The drivers were released to start the session while Nicholas Latifi’s car was still being recovered after the Canadian spun off towards the end of the first session.
After Q1 ended, a recovery vehicle was sent to crane the Williams out of the way.
The normal procedure is for officials on the spot to keep the Clerk of the Course in race control informed of progress and then he communicates with Masi.
The message came through that the job would be complete by the time the cars passed by on their out lap at the start of Q2, and thus they were duly released on schedule. However, moving the crane behind the barrier took longer than expected, and with it still in the run-off area, drivers were surprised to find yellow flags waving.
Although it was an out lap, they were trying to get up to speed in order to keep temperature in their wet tyres.
“We released the cars from pitlane as the recovery vehicle was moving to the escape road,” said Masi. “Following information given to Race Control by the Clerk of the Course that the vehicle would be clear of the track before the cars on their out laps reached Turn 8 where the recovery was taking place.
“As soon as it became apparent that the recovery vehicle had been delayed in moving completely into the barrier opening, we extended the area of double-waved yellow flags from Turn 8 to the entry point of Turn 7 to further slow down the cars on their out laps.
“Clearly this is not a scenario we want to see, and with the benefit of hindsight we would have done it differently and held the cars until the recovery was completed.
“We will review our procedures to minimise the likelihood of similar incidents in future.”
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