Formula 1 drivers criticise British Grand Prix safety car decisions

Formula 1 drivers believe the safety car stayed out for too long at the start of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1 drivers criticise British Grand Prix safety car decisions

A heavy rain shower shortly before the beginning of the race led to a safety car start, and while the majority of drivers agreed with that decision, they felt it could have come in earlier than at the end of lap five, when several pitted to switch immediately from full wets to intermediate tyres.

"It was definitely a safety car start, it was super wet, loads of standing water," said Jenson Button.

"But we waited a long time. The safety car should have come in two laps earlier.

"The problem is then everyone pits at the same time so you can't do anything different [strategically]."

Nico Rosberg said "it was important to let us have a look" at the track conditions behind the safety car, while his in-race rival for second place Max Verstappen agreed but also wanted the restart sooner.

"On the main straight there was a lot of water but maybe [the safety car period] was a bit too long," said Verstappen.

"I was ready to race after one or two laps."

Race winner Lewis Hamilton was one of the few drivers to say he would have been happy with a normal race start.

"We could have started on the grid, there were wet patches and it would have been tricky but that's what racing is about," said the world champion.

"We stayed out for too long, it was intermediate conditions by the time they let us go.

"There was more water on track in 2008 when we started on the grid which is why I say that."

Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr added: "They played very safe.

"The start needed to be behind the safety car because you could see absolutely nothing in the middle of the field.

"But two laps to see how the track is, see where the puddles are, then go for it."

VETTEL: WETS ARE THE PROBLEM

Sebastian Vettel was looking forward to using a wet-weather start to make up ground from 11th on the grid following a gearbox penalty, but he understood the call to start behind the safety car.

However, the German believes the reason so many drivers always switch to the intermediate tyres so quickly after a restart in the wet is because Pirelli's full wet is not a useful race tyre.

"It was the right call initially to start it with the safety car because there was quite a lot of standing water in the first half of the track," he said.

"The thing to criticise is that nobody really has any trust in the extreme wets.

"You'd rather take a lot of risk going onto the intermediates, when there was a lot of aquaplaning in the beginning, simply because it's the quicker tyre.

"We've mentioned a couple of times that the extreme wet is basically just good enough to follow the safety car."

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