Sebastian Vettel slams ‘avoidable’ FIA controversy

Sebastian Vettel has urged drivers to look for a safer future following a crane being deployed on track in Suzuka.

Pierre Gasly was left livid at the Japanese Grand Prix after a recovery crane was deployed on track in extreme wet conditions while all 20 cars were still on track, with Gasly in particular still catching up to the safety car.

The safety car was caused by Carlos Sainz being caught up in the wet weather and losing control of his Ferrari, however the recovery crane being put on track before the cars were all under the control of the safety car has been the topic of heated discussion from drivers and pundits alike.

Fernando Alonso claimed that he never actually knew the crane was there until looking at the footage, despite it being right in front of him, putting more emphasis on how ridiculous the decision was to deploy it with the conditions being as extreme as they were.

Gasly called it disrespectful to Jules Bianchi, who tragically lost his life at the same track after colliding with a recovery crane on track, lambasting the decision to almost cause an identical incident.

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The drivers were set to discuss the incident at the driver’s briefing prior to last weekend’s race in Austin, but with the FIA’s internal investigation only recently being concluded the drivers have had to wait until this weekend, with Sebastian Vettel keen to have the discussion.

“I am looking forward to the briefing but I think the key is that we remind ourselves it is about looking forward,” he said.

“Racing is dangerous but in these situations, the question is ‘Is it avoidable and therefore unnecessarily dangerous?’

“We need to come out and all agree on the fact that going forward we have learned something because clearly, not everything was correct.”

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The drivers have expressed their concern that if the sport did not learn from the Bianchi incident, how can it be guaranteed that it will learn from this one, however the publicity gained from this incident has forced the FIA to investigate.

The FIA initially pointed part of the blame at Gasly which infuriated the Frenchman, claiming he was going too fast for the conditions however Gasly explained that he was respecting the delta on his steering wheel in relevance to the safety car conditions, but needed to catch up to the pack after making a pit stop to repair some damage.

The FIA have been urged to look to the future when discussing the incident, while you cannot change the past you can prevent a similar incident from happening again.