Formula 1 drivers will raise the decision to start Q2 in Istanbul while a crane was on the circuit during this weekend’s briefing with race director Michael Masi.
The second stage of qualifying began on a wet and very slippery track at Istanbul. The signal to start the session was given while marshals and a crane were still on the track at turn eight recovering the car of Nicholas Latifi, which had come to a stop at the end of the previous session.
Masi explained the decision to RaceFans and pointed out the yellow flag zone approaching the crash scene was extended before the session began. However Kimi Raikkonen remains dissatisfied with how the situation was handled. He said it was obvious drivers would reach the crash scene before the crane had moved “because they were still recovering the car when they started the session.”
Raikkonen said it wasn’t sufficient to cover the scene under yellow flags because of the speeds F1 cars travel at.
“Obviously when we went through turn eight there was yellow flags or something, whatever it was that they kind of expect us to go slow. But in those conditions, especially how slippery it was, it doesn’t matter even if you go slow, you can lose the car. It’s far from ideal. I think it would have been better to wait until they pulled the car out and cleared the run-off areas because like I said we can go slow for us but it still might be a 120kph or something like that and when you lose it on those conditions you have zero control where you’re going to end up.”
Kimi said race control should have waited for the crane to be in a safe position before beginning the session.
“It was only the out-lap, but then we could as well wait three minutes longer and take zero risk. I know it’s obviously not our decision,” he added, “we go when the track opens and try to do the best out of it.”
GPDA director Romain Grosjean said the drivers want to ensure the incident is not repeated in the future.
“There’s been some follow-up and yes, I believe it will be discussed at the drivers’ briefing,” said Grosjean. “I think all the drivers are aligned on this. We just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”