Formula 1 drivers will be “up in arms” at the US Grand Prix following the recovery vehicle near miss incident that occurred in Suzuka, according to Formula E racer Sam Bird.
Drivers expressed their anger after the race when a tractor ventured onto the circuit to recover Carlos Sainz’s stricken Ferrari on the opening lap.
With visibility extremely low for much of the field, the drivers didn’t see the recovery vehicle until they were almost side-by-side with it.
Pierre Gasly in particular was outraged over the incident, claiming that he would’ve been killed had he made contact with the tractor.
The scenario re-energised discussions regarding driver safety, as Jules Bianchi succumbed to injuries sustained at Suzuka eight years ago after making contact with a recovery vehicle.
Every Friday evening at a grand prix event, drivers hold a meeting with the Race Director to discuss ongoing issues, providing them a chance to speak their minds.
Bird, who was once a test and reserve driver for Mercedes, believes that the F1 drivers will be disgruntled at the next meeting in Austin, Texas.
“I wouldn’t want to be one of the officials or one of the stewards in Austin,” Bird told the Chequered Flag podcast.
“Because all of the drivers unanimously will be up in arms about what has happened and why this has happened and calling for change and addressing this as an issue.
“I hope that the FIA come out and release a statement addressing the issue, and communicate, because if they think that issuing a penalty to Pierre Gasly is the end of the matter, then they’ve got another thing coming.
“Because I think that us racing drivers, all of the drivers out there today and the racing community, deserve an answer to why this has happened today.
“For what reason that happened today and what they will do in order to make changes for the safety of racing drivers going forwards.”
The FIA has confirmed that it has launched an investigation into why the tractor was on an active circuit.