FIA explain decision to end Italian Grand Prix behind Safety Car
The Monza tifosi were denied a chance to see their man Charles Leclerc attacking the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in the final laps of the Italian Grand Prix after the race finished behind the Safety Car – with the FIA explaining their decision-making process after the race.
Daniel Ricciardo pulled up at the exit of the second Lesmo on Lap 46 of 53 after his McLaren MCL36 appeared to suffer a failure, with Ricciardo’s stoppage triggering a Safety Car.
But although the McLaren was recovered before the chequered flag flew, the race remained neutralised, with Verstappen crossing the line for his fifth consecutive win – while a frustrated Leclerc vented into team radio that the track had been clear, as he finished second.
But in a statement issued after the race, an FIA spokesperson said: “While every effort was made to recover Car #3 [Ricciardo] 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 procedures agreed between the FIA and all competitors. The timing of the Safety Car period within a race has no bearing on this procedure.”
Verstappen’s win moved him 116 points clear in the standings ahead of Leclerc, with just six races now remaining for the Monegasque to attempt a fight back against the Red Bull driver.