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
Listen to this article

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
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022