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Motor racing-F1 drivers wrote to race director after Mugello chaos

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Formula One drivers have written to race director Michael Masi seeking to discuss possible improvements to safety car re-starts after chaos at this month’s Tuscan Grand Prix.

That race at Italy’s Mugello circuit was twice halted, once because of a four-car crash at a re-start following a safety car period.

Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) director Romain Grosjean told reporters at the Russian Grand Prix he had discussed the matter with fellow director Sebastian Vettel and chairman Alexander Wurz.

“We wrote a letter to Michael Masi and tried to find out what we can do better,” said the Haas driver.

“It was a lot of small things that led to a big crash at the end, but maybe a few tweaks in some of the rules could possibly help. And that’s what we want to discuss, to avoid such a scary moment.

“I guess we were kind of lucky with everything, that we didn’t end up with someone being hurt, because it was quite a high-speed crash.”

The matter is set to be discussed also at Friday’s drivers’ briefing.

Grosjean’s team mate Kevin Magnussen said it would be good to look at the re-starts from a safety perspective and McLaren’s Spaniard Carlos Sainz, another involved, agreed.

“I definitely think we need to have a proper look all together, have all our thoughts, brainstorm a bit of how can we try and avoid it next time,” said Sainz.

“I personally want to wait for the drivers briefing to hear everyone’s opinion and to analyse what some drivers have to say...”

Mercedes’ six times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton said at the time that he felt the safety car lights were being turned off later and later.

In Mugello, race leader Valtteri Bottas backed the pack up, delaying his getaway for maximum effect but with backmarkers accelerating too soon in the mistaken belief the race had re-started. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

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