The race at Monza finished behind the safety car due to the FIA strictly following the procedures laid down ,
in the rule book – something that did not happen at last year’s F1 season finale.
The governing body will inevitably review what happened to see if there were things it could have ,
done better to allow at least a one-lap shootout restart on Sunday, but it can be in no doubt that the regulations were followed to the letter.
F1’s safety car rules form a whole segment – Article 55 – of F1’s sporting regulations.
Here it is laid out how and when the safety car will be brought out, and the procedures that competitors and the safety car driver must follow.
A lot has been made in the wake of the race about how the safety car picked up the wrong car –
with it running ahead of third-placed George Russell rather than race leader Max Verstappen. Interestingly,
however, the rules do not dictate that the safety car only exits the pits to pick up the leader.
Instead, Article 55.6 says: “The safety car will join the track with its orange lights illuminated and will do so regardless of where the leader is”.
Therefore, there was nothing wrong with it initially getting ahead of Russell, who had used the calling of the safety car on lap 48 to dive in to the pits.
The McLaren was stuck in gear and there was no way for marshals to be able to push it clear to the nearest gap.
That meant the use of a crane, which was located on the opposite side of the circuit and needed to cross the track.
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