The Brazilian Grand Prix was absolutely brilliant yet remarkably controversial for a number of reasons, with Yuki Tsunoda playing a defining role in one of the incidents that raised eyebrows.
The race at Interlagos was an uneventful one for the AlphaTauri driver, who finished last of the running drivers, despite having not actually been last.
Tsunoda had been running between the two Williams’ of Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi towards the end of the race, when a Safety Car was released to rescue Lando Norris’ stricken McLaren.
Confusion reigned supreme, though, under the Safety Car, as only Albon and Latifi had been given the instruction to overtake the field and the Safety Car to unlap themselves.
People quickly questioned why Tsunoda hadn’t been given the message, despite the fact he should’ve also been shown it due to being lapped.
As explained by the FIA after the race, Tsunoda pitting whilst behind the Safety Car seemingly confused the system, which resulted in him still being amongst the leading runners when the race restarted.
The “very unusual scenario” is set to be discussed at the next Sporting Advisory Committee meeting, with the situation having been truly baffling for both fans and pundits alike.
“Car 22 [Tsunoda] was the first to cross SC1 [the first safety car line] following the deployment of the safety car,” read a statement from the FIA.
“On the following lap he therefore became the first car to cross SC1 line for a second time, which would normally trigger the systems to indicate he is eligible to unlap.
“However, at this time he entered the pit lane and was able to go faster than the train of cars behind the safety car. In doing so, he unlapped himself when crossing the control line in the pit lane.
“When he re-joined the circuit, the systems correctly indicated that he was again a lap down, however as he had already unlapped himself once, he was not eligible to do so again when the safety car period was ending.
“Race control checked this was correct with F1 Timing and they confirmed that only Car 6 and Car 23 could unlap themselves.
“While this is a very unusual scenario, there were no systems or procedural errors – it is one of those unpredictable scenarios that can happen and there are no immediate changes that need to be implemented.”