European Formula 3 teams angered by Zandvoort crane incident

Formula 3 European Championship competitors were angered by a crane retrieving a stranded car under local yellow flags during the final race of the Zandvoort round

European Formula 3 teams angered by Zandvoort crane incident

On the 18th lap of the 23-lap race Carlin driver Weiron Tan went off the circuit at one of the fast right-handers at the back of the track, and came to rest against the barrier with an extensive grass run-off area separating the car from the track.

The crane was driven against the direction of the circuit from the following corner to rescue Tan's car.

Numerous comments have appeared on social media regarding the fact that the incident occurred on the first anniversary of the death of Jules Bianchi from injuries sustained when he hit a recovery crane during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Motopark team boss Timo Rumpfkeil said: "Bizarre, isn't it? I was really surprised to see that.

"Also, on the team radio channel [to race control] at first Olly Oakes [Hitech GP director] was complaining about it, then Prema were confirming they were also unhappy about it.

"I think it was quite dangerous, because at the end of the day it's so easy to drop a wheel, and you don't ever want to imagine what happens if someone hits the crane.

"To race with the crane on the bloody circuit, it's clearly not the perfect solution."

But Rumpfkeil added that the championship's race director Tamas Zettner, a leading Hungaroring official who took over the F3 role in 2016, has made a very positive impression.

This season there has been a marked decrease in safety-car situations for cars in harmless positions, and races have even been started from the grid in wet conditions.

"I must say Tamas is doing a really good job," said Rumpfkeil.

"On the one hand we are always complaining that they put too many safety cars out, and now they don't and we complain about it.

"We need to make sure we don't push too hard for that because we don't want the safety car in and out all day.

"I don't know whether the virtual safety car is ready to be used yet, because we've been practising that all year [in five-minute periods before free practice begins on Fridays]."

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