The FIA is investigating the circumstances that led to marshals still being on track when a number of cars unlapped themselves at racing speed during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver unlapping himself after a Safety Car period and he slowed in response to double waved yellow flags at Turn 9, finding marshals on the track still clearing debris following George Russell’s crash. The drivers had been told they were allowed to pass the Safety Car and then rejoin the back of the pack at racing speed, and the double waved yellows were accompanied by displays of Safety Car boards and yellow flags around the track.
Romain Grosjean was warned of the yellows in that sector by his engineer and slowed, saying it was “a bit dangerous”, followed by Sebastian Vettel, who expressed his surprise at finding marshals still working, radioing to his team: “Tell them to watch out, the marshals are on the track. It is very, very dangerous. Tell the marshals to get out of the track.”
Lance Stroll was not warned of the situation and approached at full speed after being told to catch the pack by his race engineer, passing the marshals quicker than any of the cars ahead. The FIA now says it is looking into the situation and how it occurred to try and prevent a repeat.
“The safety of the marshals and trackside officials is of the highest priority for the FIA,” an FIA statement read. “Race control was made aware of the issue and is evaluating whether any changes can be made to the procedures currently in place to further protect the marshals and officials and minimize the likelihood of a recurrence in the future.”
It is not uncommon for marshals to be on track during Safety Car periods, but the track is usually clear before lapped cars are allowed to overtake.