The Italian Grand Prix was a somewhat boring race, which ended in the poorest of circumstances.
As Max Verstappen crossed the line to claim his fifth consecutive victory, he was met with a wave of boos from the Tifosi, due to the race finishing behind the Safety Car.
A Safety Car was deployed on Lap 47/53 following Daniel Ricciardo stopping his MCL36 between the two Lesmos.
The marshals attempted to push the McLaren to safety; however, due to it being stuck in gear this wasn’t possible.
The car required a tractor to lift it into a safe spot, which, of course, extended the duration of the Safety Car considerably.
By the time the Honey Badger’s car was in a safe spot, Verstappen had started the penultimate lap of the race, meaning there was insufficient time for the race to be restarted correctly.
Whilst fans and some team members were left extremely disappointed with race director Niels Wittich, Toto Wolff and Sir Lewis Hamilton both praised him for following the rulebook to a tee, something which didn’t happen at the 2021 season finale.
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl also praised Wittich for doing the “right” thing.
“In the end, race control simply applied the rules that exist, and that’s right,” he told RTL.
Seidl went on to say that it was the teams’ fault that the race ended behind a Safety Car, after explaining that the team principals couldn’t come to a decision on how to end races following a meeting after the controversial 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.
“I think we should remember that after the events in Abu Dhabi there was a lot of discussion between the FIA, Formula 1 and all the teams involved to see how the rules can be changed to ensure races never end under a safety car, for example,” Seidl said.
“But although the FIA and Formula 1 really pushed us all to find solutions, it was up to us as teams. And pretty much all the teams didn’t agree to any change because we couldn’t agree on a better solution that is also sportingly fair.
“That’s why I think we just have to accept that unfortunately situations like this can happen,” the McLaren team principal added.
“In the end we voted for the rules to stay as they are – and as far as I can remember every single team voted that way. That’s why I think we should close the issue.”
Wolff is eager for the teams to put their “heads together” and find a better solution on how to end races where an incident has neutralised proceedings, something he would “vote for”.
“We have to put our heads together at the end of the season and discuss such scenarios,” said the Austrian.
“If we change this rule, I will immediately raise my hand and vote for it.”