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Wolff questions red flag desire after Italian GP controversy

Wolff questions red flag desire after Italian GP controversy

Wolff questions red flag desire after Italian GP controversy

Wolff questions red flag desire after Italian GP controversy
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has questioned those suggesting that the Italian Grand Prix should have been red-flagged as that is not the rule.

Sunday's race concluded under safety car conditions to the vocal dissatisfaction of those in the grandstands at Monza.

And the debate continued in the paddock with the slow recovery of Daniel Ricciardo's Alfa Romeo and of the safety car procedure in general criticised.

Both Mattia Binotto and Christian Horner were left disgruntled by the time taken to deploy safety car procedures with the belief that the race had enough time to get underway.

But reacting to suggestions that race director Niels Wittich should have red flagged the event to allow one or two lap sprint to the finish, Wolff said: “Why [do you want this]?

“You red flag the race if someone is in the wall, if the track is blocked.

“You red flag a race because you can’t pass anymore, something has happened.

“Why would you red flag a race just because you want to have a show for one lap or two?"

Despite this, Wolff voiced that he would back a change to the sporting regulations that would mandate a red flag to be shown in certain instances.

He added: “Change the regs. Discuss with the FIA that we want to change the regulations, let’s have some really top last laps of racing.

"I’m lifting my hand for that but it’s not what’s in the regulations today.” 

F1 balances show vs spectacle

The Monza incident sparked flashbacks to last year's title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where regulations a last-lap shootout saw Lewis Hamilton lose out to Max Verstappen.

Speaking prior to a meeting of the F1 sporting directors with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Wolff reiterated his willingness to make changes to the current rules.

“I don’t want to create a headline here that Toto wants to change the regulations because the racing is s**t," he insisted.

"I think we should all sit down and say is there something we could do better?

“But what happened here is in the regulations book and that is why it was applied.

“Would I have wanted to have a last lap with a pile of cars on top of each other in the chicane? Hell yeah. It’s good TV.”

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