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Brundle reveals 'heated FIA arguments' before Monaco Grand Prix

Brundle reveals 'heated FIA arguments' before Monaco Grand Prix

Brundle reveals 'heated FIA arguments' before Monaco Grand Prix

Brundle reveals 'heated FIA arguments' before Monaco Grand Prix

Former F1 driver Martin Brundle has suggested "heated arguments" took place in the FIA's race control room ahead of a Monaco Grand Prix he feels was wrong not to start on time.

Brundle has called for the FIA to implement a "root-and-branch change" of race direction despite the overhaul undertaken following the dismissal of Michael Masi earlier this year.

Eduardo Freitas, one of the FIA's two new race directors alongside Niels Wittich, took charge of the Monaco race and baffled all by not starting it at 3pm local time when only light rain was falling.

Freitas instead waited for predicted heavy rain to pass through which struck when the cars were on a formation lap behind the safety car that had set off at 3.16pm, with the downpour so intense, the event had to be red-flagged.

A bemused Brundle, via his Sky Sports column, wrote: "Holding up a race in anticipation of incoming weather is not necessary.

"We have virtual and real safety cars, red flags, pit stop crews who can change tyres in two seconds, and two types of wet weather tyres to cover those challenges. That's what Formula 1 racing is all about.

"A couple of reliable sources tell me that there were heated arguments in race control during the impasse as we all looked on unsure of what was happening.

"This presumably explains the periods of inaction and lack of information, and the reason why the safety car was not out exploring track conditions as usual."

Heavily criticising the way race control is currently run, with Freitas and Wittich taking joint responsibility, with Herbie Blash working under them in an advisory role, Brundle added: "The FIA, for the well-being of F1, urgently needs a root-and-branch change."

Brundle feels the sport requires "a fully dedicated and empowered race director with at least one understudy, a dedicated circuit and systems inspector, plus an empowered and effective communications department. I consider this a highest priority issue.

"What happened in the championship defining circumstances in Abu Dhabi last year had been brewing up for months, perhaps even years, since the death of Charlie Whiting.

"It was inevitable given that we had 39 races, including many hurriedly assembled 'pop-up' events taking place during the pandemic without due resource and structure at the FIA.

"And what happened to Michael Masi in the aftermath has made the job a poisoned chalice and that'll take some fixing, if indeed that's possible.

"He was the right man for the job, Charlie's understudy, but frankly F1 and the FIA were winging it at times and the whole thing skidded off track with regard to dominant race control and refereeing, which is essential."

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