FIA evaluating procedures to protect marshals

Date published: November 4 2020 - Michelle Foster


The FIA has announced it will evaluate whether any changes need to be made as marshals were still on the track while drivers unlapped themselves at Imola.

The Safety Car came out late in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when Max Verstappen went off in the gravel, retiring after a tyre blow-out.

Warming up his tyres behind the Safety Car, George Russell added to the drama as he went flying off the track and into the barrier.

While the marshals were busy clearing the debris from Russell’s crash, Race Control gave drivers permission to unlap themselves behind the Safety Car.

Marshals, though, were still on the track.

“Tell them to watch out, that marshals are on the track,” Sebastian Vettel told Ferrari on the radio. “It’s very, very dangerous. Tell the marshals to get out of the track.”

But, wanting their driver to catch the back of the train before the restart, Racing Point told Lance Stroll to “push to catch”.

The FIA sporting regulations state that drivers who un-lap themselves during a Safety Car period should “proceed around the track at an appropriate speed” to re-join the back of the queue.

Stroll was clocked at seven seconds faster than Kimi Raikkonen in sector 2, 3.5s quicker than Vettel.

Romain Grosjean also reported to his team, Haas, that it was a “dangerous” situation.

The FIA has said it will examine the procedures to see if changes need to be made.

“The safety of the marshals and trackside officials is of the highest priority for the FIA,” the FIA said in a statement to

“Race Control was made aware of the issue and is evaluating whether any changes can be made to the procedures currently in place to further protect the marshals and officials and minimise the likelihood of a reoccurrence in the future.”

Last year there was a similar situation at the Monaco Grand Prix where Sergio Perez got too close to a marshal who was on the track to pick up debris.

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