If the presence of a crane on the track was by far the most serious element of the weekend at Suzuka, Pierre Gasly was still penalized 20 seconds for having driven too fast under a red flag, especially when passing next to the intervention vehicle which had no business there.
But the French driver received the support of his peers after this speeding, which considered that on board an F1 and what is more on a wet track, driving slowly could prove to be very delicate.
Daniel Ricciardo, for example, believes that « These cars aren’t really safer if we drive slowly in these conditions, because we lose temperature in the tyres. »
Nicholas Latifi goes in the same direction as the Australian: “Even at safety car speed you are still on the limit in terms of grip because these tires are not good for the rain. These cars are not made to go slow.
For his part, Fernando Alonso supports « totally Pierre. We’re in the car, we know how fast we’re going, and we know if we’re in control or not. What we don’t expect is to see a tractor on the circuit, it so there is no reason to blame Peter. »
George Russell took the example of the virtual safety car to explain himself: « There is no rule saying how fast you have to go. You have to respect the delta of the VSC, but if you are 10 seconds too slow compared to this delta, you are allowed to accelerate to bring it back to zero. »
« And that’s what the riders do, because the only way to warm up the tires is to brake, let the delta increase, then go a bit faster to put energy back into the tyres. We’re talking about the fact that Pierre was going 250 km/h, but I think people forget that these F1 cars can go 330 km/h. In our world, 250 km/h is not that high. »