A hint of tragedy resolved by the FIA with a 'warning' for 12 drivers

A hint of tragedy resolved by the FIA with a 'warning' for 12 drivers

The stewards warn Kvyat, Sainz, Albon, Stroll, Pérez, Norris, Ocon, Ricciardo, Latifi, Russell, Magnussen and Giovinazzi about the shocking multiple accident on the Mugello home straight.

A threat of tragedy resolved by the FIA with a 'warning' for 12 pilots

The scene brought to mind that unfortunate August 30, 1998 in Spa, when a multiple collision in the rain knocked out seven cars in a single stroke. That Belgian GP saw the most chaotic start in recent F1 history, with wheels and all kinds of parts flying through the air. Yesterday, on the finish line of Mugello, one of the old-school circuits that seemed to excite the drivers so much, four cars were smashed to pieces in the worst multiple accident of this century. A cluster of fatalities that was about to unleash a true tragedy.

Carlos Sainz , Antonio Giovinazzi , Kevin Magnussen and Nicholas Latifi were involved in a terrible heap from which they miraculously emerged without physical damage. «It has been a feeling that I do not wish on anyone, because it was at a very high speed. It is a very dangerous situation that should not be repeated, “said the Spaniard as soon as he got out of the car. What exactly was Carlos referring to? What does F1 have to avoid again?

The chain of errors was so dangerous because, at the moment of impact, the speed of the damaged cars was around 280 km / h. The main responsible was Michael Masi , race director, with a very hasty decision. He notified the safety car late, which took too long to announce his withdrawal from the track. The safety car turned off its lights at the last corner and the slowness of Valtteri Bottas , the leader at the time, excessively compressed the spaces in the middle of the peloton. No one could overtake until the finish line was passed, but nerves had already been unleashed. The first to move and change the line was Latifi, with only eight races of experience at the Gran Circo. And from there chaos unleashed.

“They put us at risk”

The stewards called Latifi, Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat , the only one who was able to escape without damage to his car, to testify. After almost two hours of deliberations, they sanctioned 12 pilots with a 'warning' for violating article 39.13 of the Sports Regulations. This text prohibits any acceleration, braking or other erratic maneuver that endangers rivals at the moment the safety car lights go out.

The decision of the FIA, washing their hands and solving everything with a testimonial punishment, cannot satisfy any of the protagonists. Lewis Hamilton , with his 90th win under his arm, did not hesitate to load the ink: “They are trying to make racing something more exciting, but today they put us at risk.” Bottas, despite the anger of the second place, influenced this line: “They have told my team that they will continue in this line, because it is better for the show.”

Masi, irritated by the accusations, replied fiercely. “From the point of view of the FIA, safety is paramount. End of story. As a career director, that is where my role is based. It is quite offensive that someone says otherwise ”, the Italian, in office since March 2019, after the sudden death of Charlie Whiting .

Since Singapore 2017

“I'm not going to point anyone out until I have analyzed everything properly. Maybe we should double-check the system, ”added Sainz, whose impact on Giovinazzi was only alleviated by the halo structure of his MCL-35.

Since the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, there have not been eight retirements in the same race. This factor was Ferrari's main relief, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel reaching the points after a close contest with George Russell's Williams. The other team that was able to get its two cars to the finish line was Mercedes. Hamilton's triumph, ahead of a frustrated Bottas, practically resolves his seventh title.

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