Brundle: "All teams realised that the pit lane was closed, except..."

08-09-2020 14:00
F1 News
Brundle: All teams realised that the pit lane was closed, except...

Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi drove into the pit lane during the Grand Prix at Monza last Sunday while it was closed. This because of the halt of the Haas of Magnussen, who was pushed into the pit lane. This resulted in a penalty of ten seconds for both drivers. Giovinazzi then had no chance and Hamilton came a long way in his Mercedes to collect some points.

According to the rules

After handing out the penalties, the discussion arose whether it was visible enough that the pit lane was closed. Hamilton immediately wondered when entering, also because there was no clear light indication. However, Martin Brundle states in his column at Sky Sports F1 that all teams got it through, except for the two that went wrong.

"Except that 12 seconds before he entered the pit lane it was 'closed' by race control. Two boards on the outside of Parabolica, the final corner, were flashing with crosses, exactly as the Race Director's event notes had explained", in other words, it was clearly visible.

"It's very unusual for the lane to be closed in F1, but this was in preparation for the inelegant pushing of the stricken Haas", Brundle continued. "Alfa Romeo made the same mistake with Antonio Giovinazzi but all the other cars, including Bottas's side of the Mercedes pit wall, noticed this closure because they had more time."

The latter places some nuance on the situation, because in the case of Hamilton and Giovinazzi decisions were made quicker and split-second decisions can make mistakes. Nevertheless, the penalty is entirely justified. "It's a mandatory 10-second stop-and-go penalty in your own pit box for such an offence, meaning about a half a minute total loss, including navigating the pit lane at 50mph."

"The FIA played this by the book," concludes Martin Brundle, who has no comment or comment on the race direction. These errors were entirely attributable to Mercedes and Alfa Romeo, resulting in a spectacular second half of the Italian Grand Prix.

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