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, though, was even firmer than Horner with his words.

“Finishing behind a Safety Car isn’t nice, not for us, however F1 and the present,” he said. “I feel there was time for the FIA to behave otherwise at this time.

“The Safety Car came in front of George but even so, I think there was no reason not to release the cars between the Safety Car and the leader. If we are simply waiting for safety, we know that now there’s a minimum lap time, so it’s fully safe to run.

“To wait a lot, it is merely incorrect and not nice for the game. After Abu Dhabi final yr, we had lengthy discussions with the game as a result of the ultimate goal is to strive and restart the race in a secure method, and I feel at this time we may have.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his drivers' third and fifth-place finishes were the best they could have hoped for at the Italian Grand Prix.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his drivers’ third and fifth-place finishes have been the most effective they may have hoped for on the Italian Grand Prix.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his drivers’ third and fifth-place finishes have been the most effective they may have hoped for on the Italian Grand Prix.

“The FIA changed a lot in that area, but still I think they need more experience and they need to do a better job, because F1 deserves it.”

Toto Wolff, who was so livid after final yr’s Abu Dhabi defeat, gave a pointed response – saying that “this time” the principles have been adopted appropriately.

“The Race Directors are always going to be under criticism but I think this time they followed the rules – maybe they could have done it a lap sooner – and they accepted the race ends under the Safety Car.

“This is the way it needs to be.”

The FIA’s explanation and how it could have ended

Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz revealed the explanation from the FIA afterwards.

“They stated the marshals could not push it, they’d hoped to recuperate the automobile faster however doing that each one takes time,” he reported.

“They additionally stated it is necessary to get the automobiles to bunch as much as permit the marshals area to recuperate Ricciardo’s automobile.

“If there is a question, it’s about the lost Lap 50, why the green light was not shown earlier to Russell, especially as his Mercedes team were saying they think he can go by.”

Chandhok agreed that “procedurally, the Race Directors did everything right… they followed the rulebook, no question about it” – however got here up with an alternate state of affairs that might have given a greater end.

“My personal view is that in light of what happened in Abu Dhabi, if we have an incident in the last five laps, it becomes an automatic red flag with a standing start,” he stated. “I think for all of us, it was a little bit of an anticlimactic finish.”

Ted, in the meantime, concluded: “Was the Race Director playing it steady? Yes. Could he have been quicker? Yes.

“But was it a simply end in the way in which Abu Dhabi wasn’t? Yes.”

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