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F1 | Italian GP | Seidl: Teams “have to accept” safety car finishes like Monza after failure to agree on better solution

McLaren’s F1 Team Principal, Andreas Seidl has shared his thoughts on the final few laps of the Italian GP, in which a Safety Car finish left many frustrated, and said that it’s a consequence of the teams failing to agree on a different solution. He also talked through the team’s race and some of its difficulties.

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F1 | Italian GP | Seidl: Teams “have to accept” safety car finishes like Monza after failure to agree on better solution
Fuente imagen: Formula1.com

The Italian GP ended under the Safety Car after Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren broke down between the two Lesmo corners on lap 47 out of 53, and with the car having a serious problem impeding the marshals from moving it away quickly,  the race had to finish behind the Safety Car. It left many on the F1 paddock and also fans at the circuit and at home frustrated at the anti-climatic end of the race, which denied a final-lap shootout between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen for the race win, as well as many midfield battles.

Speaking to selected media - including MotorLAT - after the race, McLaren’s Team Principal Andreas Seidl explained that the team had no indication that the problem would cause delays to the removal of the car, and is looking to investigate it further:

“We got in a situation in which we didn’t have any indication. That’s something we need to analyse together with the track marshals and the FIA, and why there was an issue with removing our car.

“It was obviously very unfortunate because in the end that led to an excessive Safety Car period, and didn’t allow restarting in time, which is obviously very unfortunate for all the fans. But at the same time, I’ll make it clear as well from my point of view – safety must always come first. The race director at the end just applied the rules that are in place, which is the right thing to do, which means you can’t restart the race.

But according to Seidl, at least the teams have to “accept” that this will happen sometimes, as they failed to agree on a rule to prevent races not finishing under green flag that was better than the current one and fair:

“I think we should also be clear that, obviously, after what happened last year in Abu Dhabi, there were a lot of discussions between the FIA and Formula One, with all the teams involved, in order to see how the rules could be modified in order to make sure that races, for example, never end under Safety Car.

“But despite the FIA and Formula One really pushing us all to find solutions, it was outclassed by the teams, pretty much all teams, not agreeing to any change, because we couldn’t agree a better solution which would also be a fair solution, in terms of the sporting outcome. And that’s why I guess we simply have to accept that unfortunate situations like [Monza] can happen.”

Regarding his team’s performance on Sunday at Monza, Seidl was satisfied with the pace the MCL36 was able to produce – enabling Norris to overtake Fernando Alonso on pure pace at one point – as he feared this would not be the case:

“It was a very strong race from both drivers. On Lando’s side, unfortunately he had too many issues which were in the way of scoring an even better result. I guess with a clean race, he might’ve been even possible to score a P5 today, with the [grid] penalties Lewis [Hamilton] and Checo [Perez] had.

“We had an issue with the settings at the start, which lost Lando a lot of positions, putting him back right at the beginning of the race. But he was coming back strong, and even after losing position to Fernando [Alonso] after the Virtual Safety Car restart, we were actually in a position to just overtake him back, on track, which was encouraging to see.

“We expected a lot more problems in terms of pace with our car this weekend, so that was very encouraging.”

Seidl also explained why the two cars diverted on strategy, and how Lando Norris’ start line problem ultimately meant he could extend his first stint on the medium compound and benefit later in the race:

“Daniel [Ricciardo] had a strong weekend on his side of the garage, unfortunately we couldn’t score the points that he deserved this weekend.

“With how the race unfolded, we ran two different strategies. On Daniel’s side it was important to protect track position. That’s why we boxed him early with the other cars around him, which worked out, but was obviously quite early on so we had to go to the hard tyre.

“Then, once Lando [Norris] was in free air after all these cars pitted, and after the bad start he had, being a bit further back than anticipated, he actually had good pace on the medium, as he could keep going, even driving away from Fernando [Alonso], which then put him in a position to actually use the soft tyres in the end.

“Then at the pit stop, unfortunately despite some really good pit stops this year, we had one of 5 seconds with Lando, which put hi  right into traffic, with [Pierre] Gasly and Lewis [Hamilton] and Daniel after the stop, so he had to make this time up again, and couldn’t benefit from the free air he was supposed to have after the pit stop, in order to try to stay ahead of Checo and Lewis,” he concluded.

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