F1 is a sport that sees cars going at surreal speeds. With the meter hitting 250 to 300 KMPH, it is dangerous for anyone and anything to be on the track. Kimi Raikkonen pointed this out to the FIA race control regarding the Latifi incident at Istanbul Park in Turkey.
The situation after Nicholas Latifi spun out in Q1 was grave indeed. The race control had waved off Q2 but on the track, at turn 8, Marshalls and a crane were still clearing debris from the track. With the wet track and high speeds of the hybrid engines, the Finn’s concern stands justified.
F1 has seen several deadly crashes. Most of them triggered by brain fade and carelessness. There is no desire for any other loss of life on track, be it racers or marshals. Thus, Kimi Raikkonen was obviously unsatisfied with Masi’s yellow flag explanation.
“Obviously when we went through turn eight there was yellow flags or something, whatever it was that they kind of expect us to go slow. But in those conditions, especially how slippery it was, it doesn’t matter even if you go slow, you can lose the car. It’s far from ideal,” admitted Raikkonen.
The callousness of Race Control bothered Raikkonen, the most senior racer on track. His expression of raising the issue with the GPDA explains the seriousness of the entire matter.
The Finn, now 40, is still one of the most formidable drivers on track. However, nothing surpasses him before safety. It is natural that if the threat of a deadly accident is looming on your head, it is difficult to deliver the best.
Kimi Raikkonen advised Race Control that they should have let the Marshalls and the crane move off the track and then start the Q2.
“I think it would have been better to wait until they pulled the car out and cleared the run-off areas because like I said we can go slow for us but it still might be a 120kph or something like that and when you lose it on those conditions, you have zero control where you’re going to end up,” pointed out the Finn.
The conditions in Turkey were a nightmare. With cars spinning off at every corner, risking such a stunt was foolish. Romain Grosjean, the director of the GPDA, promised to take this issue to the higher authorities to ensure it isn’t repeated.
“There’s been some follow-up and yes, I believe it will be discussed at the drivers’ briefing,” said Grosjean. “I think all the drivers are aligned on this. We just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” highlighted Grosjean.
All Kimi, or for that matter, any driver wants to ensure are zero exterior risks in their race. Honestly, at the speed of their cars, even a slight nudge is enough to topple them.