Jules Bianchi crash: Lauda says FIA did nothing wrong in Japan

Niki Lauda believes the FIA did nothing wrong in terms of running the Japanese Grand Prix, following the accident that resulted in Jules Bianchi being sent to hospital

Jules Bianchi crash: Lauda says FIA did nothing wrong in Japan

The former world champion thinks that in hindsight, race organisers could have brought the start of the GP forward from 3pm, as the FIA had been pushing for over the weekend.

But he is also well aware that the accident involving Bianchi, who was rushed to hospital unconscious after hitting a track safety vehicle, was the result of tricky wet conditions rather than the time of the race.

Bianchi taken to hospital after crash

When asked if it was the right decision to race, Lauda said: "Yes. Because they started with the safety car, there was nothing wrong.

"You cannot say anything was done wrong. It was started in the most sensible way and this is what they did.

"But they could have started earlier. There is no question about it. It was foreseeable, we could have started the race at 1pm.

"But I don't take these decisions. In the end it would have been better."

Lauda believes, however, there was a case for the safety car to have been called out as soon as Sutil crashed.

"The Sutil accident was way off the line and under normal circumstances we would not discuss it as the car was picked up right away," he said.

"Where you park the car was very close, so from this point of view the decision was right. But in the end, it was wrong."

McLaren driver Jenson Button feels, however, that the FIA handled the approach to racing in the wet correctly.

"I think the FIA did a really good job of controlling the situation," he said.

"It's so difficult. They are listening to us the whole time.

"We want to go racing, but we want do it in a safe way. By the time the spray is not too much you are almost ready for intermediate tyres already.

"I think they did a very good job to control the situation because it's not easy for them."

REMINDER OF DANGERS

Lauda said that the Bianchi crash was a reminder that F1 remains a dangerous sport.

"Motor racing is dangerous," he said. "We get used to it when nothing happens and then suddenly we are all surprised.

"But we always have to be aware that motor racing is always dangerous - and this accident today is a coming together of various different things.

"One car goes off, the truck comes out and the next car comes off and this was very unfortunate."

However, he is adamant that lessons should be learned by F1 bosses about how to handle grands prix in wet conditions.

"There could be a lesson learned that in the difficult conditions of today, in the race, that it could have been acted differently and the chance to go off is certainly bigger," he said.

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