It wasn’t the best weekend for Red Bull Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen, the reigning Supercars champion receiving a 33 second penalty for not obeying the correct re start rules after a safety car period in race one.
Following a controversial move that saw van Gisbergen overtake the race leader at the time, Scott McLaughlin, before the green flag was actually shown ( an overnight investigation determined that the Kiwi driver was in the wrong) Shane believes that the restart procedures should be examined more closely so that in future the safety car accelerates away from the pack earlier than it did in this case.
If the safety car had accelerated away in this case, van Gisbergen would not have overtaken McLaughlin, who his Red Bull Racing team believes was travelling slower than he should have been.
“I thought I’d seen the green flag down the bottom of the hill,” Shane explained to the team’s official website. “I thought I was all good, but in the end it was my fault and once all the images got shown I was wrong. Definitely the way that the Safety Car was let go, it’s a common issue at tracks with a long pit lane.”
Then the same issue happened the following day in race 18!
“The track was… we were told at turn 4 that we were going green this lap, so they know, but they still turn the lights off (and accelerate away from the field) with (only) two corners to go. It just creates a big log jam… it’s not very good for me. I think we can do a better job as a series for that.”
“That was unbelievable. We had all that drama yesterday and did exactly the same thing today. The leader couldn’t go at the last corner,” said teammate Jamie Whincup. “Unbelievable. I don’t know why they didn’t just let it go (earlier). We had this issue two or three years ago and learned from that and I feel we would have learned from yesterday but we’ve made the same mistake. We’ve got a 1,000 horsepower Porsche, a really good driver (Safety Car driver Jason Routley)… the issue is letting us go earlier.”
F1 fans would hear some very familiar words in this scenario as it is very reminiscent of the safety car restart issue in Baku earlier this season that saw Sebastian Vettel accuse Lewis Hamilton of brake testing him when in reality it was simply the Mercedes allowing the safety car to get completely out of the way so that he didn’t overtake it on the restart.