Azerbaijan Grand Prix offered a spectacular race with unexpected results and twists that led to a new podium and some worries. One of the most important turns over was indeed the puncture of Max Verstappen’s tyre.
The Dutchman was leading the race when his tyre exploded unexpectedly. His Red Bull crashed into the wall of the fastest sector of Baku’s track. At this point, the marshals had to clean the asphalt from all the debris spread all around. The Racing Commission sent a red flag with four laps to go and sent the safety car to let the race continue and complete the four laps that were yet to do.
The safety car arrived but very late and such a delay in arriving put in danger the drivers, who were obliged to pass on a tricky circuit filled with debris. Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz Jr expressed their concern over their safety.
“That's a joke, that's a joke, - Leclerc said to the team radio when the yellow flags were displayed but there was no safety car to be seen- Safety car straight away, what are they waiting for?"
From to 🤩 to 😱 in seconds. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster this weekend, Team. pic.twitter.com/NQAAb8rkjJ— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 6, 2021
"I was just surprised there was not a safety car earlier, that's why I raised my concerns on the radio,- the Monegasque explained later. -Because for me, it was clear I would stop pushing with a crash like this. It's in the middle of a straight, so it's quite dangerous. It just took longer than what I expected, that's it. But I think all the drivers have been surprised the same way."
“Normally when there is such a big accident, first there is a double yellow, and then straightaway seconds after there is a safety car,- his teammate Carlos Sainz echoed him. - Today, it took, I think it was 30 seconds, one minute, for the safety car to be deployed, and we had to go through a very heavy accident in only yellow flag conditions."
The two Ferrari drivers opinions are shared by Sebastian Vettel as well, and he talked with a clearer and stronger cognition considering his role as GPDA director.
"I was wondering a little bit why it took so long when Max had the shunt, for the safety car to come out,- the German from Aston Martin stated -It was quite clear that he was standing in the middle of the track and it took a little bit long but we will see. We will find out why."
Following their concerns, the drivers are up to meet FIA’s Michael Masi in a couple of days to discuss this delay and learn why it happen and hopefully to not repeat it ever again.