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Tsunoda "bullied" by FIA in safety car confusion

Tsunoda "bullied" by FIA in safety car confusion

F1 News

Tsunoda "bullied" by FIA in safety car confusion

Tsunoda "bullied" by FIA in safety car confusion

Yuki Tsunoda has claimed he "got a bit bullied by the FIA" after a bizarre safety car ruling ensured he finished last at the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The Japanese driver was sandwiched between the two Williams drivers during the late-race safety car period after pitting for fresh tyres and had the chance to fight in the midfield.

But unlike Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi, Tsunoda was not allowed to unlap himself ahead of the restart, leaving him all alone one lap down and forced to pull aside to allow the train past.

The confusion meant fingers were immediately pointed at the FIA, not least after the safety car controversy involving lapped cars at last season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"Normally you can go past the safety car," said AlphaTauri driver Tsunoda.

"I got told you have to stay in the line and normally, the safety car was lining up the green light which means lapped cars can go past. Somehow, I couldn't.

"I got a bit bullied by the FIA."

F1's governing body confirmed that all systems functioned as expected, but that the situation was caused by "idiosyncrasies" of the circuit.

It was revealed that Tsunoda was a lap down at the commencement of the safety car but having gone through the pits, and therefore allowed to drive faster due to the unique layout at Interlagos, he had actually unlapped himself across the first safety car line, before being relapped.

This meant Tsuonda was therefore ineligible to unlap himself a second time and caused the confusion.

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