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
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021