Power outage led to Monaco start delay

Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Power outage led to Monaco start delay

The FIA has explained a power outage affected the starting systems at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading to the delayed start on Sunday.

Rain started falling in the 15 minutes before the race and was getting heavier when the FIA opted to suspend the start procedure. Initially, this was set to be a nine-minute delay before the formation lap would begin.

“Race control was monitoring a severe downpour that was rapidly approaching the circuit, and as it arrived during the start procedure, the safety car start and its associated procedures were implemented,” an FIA spokesperson said. “This was done for safety reasons in consideration that there has been no wet running this weekend.”

However, that delay was eventually lengthened and then the race red-flagged after two formation laps behind the safety car, with it taking 45 minutes to resume despite rain easing.

The FIA explained that the delay to the resumption of the race following the heavy downpour of rain was due to a power issue with the start systems, including the starting gantry and light panels.

Once that was rectified, the race got underway more than an hour after it was originally intended but with a rolling start, as there were still concerns the start systems would not be functioning properly.

There was confusion around the handling of Mick Schumacher’s accident as well, with a big crash at the Swimming Pool section seeing his Haas split in two. Despite the obvious need to halt the race, the FIA first implemented a Virtual Safety Car and then full Safety Car before the red flag was shown, but it says the intention “was firstly to neutralize the race so it was safe, and then to allow the Safety Car to be deployed in the correct location to avoid needing to allow cars to pass, which would have slowed the recovery procedure”.

Once the barrier repairs became clear then the race was red-flagged, and a rolling start again used due to the start systems concerns and inconsistent grip across the grid on a drying track. The delays all added up to the race running to time rather than laps, with a three-hour window expiring after lap 64 of 78.

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