Green flag to Q3 in Belgium a mistake – Masi

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2021 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images). Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Formula One race director Michael Masi now says it was a wrong decision to bring out the green flag in Q3 after it had rained heavily.

Masi now regretted his decision to bring out the green flag in Q3, as there was a serious accident both on Friday in the W-Series and on Saturday in the aforementioned third qualifying session when Lando Norris crashed heavily in Eau Rouge.

Sebastian Vettel and some other drivers wondered why qualifying was held, as it rained heavily and the track became undrivable. They called for an immediate stop and the German Aston Martin driver immediately said over the radio what he thought.

Masi and the stewards, unfortunately, did not listen to the demands of the drivers, probably leading to Norris’ accident in the Raidillon. On Sunday evening, race director Masi admitted that in retrospect he “probably wouldn’t have started” the session.

“I spoke to a number of drivers [on Saturday] night to get their feedback and they gave me some very constructive feedback.

“So yes, hindsight’s an amazing thing. And based on what they told me, having experienced the conditions at this circuit and all of the rest of it, we probably wouldn’t have started.

“But that’s also a benefit of hindsight with them having driven on this circuit in those conditions, because each circuit is a bit different to the way the water comes off, with the way the tyres react, etc. You have to treat everything on its merits.”

The live feedback from the drivers on Sunday was very important for Masi as it is something he expects to see more, especially in races under wet conditions to ensure more safety on the track.

“What we’ve always done, and we encouraged during the formation laps the first time, is for the drivers to give us feedback over the radio, and we did that in Hockenheim in 2019, we did that in Turkey [in 2020], wherever.

“Because obviously it’s live feedback from them at that point in time of what they can and can’t cope with based on that particular circuit.”

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