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Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP

F1 drivers want answers over "rogue" FIA calls

George Russell says that Formula 1 drivers want clarity from the FIA over some of the 'rogue' decisions made in recent races.

A marshal waves a red flag

Scrutiny over calls made by F1 race control ramped up after the chaotic end to the Australian Grand Prix, which was red-flagged three times and then restarted to finish under the safety car.

Russell, who is a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), said that the biggest concern was an apparent lack of consistency in some of the decisions.

Asked by Autosport for his thoughts on the calls race control made in Australia, Russell said that the drivers and the FIA needed to talk to clear some issues up.

PLUS: The consistency problem highlighted by F1’s Australia red flags debacle

"For sure, there's going to be a lot of conversations with the FIA to understand their views," he said. "It's a bit of a challenging time, no doubt for all of us in that regard, and for sure as well for the FIA.

"They're not stupid, and they're trying to do the best job possible. But things do need to be ironed out to understand where their approach is going to lie.

"We can't really be having weekends that are just totally dictated by what somebody in the race control office wants to do.

"We've seen a few crazy or rogue decisions being made recently. If they're consistent, that's absolutely fine. But it's the inconsistency that makes it challenging for the rest of us."

Russell said he felt that dialogue between the FIA and drivers was not as good as it should be, and he highlighted the lack of consultation there had been in moves to cut back on DRS zones as an example.

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"I think the overtaking is harder this year than it's been last year," explained Russell. "I think as the cars have evolved away from the initial regulations that F1 introduced, overtaking has become more difficult.

"Obviously they're shortening all the DRS zones as well, which the drivers have had zero impact on. I've been a little bit disappointed again that we weren't in that loop on that.

"I'm not even sure the FIA are aware that we feel that the overtaking is harder, yet they're basing the DRS off historic information."

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Russell reckons that drivers would speak about the DRS issue with the FIA, as they felt that shortening the zones was not what was needed right now.

"We will be raising it for sure," he said. "I mean, it's only a hundred metres [here]. It's not going to change the world, but it's directionally incorrect.

"We just want to be kept in the loop whenever these decisions are being made, and to have an opinion or share a thought that can contribute towards their decision.

"That's a process that we still need to work on because, clearly, we're all in this together and we only want the best for the sport."

He added: "We just need a bit more of a collaborative effort to improve the sport from an excitement factor, but then also on a safety regard. Who better to give them feedback than the people who are actually driving the cars themselves?"

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