Mark Webber says it was “nice to see” Formula 1 utilise standings starts at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, despite the “frustrating” end to the race.
Three red flags were deployed throughout the grand prix, the first of which came following a crash for Williams’ Alexander Albon.
A second came late in the race when Kevin Magnussen hit the wall on the exit of Turn 2, a Race Control decision that was questioned by several drivers.
At the following restart, four drivers retired from the grand prix while others were involved in non-terminal incidents, which caused another red flag.
The driving standards were criticised by many, including Esteban Ocon, who labelled the actions of some drivers as “suicidal”.
Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast, Webber said: “It was a frustrating finish, even though we cashed in well on it.
“But I think that just from a sporting perspective, it’s nice to see a standing start.
“It’s exciting, but ultimately with the track temp where it was, Safety Car trundling around for the first part of the sector, then the drivers are trying to manipulate energy back into the tyre.
“They’re not driving that slow then going quick because they want to cause any issues at the rear of the field, which we saw on one of the restarts.”
Webber questioned the need for a red flag following Magnussen’s crash, and believes that the drivers were placed at unnecessary risk at the end.
“So I think that Magnussen’s crash was unfortunate timing. You’re right on that bubble of having a [question of] ‘do we need a restart? Can we finish the race at that point?’
“So yeah, I don’t know. I don’t like rolling the jeopardy card too much because these are the best guys in the world, and I think for them to go down there, we saw the result on cold tyres.
“One lap, bang. They go down there and that’s on Soft tyres, you know, so it wasn’t a good result, and I think the drivers were probably a bit frustrated with how that was handled.”