Masi explains safety car call after Norris stoppage

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has explained the decision to deploy the safety car following Lando Norris's stoppage in Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix.

Masi explains safety car call after Norris stoppage

Norris retired due to an engine issue in the final third of the race at the Nurburgring, parking his car up at the side of the track at Turn 6.

Although Norris's car was next to a marshal post and a gate, race control opted to deploy the safety car on lap 45, wiping away Lewis Hamilton's 10-second lead at the front of the pack.

An early stoppage for Williams driver George Russell had been covered by a Virtual Safety Car, but Masi explained that uncertainty about how long it would take to clear Norris's McLaren reasoned a full safety car period.

"Lando's car had some smoke and fire, so that was one point," Masi said. "The other was, at first glance, we weren't confident that the car could actually be recovered into the opening that was there, due to the tightness of it.

"So rather than having to react along the way, it was determined to go for a safety car, that way it could be dealt with all at once immediately.

"It was the safest action in that circumstance."

A long safety car period followed, lasting five laps and sparking complaints from race leader Hamilton and second-placed Max Verstappen, who were concerned about their tyre temperature in the cold conditions.

"I just didn't understand why the safety car was out for so long," Verstappen said after the race.

"The car was cleared. I understand they want to bunch up the field, but it's pretty dangerous with these cars when the tyres are so cold."

All drivers up to Carlos Sainz in fifth place had been lapped, resulting in a long train of cars being waved past and then having to unlap themselves.

Masi said that was the only reason for the length of the safety car.

"That one was the fact that we had to, there's a requirement in the sporting regulations, to wave all lapped cars past," Masi said.

"So I think from that point, it was position 6 onwards that was still running. So 10, 11 cars, that had to unlap themselves, and therefore the safety car period was a bit longer than what we would have normally expected."

shares
comments

Related video

Eifel Grand Prix driver ratings

Previous article

Eifel Grand Prix driver ratings

Next article

Hulkenberg was in wrong engine mode at start of Eifel GP

Hulkenberg was in wrong engine mode at start of Eifel GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Eifel GP
Author Luke Smith
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021