Drivers to raise concerns over safety car delay in Baku

Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz Jr have raised concerns over the delay in deploying the safety car following Max Verstappen's crash in Sunday's Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Drivers to raise concerns over safety car delay in Baku

A tyre failure with four laps to go caused Verstappen to spin out at one of the fastest points on the circuit on the main straight, crashing into the wall and leaving debris strewn across the track.

The incident ultimately led to the race being suspended so the track could be cleared under a red flag, following the use of double-waved yellow flags and a safety car.

But the safety car had not been deployed by the time most of the drivers had passed through the crash site, prompting Ferrari to inform Leclerc via team radio that he was still racing for position after passing the yellow flags.

"That's a joke, that's a joke," replied Leclerc. "Safety car straight away, what are they waiting for?"

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and the rest of the field

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and the rest of the field

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The safety car was eventually deployed, but Leclerc explained after the race that he was still uncertain why it took race control so long to neutralise the race.

"I was just surprised there was not a safety car earlier, that's why I raised my concerns on the radio," Leclerc said when asked by Autosport about his message.

"Because for me, it was clear I would stop pushing with a crash like this. It's in the middle of a straight, so it's quite dangerous.

"It just took longer than what I expected, that's it. But I think all the drivers have been surprised the same way."

Read Also:

Leclerc added that he would "definitely bring up" at the next drivers' briefing with FIA race director Michael Masi "to understand why it took a bit longer than normal."

Leclerc's Ferrari teammate Sainz was also concerned by the delay.

"Normally when there is such a big accident, first there is a double yellow, and then straightaway seconds after there is a safety car," he said.

"Today, it took, I think it was 30 seconds, one minute, for the safety car to be deployed, and we had to go through a very heavy accident in only yellow flag conditions."

GPDA director Vettel also felt the safety car had taken longer than usual to be deployed.

"I was wondering a little bit why it took so long when Max had the shunt, for the safety car to come out," Vettel said.

"It was quite clear that he was standing in the middle of the track and it took a little bit long but we will see. We will find out why."

The drivers are next due to meet with Masi in just under two weeks' time after Friday practice for the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.

shares
comments

Related video

Wolff: Mercedes form ‘unacceptable’ in F1 title fight

Previous article

Wolff: Mercedes form ‘unacceptable’ in F1 title fight

Next article

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 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