FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has explained why Antonio Giovinazzi’s massive Belgian Grand Prix crash didn’t warrant a red flag.
The Alfa Romeo driver lost the rear of his car at the Les Fagnes corner and ended up in the right-hand side tyre barrier before coming back across the circuit.
A loose wheel then crossed the path of Williams’ George Russell, forcing the Briton to take evasive action. It was however too late and his right-front made contact with the wheel, damaging his car and forcing him into the wall.
The incident left a massive field of debris across the track which all the cars were forced to drive through behind the Safety Car. The marshals did their best to quickly clear a path and for that reason, Masi says a red flag wasn’t necessary.
“A red flag is one of the many tools available to the race director, as is the Safety Car and the Virtual Safety Car,” he said. “The marshals did a great job clearing a path through in the first instance quite quickly.
“Once the Safety Car line went through, there was a very clear path there. So, in my view, a red flag was not necessary.”
Asked about Giovinazzi’s wheel becoming detached and the fact his car bounced back onto the circuit, Masi said both were concerning and an investigation would be carried out to determine why and how it can be avoided.
“It is a concern,” added Masi. “Why it came detached I’m not 100 per cent sure, but immediately once the car came back to the drop off area our technical team already started the investigation.
“We’ve got the footage, the technical department in conjunction with the safety department will investigate why. We need to look at all the available data and process it, and let the appropriate people look into it.
“I think from the FIA perspective whenever an incident occurs it’s always something we look at and ways we can improve any circuit. I don’t think it’s just a Spa matter, it’s after every single incident and see what improvements that can be made.
“Safety is something that’s alive, it’s not start and finish, it’s something that’s always improving, that we can always learn from, and make improvements. We’ll look at it from that perspective and go from there.”