ISTANBUL, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Formula One’s governing body will investigate procedures after cars were allowed on track before a recovery crane had returned to safety during Turkish Grand Prix qualifying, race director Michael Masi said on Saturday.
The crane had been deployed at turn eight after Nicholas Latifi’s Williams was bogged down in the gravel trap at the end of a rain-hit and delayed opening phase with cars sliding on a slippery surface.
The second phase then started with the crane not yet behind the safety barriers, with double yellow flags waved to warn drivers of the danger.
“The crane was still out when we were driving around,” said Red Bull’s Alexander Albon.
“That wasn’t very good. I imagine that we were trying to make sunset (finish in daylight) and we rushed everything, but that was silly.”
Masi told reporters later that race control had been informed the crane would be out of the way before the cars reached where it was.
“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... 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,” he added.
“We will review our procedures to minimise the likelihood of similar incidents in future.” (Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu, editing by Ken Ferris)
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