Hamilton accuses F1 "decision-makers" of putting drivers "at risk"
Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1's "decision-makers" need to rethink their rules after accusing them of putting drivers' lives at risk for the sake of entertainment.
The six-time F1 champion captured the 90th win of his F1 career at a crash-strewn Tuscan Grand Prix that was twice red-flagged.
The safety car restart following a first-lap incident that accounted for Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly in his AlphaTauri caused particular controversy.
The belief amongst a number of drivers post-race was that the lights went out too late on the safety car - an indicator it is ready to leave the circuit and return to the pit lane.
As race leader, Valtteri Bottas dictated a slow pace up until the control line, while behind him a number of drivers reacted to the green light panels that allowed racing to resume, leading to a multiple car pile-up along the start-finish straight.
Responding to a question as to whether Bottas was at fault for the crash, Hamilton said: "It is absolutely not Valtteri’s fault at all. It’s the decision-makers."
The Mercedes driver then added: "I don’t know who…obviously they’re trying to make it more exciting, but ultimately you’ve seen it put people at risk, so perhaps they need to rethink that.
“They have been moving the switching off of the safety car lights later and later and, you know, we’re out there fighting for position. Especially when you earn a position like Valtteri earned, the position of being in the lead.
“Obviously, they are trying to make it more exciting but this was probably a little bit over the limit perhaps. He did exactly what anyone would do.”
Bottas also pointed an accusing finger as he said: "The FIA or FOM, I don’t know who’s deciding what’s happening with the safety cars.
"But they’re trying to make the show better by turning the lights [off] later, so we can’t build a gap early and then go like the corner before the race start. They [did it] in the main straight, so maybe it’s time to think if that’s right and safe to do so."
Only Bottas, Hamilton, Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, Romain Grosjean from Haas and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen avoided a warning.
In their incident report, the stewards made categorically clear that Bottas was not to blame. It stated "that the driver of car 77 [Bottas] and the other drivers involved in the restart not mentioned, complied with the regulations.
"Car 77 had the right under the regulations to dictate the pace."
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