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FIA safety car controversy "everything Abu Dhabi should have been"

FIA safety car controversy "everything Abu Dhabi should have been"

FIA safety car controversy "everything Abu Dhabi should have been"

FIA safety car controversy "everything Abu Dhabi should have been"
GPFans Staff

Max Verstappen's Italian Grand Prix victory was overshadowed in the aftermath by a debate over the FIA's operational acumen after the race finished behind the safety car.

Criticism was levelled at F1's governing body over the ending, with Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto suggesting the sport deserved better.

The GPFans team convened for the Stewards' Room Podcast to discuss the issue, from the timing of the safety car, to whether a red flag should have been thrown and those Abu Dhabi flashbacks. Read their comments below.

Ian Parkes - Editor-in-Chief

"What the FIA wanted to do was to get the race restarted as quickly as possible.

"So if they had waited to pick up Verstappen, it would have cost them another lap. So they decided to get the safety car out which meant it picked up Russell and not Verstappen.

"The only downside was when Russell was finally released [from behind the safety car].

"So in this instance, what unfolded at Monza was everything Abu Dhabi should have been but wasn't.

"Why there was so much controversy is because there is this unwritten rule within F1 that they don't want to finish a race under safety-car conditions, they want to finish it under racing conditions, which is why Michael Masi last year got things wrong.

"Because so much was on the line, he decided to allow the last lap.

"[Monza] was exactly how it should have been. The FIA didn't do anything wrong whatsoever, despite the criticism from Mattia Binotto and Christian Horner."

Sam Hall - Deputy Editor

"If I compare it to football, people complain when a foul is a foul anywhere on the pitch, but in the penalty area, it is not a foul.

"For me, going yellow flag at the safety car should be the same at any time in the race. It shouldn't be a red flag just because there are five laps left and 'Oh no, someone is going to win behind the safety car'.

"The spectacle is important, yes, but F1 fans have been spoilt in recent years with lots of really good races.

"You have got to have these moments where you don't get the fantastic finish or the thrilling end we all want, to make those other moments special."

Ewan Gale - F1 Writer

"I think labelling the race controversial is disingenuous because the rules were followed to the letter of the law. It was perfectly followed by the FIA, there was nothing more they could do.

"In this situation, the race should have finished behind the safety car. There wasn't a need for a red flag because there was no debris across the track, it was just that the car had stopped.

"The problem comes from the fact they only needed another lap to get racing.

"When you go back to the start of the safety car period and you think of the 90 seconds or so that they didn't call a safety car, that is when you start to think maybe something else could have been done.

"From a completely regulatory standpoint, there was nothing the FIA could have done, they followed the rules correctly.

"Just because there was wrongdoing last year, it doesn't mean you do it wrong again. You have got to do the right thing."

Listen to the GPFans Global team as they digest all the action from Monza, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and don't forget to subscribe for more regular podcasts.

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