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
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021