FIA race director Michael Masi says a last-minute delay in a recovery vehicle moving was the reason Q2 at the Turkish Grand Prix restarted with it still on track.
Nicholas Latifi spun into the gravel at Turn 8 at the end of the first part of qualifying, with the session ending under double waved yellow flags. A recovery crane then was removing the Williams in the gap between Q1 and Q2, but the second part of qualifying started with the vehicle still on the outside of the corner and the first cars out on track meeting double waved yellows again in wet and low grip conditions.
Masi (pictured above in discussion with McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz) says the incident came about because he had been informed the crane would have gone before Q2’s scheduled start time and a late delay meant it hadn’t reached a gap in the barrier by the time the first cars got to Turn 8.
“We released the cars from pit lane as the recovery vehicle was moving to the escape road, following information given to race control by the Clerk of the Course that the vehicle would be clear of the track before the cars on their out laps reached Turn 8 where the recovery was taking place,” Masi told RACER.
“As soon as it became apparent that the recovery vehicle had been delayed in moving completely into the barrier opening, we extended the area of double waved yellow flags from Turn 8 to the entry point of Turn 7 to further slowdown the cars on their out laps.
“Clearly this is not a scenario we want to see, and with the benefit of hindsight we would have done it differently and held the cars until the recovery was completed. We will review our procedures to minimize the likelihood of similar incidents in future.”