Max Verstappen claimed his fifth consecutive victory last weekend at the ‘Temple of Speed’, which was staggeringly his first victory ever at the Italian Grand Prix.
However, it ended under controversial circumstances, as the race ended behind a Safety Car following a late retirement for Daniel Ricciardo.
On Lap 47/53 Ricciardo came to a halt on the side of the circuit between the two Lesmos; however, his car was difficult to recover due to his MCL36 having been stuck in gear.
A Safety Car was deployed so that marshals could recover the Australian’s car, which needed to be attached to a tractor so that it could be removed.
The car was finally off the circuit and into a safe place on Lap 52, meaning that there wasn’t enough time for the race to be restarted.
The conclusion of the race was met by a wave of boos from the Tifosi, as well as a spread of disappointment amongst some of the teams.
A number of teams, including Red Bull and Ferrari, wanted the race to be red-flagged so that Ricciardo’s car could be recovered safely and so that the racing could resume in spectacular fashion.
Whilst this would’ve been a great spectacle, race director Niels Wittich followed the rulebook to a tee, something which failed to happen at the 2021 season finale.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff doesn’t understand why people were asking for a red flag, when the circumstances didn’t require one to be flown by the letter of the law.
“Why [do you want this]?” asked Wolff.
“You red flag the race if someone is in the wall, if the track is blocked.
“You red flag a race because you can’t pass anymore, something has happened.
“Why would you red flag a race just because you want to have a show for one lap or two?”
Wolff praised Wittich for following the rules; however, he explained that he would be all for the race being restarted if the regulations were changed to allow it to happen legally.
“Change the regs,” declared Wolff.
“Discuss with the FIA that we want to change the regulations, let’s have some really top last laps of racing.
“I’m lifting my hand for that but it’s not what’s in the regulations today.”
A meeting with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1’s sporting directors took place on Monday with all the team principals, where Wolff again told the media that he is happy for the rules to be changed; however, he again supported the fact that the rules were followed by the book during the Italian GP.
“I don’t want to create a headline here that Toto wants to change the regulations because the racing is s**t,” he insisted.
“I think we should all sit down and say is there something we could do better?
“But what happened here is in the regulations book and that is why it was applied.
“Would I have wanted to have a last lap with a pile of cars on top of each other in the chicane? Hell yeah. It’s good TV.”