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F1 stewards need overview of standing restart procedures after Australian GP near-miss

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Whereas there’s a separate debate raging about whether or not or not standing restarts are a good suggestion in any respect after the late-race chaos in Melbourne, one other downside emerged earlier within the occasion.

With the primary crimson flag having been triggered by Alex Albon’s crash on lap seven, the go-ahead for a standing restart was given by race management.

The foundations require the security automobile to steer the vehicles round in formation for the restart, earlier than peeling into the pits.

Learn extra: The critical calls preceding Verstappen’s Melbourne march and F1’s red flag saga

However this time the scenario practically triggered an enormous accident as race chief Lewis Hamilton had slowed the formation lap tempo on the entrance whereas vehicles catching up from the again closed in on the pack at excessive pace.

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This had been brought on by George Russell being gradual away in leaving the pitlane, so was operating rapidly to shut down the deficit.

When he slowed after becoming a member of the again of the prepare, others behind him had been caught out, with a number of having to brake all of the sudden to keep away from an accident.

Purple Bull’s Sergio Perez was practically hit by Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, whereas Williams’ Logan Sargeant needed to take evasive motion to keep away from putting Valtteri Bottas within the Alfa Romeo.

Kevin Magnussen, who approached the slowing vehicles at excessive pace, needed to take avoiding motion in his Haas and run by way of the gravel to keep away from an accident.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo Racing C43

Picture by: Alfa Romeo

The incident was reviewed by the race stewards after the grand prix, they usually felt that no driver was notably in charge for what occurred.

The stewards mentioned in a press release: “When Russell and the vehicles behind caught up with the vehicles in entrance, they had been met with a major pace delta between the 2 teams leading to a scenario the place a lot of vehicles needed to take evasive motion.

“This was in no way a great scenario from a security viewpoint. Though Russell’s begin was gradual, provided that he needed to preserve the pit lane pace until he acquired out of the pits and that he instantly sped as much as make up the hole, we didn’t think about that it will be essential or applicable to penalise Russell for a gradual begin from the pit lane. We, subsequently, took no additional motion.”

Nevertheless, the stewards really feel that the rules concerning the formation lap process will be improved, particularly in the case of the chief dictating the tempo.

Learn Additionally:

Article 58.8 of the Sporting Rules states that the main automobile has to remain inside 10 automobile lengths of the security automobile forward of the restart when its lights are on.

Nevertheless, as soon as the message has been given to groups that there will probably be a standing restart, then the security automobile lights exit and the chief can drop again – which is precisely what occurred on this event early within the lap.

Article 58.11 of the sporting rules states: “At this level the primary automobile in line behind the security automobile might dictate the tempo and, if essential, fall greater than ten (10) automobile lengths behind it.”

The stewards really feel that this freedom for the lead automobile to dictate the tempo so early within the lap could possibly be addressed with higher guidelines.

It mentioned: “We do think about that a part of the issue is the regulation that allows the lead automobile to set the tempo even when the restart is for a standing begin from the pit lane (as
against a rolling begin).

“This could maybe be checked out sooner or later to see if that is applicable for a restart of this nature.”

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