Martin Brundle has used his Sky Sports column after the Monaco Grand Prix to call for a ‘root and branch’ change in Race Control.
The start of the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday was pushed back in anticipation of heavy weather, though the real downpour didn’t arrive until after the race had been scheduled to start.
Indeed, some felt as though the race could have at least started on time before the teams and drivers would have needed to react, as that is all part of Formula 1.
However, the decision was made based on a lack of wet weather running over the weekend, before a power outage further pushed the start of the race back and also made for a rolling start as the systems required were not ready to implement a standing start when we did get going.
Speaking in his column this week, then, Brundle took the opportunity to suggest that some changes are still needed in terms of Race Control, and he called for it to be the highest priority, whilst also revealing heated discussions were had during the hold up of the start of the race:
“Holding up a race in anticipation of incoming weather is not necessary. We have virtual and real safety cars, red flags, pit stop crews who can change tyres in two seconds, and two types of wet weather tyres to cover those challenges. That’s what Formula One racing is all about.
“A couple of reliable sources tell me that there were heated arguments in Race Control during the impasse as we all looked on unsure of what was happening. This presumably explains the periods of inaction and lack of information, and the reason why the safety car was not out exploring track conditions as usual.
“The FIA, for the well-being of F1, urgently needs a root and branch change with a fully dedicated and empowered Race Director with at least one understudy, a dedicated circuit and systems inspector, plus an empowered and effective communications department. I consider this a highest priority issue.
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 29: Yuki Tsunoda of Scuderia AlphaTauri and Japan during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2022 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
“What happened in the championship defining circumstances in Abu Dhabi last year had been brewing up for months, perhaps even years, since the death of Charlie Whiting, and it was inevitable given that we had 39 races including many hurriedly assembled ‘pop-up’ events taking place during the pandemic without due resource and structure at the FIA.
“And what happened to Michael Masi in the aftermath has made the job a poisoned chalice and that’ll take some fixing, if indeed that’s possible. He was the right man for the job, Charlie’s understudy, but frankly F1 and the FIA were winging it at times and the whole thing skidded off track with regard to dominant race control and refereeing, which is essential.”
Of course, we only saw a Race Director change at the start of this season following the conclusion of the 2021 campaign, and so perhaps some teething problems were to be expected.
Ultimately, though, we’re talking about the pinnacle of motorsport, and that needs to be factored in accordingly whereby if further changes are needed, they must be introduced.
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