A new start with a wet track led to an accident for Carlos Sainz against the protections that caused a crane to come out at the first change, with a Safety Car and a red flag that did not intimidate a frightened Pierre Gasly.
8 years have passed since that October 5 in which the fateful accident of jules bianchiprecisely at the Suzuka circuit in Japan, which ended up costing the young French talent his life.
Safety in Formula 1 has always been one of the fundamental pillars of the premier category of motorsport, with the integrity of the pilots ahead, with severe accidents that have ended with the protagonists themselves getting out of the single-seaters on their own feet and slightly damaged, something unthinkable years ago.
“He could have killed me!”
However, in the return of the Japanese Grand Prix to the calendar after two years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dangerously similar scenario which cost Bianchi his life after a stationary start on soaked asphalt that raised the degree of difficulty even more on an already demanding track.
The protagonist of the action was going to be Pierre Gasly: after starting the race from the pit lane for making modifications to his car with less than an hour and a half to go before the start of the test, the future Alpine driver experienced a few meters that he will never forget.
“He could have killed me!” That phrase that #10 uttered as soon as he got off his AT03 in the box perfectly sums up the feeling of panic that has led him to be extremely upset by a chain of events that, fortunately, has ended in the best of ways: with all members of the grill safe and sound.
«There was a fucking truck on the track when I was going with my foot on the board!», Yuki Tsunoda’s partner in AlphaTauri vented with his team’s wall, visibly upset with the management of Carlos Sainz’s accident in the rain.
- AlphaTauri: «Red flag, red flag»
- gasly: “Oh my God what…?! What…?! What is that truck doing out there on the tarmac?! I have passed by, this is unacceptable, I can not believe it »
However, although the one from AlphaTauri had a unique experience to say the least, the repetitions show how, with a luminous panel on the left indicating a red flag, and especially with the Safety Car underway, his pace on the track was too optimistic.
That is why the governing body of Formula 1 has come to the fore to explain what happened. “Regarding the reactivation of the incident on lap 3, the Safety Car had been deployed and the race had been neutralized», ratifies the FIA statement.
Several curves before reaching the point of the incident, another light panel already indicated that the safety car period had been established, so Gasly’s speed in these conditions is, questionable at least.
“Car #10, which had sustained damage and stopped behind the pace car, then he was going at high speed to catch up with the peloton. As conditions were getting worse, a red flag was shown before car #10 passed the crash site where it had been damaged on the previous lap.”
At 200 km/h, the consequences of the slightest impact would have been dire, so Gasly will have to go to the stewards to give his version of what happened after a new episode of controversy.