British GP

Safety car start criticised after British GP

Safety car start criticised after British GP

Safety car start criticised after British GP

Drivers are split over whether Sunday’s British grand prix should have been started behind the safety car.

A growing trend in F1 is that significant pre-race rain means the race will not be started from the grid but instead only after several laps behind the safety car.

Nico Rosberg backed race director Charlie Whiting’s call at Silverstone.

“Yes, for sure,” he said. “There were some big, big rivers in places so it’s important to let us have a look at least where they are before getting going.”

But Max Verstappen said he thinks the length of Sunday’s pre-racing safety car period was too long.

“I was ready to race after maybe two laps,” said the Dutchman.

Lewis Hamilton agreed, going so far as to say a start behind the grid would also have been safe.

“For sure there were patches (of water) all over the place and it would have been tricky — but that’s what motor racing’s about,” said the world champion. “For sure we did stay out (behind the safety car) for far too long.

“There was more water on the track when we started in 2008 from the grid, that’s why I say that,” Hamilton added.

Sections of the media also criticised Whiting’s decision on Sunday, as The Sun newspaper called it the “dullest (race) launch in history”.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner said: “The decision to start behind the safety car was fully justified because of the standing water. But in my view, the safety car stayed on the track for too long.”

Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz agreed: “The safety car was necessary at the start because we could see nothing, but after the first two laps, once we saw the condition of the track, it was no longer necessary.”

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