FIA defends ‘quick’ start procedure

Michelle Foster

FIA defends 'quick' start procedure

FIA race director Michael Masi says Sunday’s quick start with the lights at the French Grand Prix was “certainly within the tolerances” of the regulations.

Some drivers were caught a little unaware at the start of Sunday’s French Grand Prix when the lights went out faster than usual.

According to, it took all of 0.8 seconds for the lights to go out and the race to begin.

Speaking after the grand prix, Sebastian Vettel said there was a “bit of confusion at the start, given that the timing of the lights going out caught us a bit by surprise.”

However, Masi says it was all within the rules.

“The sequence was fine,” he explained. “It was all within the boundaries.

“I think a couple of drivers said it was a bit quick, but it was certainly within the tolerances that we have.”

Put to him that some drivers were surprised, he added: “It may have been from their perspective but an actual time of within the regulations, they were well and truly within the boundaries.”

The F1 sporting regulation regarding the start procedure states: “Once all the cars have come to a halt, the five second-light will appear followed by the four, three, two and one second lights.

“At any time after the one‐second light appears, the race will be started by extinguishing all red lights.”

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