Toto Wolff demands FIA clarification

Sunday's Australian Grand Prix featured three red flags, all as a result of crashes.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has called upon the FIA to explain in more detail when each flag will be used, after teams “didn’t see” the three red flags at the Australian Grand Prix coming.

Sunday’s race at the Albert Park Circuit was certainly a crazy one, with three red flags and three standing starts having taken place.

George Russell led the opening laps before deciding to pit early, after Alex Albon crashed heavily at Turn Seven on Lap Seven.

Albon’s car bounced back onto the circuit, flicking gravel and dust into the air and onto the surface.

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As a result, a Safety Car was initially deployed, before the race was suddenly red-flagged moments later.

A similar incident happened with just five laps remaining, as Kevin Magnussen crashed on the exit of Turn Two, resulting in another sudden and unexpected red flag.

A third red flag was then flown seconds after the race restarted, with several incidents having taken place at the opening two corners.

The first two red flags in particular were a shock to Wolff who admitted after the race that he has no issue with a red flag being flown, but that the FIA need to “define” when each condition will be used.

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“Both red flags we didn’t see coming,” Wolff said, as reported by “I think [standing] restarts are a great entertainment factor.

“We just need to understand going forward when are red flags being put out, and what is a safety car or VSC? I think in those incidents you could have applied either.

“I’m fine whether you call a VSC or safety car, or you red flag it, as long as we understand in terms of us being able to plan a little bit.

“Let’s define all together what is a VSC, what is a safety car and what is a red flag.”

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The first red flag came as a massive disappointment to Russell given that he effectively pitted for no reason; however, it ended up not mattering as he retired mid-race with a power unit failure.

Wolff remains adamant that the decision to put Russell was “the right one”, and that he would’ve been in with a shout of victory had it not been for the first red flag, or his engine failure.

“The strategy call with George was absolutely the right one, splitting the cars,” he said. “I think he would have had a real go at being very much at the front, so that’s a shame.”