Senior drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were critical of F1’s management in Shanghai on Saturday.
First, 17-year veteran Button joined a chorus of those wondering why Pascal Wehrlein’s qualifying crash after losing control on a damp bump required a 20-minute red flag period.
“In the 20 minutes, nothing changed,” said the McLaren-Honda driver.
“Obviously water was running down from the roof. People running back and forth on the track didn’t alter that,” Button added.
After the session resumed, the Briton got on the radio in disbelief that Shanghai officials had parked a circuit car on the entry to the pitlane.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes that the car that had been taken out to the damp spot was parked right where we come flying into the pitlane,” said Button.
“If one of us had had a problem, we would have flown straight into it. Unbelievable!”
Meanwhile, according to Speed Week, Fernando Alonso pointed his ironic rebuke in the direction of Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management, who aired an embarrassing radio transmission from the Spaniard’s car on Saturday.
When told there was no time to make a bid for Q3, McLaren-Honda’s Alonso let out three bizarre groans of disappointment.
“In the last five years not much was heard from me on the radio,” Alonso said when told the moans had gone out to millions of television viewers.
“But more recently, I seem to have become very attractive,” he added, surely referring to his radio calls of last year, when he described the Honda as a “GP2 engine”.
“The respect from FOM is obviously still there,” Alonso said sarcastically.