Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has explained strict regulations left him unable to end the safety car period sooner than was possible during the Eifel Grand Prix.
The safety car completed five laps from 45 to 49 at the Nürburgring as marshals recovered the McLaren of Lando Norris.
After noticing the car had been removed from the confines of the circuit, leading duo Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen questioned the safety car's pace and called for the race to resume citing concerns tyre temperatures would drop below the operating window.
Asked as to why he was unable to act on these comments sooner, Masi replied: “Quite simply, there is a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past.
"So I think from that point, it was position six onwards that were still running, so it would have been 10 or 11 cars that had to unlap themselves and therefore, the safety car period was a bit longer than what we would have normally expected.”
Questions were also raised as to why a full safety car was required given that Norris had parked alongside a marshals' post with a gap in the fencing.
Explaining why a virtual safety car would have been inappropriate, Masi added: “A couple of points there. One was, obviously, Lando’s car had some smoke and fire.
“The other was that at first glance we weren’t confident that the car could actually be recovered into the opening that was there due to the tightness of it, so rather than having to react along the way, it was determined to go for a safety car.
“That way it could be dealt with all at once immediately, so it was the safest action in that circumstance.”
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