FIA rejects claims that it should have punished Raikkonen for crash
The FIA has rejected claims that Kimi Raikkonen should have been punished for his crash in the British Grand Prix, and that the red flag delay was too long.
The Ferrari Formula 1 driver crashed heavily on the opening lap after he lost control of his car as he rejoined the track on the Wellington Straight.
Article 20.2 of F1’s Sporting Regulations states that: "Should a car leave the track the driver may rejoin, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage."
There have been suggestions that the fact Raikkonen crashed after rejoining the circuit means he should have been punished for what happened.
AUTOSPORT understands that while the FIA did look in to the incident, it decided that Raikkonen had not rejoined in an unsafe manner.
Telemetry data shows that, after leaving the track at 230 km/h, Raikkonen did scrub off some speed as he returned to the circuit, before his car was unsettled by a bump as it ran through a patch of grass.
Although the FIA accepted that Raikkonen would not have crashed if he had slowed down dramatically, it is understood the governing body believed that any other driver would have rejoined the track in the same manner.
Raikkonen’s impact with the crash barriers was registered at 160km/h, with a peak of 47G.
Three-time world champion Niki Lauda hit out at the decision to delay the restart of the race while the crash barriers were replaced on the Wellington Straight.
Lauda said that with little chance of anyone else hitting the guardrail in the same place, a quicker solution, such as a temporary tyre barrier, should have been used instead.
But motor racing’s governing body believes Lauda’s comments are incorrect, and that safety should never be compromised.
When asked about his views on Lauda’s view of adopting a quick fix, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: "Absolutely not. Niki has clearly demonstrated that he knows nothing about circuit safety, and his comments were not very helpful.
"It is ridiculous to say that the chances of another car hitting the barriers in the same location are unlikely.
"If one car can do it, then another car certainly can.
"If you cast your mind back to the Felipe Massa crash at Hungary in 2009, you could say that it would be unlikely another driver would be hit in the head by a spring, and we would not have had the improved visor protection that we have now."