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Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, the rest of the field at the start
Autosport Plus
Formula 1 Mexico City GP
Special feature

The Mexico start bedlam that F1 has learned from

Outrage ensued when the Italian Grand Prix finished behind the Safety Car. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when simply getting races started was a challenge…  

So, you say FIA officials screwed up during the Italian Grand Prix? I tend to disagree. I don’t recall seeing the starter come off his rostrum, stand on Charles Leclerc’s front wheel in order to get a better view of the grid – and then start the race from this precarious post. Believe it or not, something along these lines actually happened 60 years ago this month. 

To be fair, looking at today’s FIA Sporting Regulations, there’s no precise mention of where the starter should position himself. By my reckoning, there’s more than 3,000 words covering everything a driver should do during the final countdown – almost from the moment he’s been bothered by dumb TV reporter questions as he walks to the grid. You know the sort of thing: a breathlessly urgent enquiry about his strategy when starting 13th. I mean, what’s he expected to say? “Yeah, well, obviously (a favourite F1 word) I’m hoping to have a gradual slide to the back of the field, get to the finish, obviously complain to my engineer about tyre deg, have a quick massage and then, obviously, off home to see Mum.” Sorry – I’m obviously digressing. 

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