F2 drivers criticise second safety car restart in Zandvoort feature race

FIA Formula 2 drivers have criticised the second safety car restart during Sunday’s feature race, with Felipe Drugovich saying it “wasn't the safest restart.”

F2 drivers criticise second safety car restart in Zandvoort feature race

There were several stoppages during the Zandvoort race, with an early red flag after Logan Sargeant crashed out at Turn 7, prompting barrier repairs.

The safety car then came out on lap 17 after Marino Sato hit the wall at Turn 2 after his front left wheel was not fitted properly.

But as Liam Lawson led the field into the restart, the pack was bunched up and a late restart saw several drivers crash, including Richard Verschoor hitting the rear of second-place runner Jack Doohan, ending his race.

Verschoor said "the two cars in front of me started accelerating, and then suddenly they braked, and I was just too close," while Drugovich said it "felt like I don’t know who was in front went and stopped again."

After the race, in which he finished second, Verschoor apologised for “destroying” Doohan’s race and said it was “definitely not my intention to hit him.”

But the Trident driver said he “thought everybody was going and then they all slowed, I locked all my wheels and I couldn’t avoid him.”

Verschoor said: “First of all I have to say sorry to Jack, it was definitely not my intention to hit him.

“I thought everybody was going and then they all slowed, I locked all my wheels and I couldn’t avoid him.

“It’s not the way I want to become second.

“With the wing I don’t think I really had damage, it felt like it the first lap but after that it was okay.”

He added: “Yeah, so basically Lawson was like banked, so I couldn’t see the cars in front and then the two cars in front of me started accelerating, and then suddenly they braked, and I was just too close.

“I thought I had a good restart and then everybody braked again, so I just hit him.”

Drugovich agreed that it felt like the pack had been released before slowing again.

The championship leader, who could secure the title at Monza next weekend, said: “Yeah I think by regulations if you accelerate you shouldn’t brake again, just one go, and it felt like that, it felt like I don’t know who was in front went and stopped again.

“So that’s not really safe. But I’m not completely sure about that, I was in the middle of the pack, so it’s like an elastic effect to it, so I have to check it properly but for sure wasn’t the safest restart.”

Verschoor then added: “Like Felipe is saying, it’s elastic, the more you’re in the back, if the cars in front of you accelerate there’s no way. If you go, you go, that’s how usually it goes.

“Again, I apologise, but I don’t think there was much I could do.”

Ayumu Iwasa, who finished third, said: “If you restart like that, we don’t know exactly when we can go because we have to warm up the brakes during the restart.

“For sure if we go before Turn 13 for example in this track it would be much safer, but it was a difficult situation for everyone.”

The incident will be investigated by the stewards, with MP Motorsport’s Clement Novalak and Tatiana Calderon (Charouz) also out with damage after the chaotic restart.

Having said it was “not the way I want to become second”, Verschoor was asked if a penalty would hurt less mentally because of that.

He said: “I want the points, I want the points for the team, so of course I don’t want the penalty and I think there is other things to look at.

“I really don’t think I could have done much but I also understand that I destroyed Jack’s race.

“The stewards will take a decision but on the other hand I agree with you.

“I did what I could and it was a small mistake but for the rest I think I did a very good race so I think that will be in people’s minds.”

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