Ross Brawn believes a mis-application of the safety car rules cost Michael Schumacher a better finish in the European Grand Prix.
Schumacher had to wait at the pit lane exit after taking his pit stop during the safety car period. Brawn said:
As the leaders had not been picked up, Michael was waved through and that gave us a golden opportunity to make his pit stop as our predictions were that the option tyre would hold up for the remainder of the race.
However, when Michael came to exit the pits, the red light was showing which cost him a significant amount of time. In our view, the regulations are clear that the exit light should not go red until the line of cars has formed behind the safety car, and we would like the FIA to look into this. There was no line formed and over 18 seconds between Hamilton and Kobayashi when Michael came in.
It was a good effort from Michael to try and recover from there but ultimately a very frustrating afternoon.
When Schumacher pitted he was 10.5s behind Hamilton and 5.7s ahead of Kobayashi. But behind Kobayashi were 11 more cars covered by 19s.
Article 40.10 of the Sporting Regulations says:
Whilst the safety car is in operation, competing cars may enter the pit lane, but may only rejoin the track when the green light at the end of the pit lane is on. It will be on at all times except when the safety car and the line of cars following it are about to pass or are passing the pit exit .
Schumacher ended the race 15th, the worst classified finish of his F1 career.
2010 European Grand Prix
- The physics of Webber’s Valencia crash
- Technical review: European Grand Prix
- Sauber “thrilled” by Kobayashi’s passes
- 2010 European Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Alonso retracts Valencia criticism
- FIA must learn from Valencia shambles
- Best finish of 2010 (Williams race review)
- Di Grassi shines (Virgin race review)
- Double finish at home (HRT race review)
- Buemi slips to ninth (STR race review)