Formula 1 | Monaco GP: Brundle reveals internal disputes at the race management
According to former Formula 1 driver and full-time British television consultant Martin Brundle, who cites « reliable sources, » the postponements and lack of information that marked the start of the Monaco Grand Prix were due to disagreements within the FIA race management.
As the rain began to fall a few minutes from the start of the race, a first surprising postponement was decided when it was obviously possible to run with intermediate tyres, at worst the maxi rain.
The Grand Prix finally started under safety car after 15 minutes of delay but, after only two covered laps, a first red flag was raised and the race was postponed again for another 45 minutes.
If the FIA had initially explained that this postponement was due to safety reasons, judging that it was dangerous for the pilots to drive in the wet when it had not been the case during the rest of the weekend, we learned later that it had in fact been caused by a blackout itself caused by the rain.
Another surprising element: the safety car normally goes on track to judge whether or not it is feasible to restart the race, but this was not the case this time.
While several team bosses were surprised by the strange decisions, Martin Brundle explains what caused all this uncertainty in the race direction.
« There is no need to organize a race according to bad weather. We have the real and virtual safety car, red flags, mechanics who can change wheels in 2 seconds, and two types of tires to make facing this challenge. This is Formula 1. »
“I have been told by a few reliable sources that there have been heated arguments within the race direction while we all waited to find out what was going to happen. That probably explains the period of inaction and the lack of information, and why the safety car did not go and explore the circuit conditions as usual. »
The FIA restructured the race direction this year, and it is now Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas who operate as alternate race directors.
But this overhaul is not enough according to Brundle, who believes that other changes are necessary so that everyone knows exactly what their role is within the race direction.
“For the good of F1, the FIA must urgently make some changes and appoint: a fully dedicated and empowered race director who will be accompanied by a backup, a circuit inspector, as well as an effective communication department. I consider this to be a priority problem to be solved. »
« It wasn’t until 8:03 p.m., a few hours after the race, that the FIA informed us that there had been power problems due to heavy rain, and that’s why we had starts launched after the red flags. »
« If we had been told in our simple but effective WhatsApp group, we could have informed the tens of millions of viewers around the world and the tens of thousands of spectators in the stands, and all of this would have had a lot more meaning. »