Masi had no choice over safety car for "stuck" Mercedes

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi says the safety car deployed when Valtteri Bottas retired his Mercedes in Brazil was a standard reaction to the use of a recovery crane.

Masi had no choice over safety car for "stuck" Mercedes

Bottas pulled off with an engine failure and in response to a message from his engineer coasted to a gap in the barrier where he thought his car could easily be pulled out of harm’s way.

Onboard TV footage showed that after vacating the cockpit he struggled to re-fit the steering wheel, before leaving it in the car and climbing over the barrier.

Two marshals subsequently picked it up and eventually managed to re-fit it, and then appeared to be trying to put the car in neutral. However, as they couldn’t move the car, a crane was required.

Since Jules Bianchi’s crash at Suzuka any deployment of a crane obliges race control to deploy a full safety car, in order to properly slow the field – even when the car is on the inside of a corner and the crane only briefly appears outside the protection of the barriers, as was the case on this occasion.

“Valtteri did a fantastic job where he stopped,” said Masi. “They were trying to push the car back into the gap, which is why we went double yellow, as we had the marshals there.

“It was off track, they were trying to push the car, but the car got stuck on the bump. So we actually had to deploy the crane to move it out, so for me as soon as a crane is deployed, that's it, straight safety car.”

Asked if there was an issue with the car not being in neutral, Masi said: “The marshal said it was stuck on the bump and left it at that. And obviously as soon as I have to use a crane, it completely changes it. Being off-track was why I covered it under a double[-waved] yellow flag originally.”

Although Bottas’s car and the crane were behind the barrier very quickly, the safety car period dragged out to several laps in part because so many lapped cars were required to pass the leaders, in order to get their laps back.

“Basically I think it was only the top five cars were the only unlapped cars,” said Masi. “Probably the first part of it was actually getting the leader behind the safety car, which took a little bit longer purely because of car positioning, and then getting the list from timing of all the cars.

“So the first focus is obviously to clear the incident. And then the unlapping of cars is a secondary scenario.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
Vettel or Leclerc should "follow Hamilton's example" - Brawn

Previous article

Vettel or Leclerc should "follow Hamilton's example" - Brawn

Next article

Sainz: Brazilian GP charge "definitely" my best-ever race

Sainz: Brazilian GP charge "definitely" my best-ever race
Load comments
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021