'Unacceptable': FIA Launch Investigation Into Crane On Track During Japanese GP

'Unacceptable': FIA Launch Investigation Into Crane On Track During Japanese GP
Monza - Italy. 8-11 September 2022. Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy, — Photo by canno73

The FIA has announced a formal investigation after Pierre Gasly fumed when a crane was deployed on the track while he was still driving at speed at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Amid a downpour of rain, the GP would be halted after Carlos Sainz’s first lap crash at Suzuka, with a safety car initially deployed following the accident.

However, Gasly had started from the pit lane and was well behind the pack trying to catch up to the field which had built up behind the safety car.

Thus Gasly went past the crane and a safety worker at speed in poor visibility, leaving him to scream over the team radio: “What is this tractor on track?

“I passed next to it. This is unacceptable. Remember what happened. Can’t believe this. We don’t want to see ever, a crane on the track.”

Gasly was referring to the 2014 incident at the same track which led to Jules Bianchi’s death.

Several drivers and team officials, including Lando Norris, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Christian Horner, came out condemning the presence of the recovery vehicle while drivers were still on course at speed.

The FIA had penalised Gasly for not slowing down under red flag conditions, but have also announced an investigation into the incident.

“While it is normal practice to recover cars under Safety Car and Red Flag conditions, due to the particular circumstances and also taking into account feedback from of a number of drivers, the FIA has launched a thorough review of the events involving the deployment of recovery vehicles during the Japanese Grand Prix,” the organisation said in a statement.

“This is part of the common practice of analysis of all race incidents to ensure continual improvements of processes and procedures.”

After the race, Gasly added: “We lost Jules already. We all lost an amazing guy, an amazing driver, for the reasons that we know. Eight years ago, on the same track, in the same conditions, with a crane.

“How? How today can we see a crane, not only in the gravel, on a race track, while we are still on the track? I don’t understand that.

“Obviously I got scared. Obviously if I would have lost the car in a similar way Carlos lost it the lap before… I would have died, as simple as that.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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