FLOYD ON F1: Monza madness makes a mockery of the sport | The Citizen



A cluster stuff-up before the start and at the finish. That is how Sunday’s Italian F1 Grand Prix will be remembered.

I shall begin with the ludicrous starting grid. As part of the budget cap restrictions, a car has seven listed components – the internal combustion engine, turbo charger, motor generator unit heat, motor generator unit kinetic, energy store, control electronics and exhaust system. With a prescribed quantity of each for use in one season, usage must be monitored.

The engineers design components to endure, but F1 drivers demand more, so consequently something’s got to give, and usually it is one of the above. Exceed your annual allocation and you incur penalties in the form of starting grid position.

F1 grid penalties

In the Italian F1 Grand Prix, nine drivers chose to replace listed items and were subsequently penalised.
After qualifying, the grid shifts were to be applied and confusion reigned for teams, drivers, most of the spectators, fans and – unbelievably – officials of the governing body. Incredibly, the FIA took nearly four hours after qualifying ended to issue a provisional list of grid positions.

Making matters worse was the issue of a “corrected” version only 10 minutes later. Why did it take so long?

If the FIA struggled with the calculation, how do they expect the newly arrived F1 fan base to cope?

ALSO READ: Safety car finish goes in favour of Verstappen and Red Bull

Apart from the grid position debacle, the race was decided behind a safety car, certainly not appreciated by the fanatical tifosi (Italian motor racing fans), or teams.

On lap 46 of the 53 lap full-race distance, the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo pulled off track, having lost engine power, and after a short delay a virtual safety car situation was declared.

Marshals attempted to push the car to safety but it was stuck in gear, requiring a full safety car deployment to allow a recovery vehicle on track. Unfortunately, it was deployed in front of third-placed George Russell, instead of leader Max Verstappen which caused a further delay waiting for the field to take their correct position.

Anticlimax

When achieved there was no time to restart the F1 race. Teams and spectators questioned why the race was not red flagged and restarted when the track was cleared.

A spokesperson for the FIA explained: “While every effort was made to recover car No 3 quickly and resume racing, the situation developed and marshals were unable to put the car into neutral and push it into the escape road.

“As the safety of the recovery operation is our only priority, and the incident was not significant enough to require a red flag, the race ended under safety car, following the agreed procedures.

“The timing of the safety car period within a race has no bearing on this procedure.”

The booing during interviews and the podium ceremony indicated the tifosi’s sentiment.

To see the 2022 F1 drivers’ standings, click here.



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