Latest Safety Car row will be ‘top of the agenda’ at FIA summit today – Horner | 2022 Italian Grand Prix


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The contentious ending to yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix will be a priority subject for discussion at today’s FIA summit on sporting matters in Formula 1, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes.

The race ended under a Safety Car period which lasted for six laps as marshals recovered a single stopped car. The clearing of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren took longer than expected as neutral gear could not be engaged on the car, meaning a crane had to be used to recover it.

However, several team principals have pointed out the procedure took longer than necessary as the Safety Car initially appeared in front of George Russell instead of race leader Max Verstappen and remained there for two laps.

Verstappen won the race as the Safety Car continued on track until its conclusion. Despite his driver Max Verstappen taking the victory, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he would rather have seen racing resume.

“I was disappointed,” he said. “It felt like the Safety Car picked up the wrong car and that then delayed things further for what looked like a reasonably trivial incident. The car wasn’t in the barrier or anything like that.

“The principles of what we’ve always discussed is nobody wants to see a race finish under a Safety Car like that. And it felt that was enough time to get the race going again.

“Despite there being a risk, with it all being bunched back up, we would have preferred to win the race under racing conditions than obviously under a Safety Car. And you could hear the displeasure of the crowd at the end there, because it just felt everybody had been robbed of that finish.”

Race start, Monza, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Italian Grand Prix in pictures

The FIA made a series of changes to how races are run following the controversial end to last year’s championship in Abu Dhabi, when former race director Michael Masi failed to follow its rules when arranging a restart.

Prior to yesterday’s race FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced a summit will take place today to discuss how sporting matters in F1 are being handled and update teams on the performance of the new Remote Operations Centre it introduced in response to the Abu Dhabi debacle.

“There’s been a huge amount of change and there’s obviously lessons that are being learnt,” Horner acknowledged. “They’re sitting down tomorrow, all the team managers, the president is getting involved in that as well to talk about certain aspects and I’m sure this will be now near the top of the agenda.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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