Jenson Button calls out FIA for ‘strange’ decision which hurt several drivers

Alex Albon crashed out of the race whilst running in sixth.

2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button was left surprised after the first of three red flags at what was an action-packed Australian Grand Prix, with reigning World Champion Max Verstappen having claimed victory.

It was certainly one of the best races at the Albert Park Circuit in recent years, with the Australian GP typically being one that sees little on-track action.

The drivers seemingly didn’t get that memo ahead of Sunday’s race, with it having been full of drama and incidents from the very first lap.

It was on Lap Seven, though, when the first red flag of the race was flown, after Williams’ Alex Albon crashed heavily at Turn Seven whilst running in a brilliant sixth.

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The Williams driver seemingly just lost the rear through what is now a fast corner, since the middle sector was redesigned.

Albon hit the barrier resulting in a hefty impact, with his car having bounced back onto the circuit.

A Safety Car was initially deployed following Albon’s crash; however, a red flag was then flown with the FIA having stated that there was simply too much gravel and debris on the track.

This red flag ruined George Russell’s race and Carlos Sainz’s, after both drivers opted to pit under the Safety Car, whilst everyone else changed their tyres when the race was stopped.

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Button was left perplexed by the “just strange” decision to red flag the race simply to clear gravel and some debris, with the Briton having added that it “damaged” several drivers race.

“I don’t understand why it’s a red flag, under Safety Car the drivers can just slow down when going through gravel,” said Button, whilst commentating for Sky Sports F1.

The cause of the crash itself is set to be investigated by Williams before this month’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Albon having admitted that “nothing unusual” happened prior to hitting the barrier.

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“We’re still looking at the data but there was nothing unusual in the corner itself,” Albon said, as per Williams’ post-race press release.

“When I lost the car, I was going through slower than the previous lap; I went wide on the corner before and spiked the tyre temperatures, losing grip and going into the next corner a bit hot, so I think that’s what happened but we need to look at it.

“With all the accidents, it was a good chance to score points this weekend, so I’m very sorry to the team. I’m disappointed, as we had a great car today and were really strong.”