Lewis Hamilton has called for the FIA to think about a rule change regarding safety automobile restarts towards the top of races after the Italian Grand Prix. The seven-time champion claimed race directors should add more laps to races after Max Verstappen cruised to victory, denying Charles Leclerc a likelihood at fighting for the win.
Speaking on his team radio after the chequered flag, Hamilton said: “In situations like this they need to just extend the race.” He backed up his comments after the race when he was pushed on his suggestion by RaceFans.
Hamilton explained: “I mean, what’s the harm in extending it? Naturally, as a racer, you would like more time. I desired to find a way to challenge the Ferrari ahead of me and see if I could get one other position.
“But I believe in hindsight it was probably ending. I’m really grateful to have come back from the last row.” The Grand Prix was neutralised after Daniel Ricciardo stopped between the 2 Lesmo corners with five laps remaining.
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Nonetheless, marshals struggled to maneuver the McLaren with cars unable to un-lap themselves before the top of the race, meaning they reached the chequered flag behind the protection automobile. It comes just months after Hamiton lost the title in Abu Dhabi on the ultimate lap after the same incident.
Nonetheless, on that occasion, officials restarted the race before all lapped cars could re-pass the leaders. Hamilton’s suggestion has already been adopted by some racing series including the British Touring Automotive Championship where his brother, Nicholas Hamilton, currently competes.
The foundations of the series state races may be prolonged by three laps if three or more are run behind the protection automobile. Fans and pundits also suggested the FIA could have red-flagged the race to permit for a two or three-lap showdown.
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Nonetheless, the FIA defended their actions, claiming the incident was “not significant enough” for a red flag to be thrown. Despite winning the race, Red Bull boss Christian Horner also claimed the race must have been restarted.
Horner explained: “They’d good enough time to get that going. They picked up the improper automobile, they’d to let all those cars catch up again. We want to undergo the main points.
“For me, there was good enough time to get that race going again with a automobile that wasn’t even in a barrier. It was parked together with the track.”