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FIA confirms hardware system issue during VSC period that cost Perez P3

FIA confirms hardware system issue during VSC period that cost Perez P3

24 July - 17:59

In a statement, the FIA have confirmed that their system had an issue during the virtual safety car period towards the end of the French Grand Prix. Guanyu Zhou stopped out on the circuit causing the VSC with four laps remaining. 

In the build-up to this period, Sergio Perez and George Russell were engaged in a brilliant battle for third place. It looked like Perez had the advantage but the VSC gave Russell another chance. When the VSC is ready to end, an 'ending' message appears and the track returns to green at a random moment within a small timeframe. The ending period went on slightly longer and Red Bull questioned this post-race. The FIA confirmed that something went wrong. 

FIA statement

"A second VSC ending message was sent due to a hardware issue, which led to an automated switch to backup systems that worked exactly as they should in that scenario," the statement said. 

Perez didn't react well, and as described by Helmut Marko, he was caught sleeping because Russell pulled the overtake almost straight away with a much better reaction. The FIA comeback and suggest nothing was unfair. "The same information is supplied to all teams concurrently. The VSC ending countdown time to the green light being displayed on the trackside panels is always random," the statement concluded. 

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