Formula 1 drivers will bring up the issue of a crane still being out on track when qualifying started in Turkey with race director Michael Masi in Bahrain this weekend.
The Q2 session at the Turkish Grand Prix was resumed with a recovery circuit still on the circuit after it was trying to remove Nicholas Latifi’s stranded Williams.
Despite double waved yellow flags being displayed, F1 drivers were deeply unhappy about the safety implications of what happened – with memories still fresh about the accident that went on to claim the life of Jules Bianchi at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
While Masi explained that the incident had been triggered by him having been assured that the crane would not have been there when the cars reached it, that was not enough justification for some.
Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel, who is a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), reiterated on Thursday that there should be ‘zero tolerance’ for mistakes like this.
“I think everybody knows what happened and everybody knows why there should be a zero tolerance for this,” he said. “Obviously, that was a mistake that it even got that far. It will be addressed.
“I think the main thing, whatever is coming out, is that we’re not having and not seeing the same thing happening again, because we know and you know the consequences it can have.
“So that’s why I think it’s important to address it, which we will and which it is from many sides and different angles. And as I said the key will be that we will not have something similar happening again.”
Fellow GPDA director Romain Grosjean said that the issue had been raised post-race with the FIA, and further talks would take place in Friday night’s drivers’ briefing to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.
“Yes, there’s been some follow up, and, yes, I believe it will be discussed at the drivers’ briefing,” said the Haas driver. “I think all the drivers are aligned on this and we just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Kimi Raikkonen, who was one of the first drivers upon the scene with the crane still on the track, said that just having double yellow flags in the incident was not good enough.
“I kind of could see that will happen, because they were still recovering the car when they started the session,” explained the Alfa Romeo driver.
“Then obviously when we went through, with the vehicle in Turn 8, I think there were yellow flags or something.
“Whatever [speed] it was that they expect us to go slow, but in those conditions, especially with how slippery it was, it doesn’t matter even if you go slow. You can lose the car and it’s far from ideal.
“I think it would have been better to wait until they pulled the car out and cleared the run-off areas, because you never know.
“We can go slow for us, but it still might be 120 km/h, or something like that. And when you lose it on those conditions, you have zero control where you are going to end up.”
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