Race Control criticised as ‘worse than it was’ under Masi

Date published: June 3 2022 - Sam Cooper

The safety car leading the pack. Monaco, May 2022.

Race Control has been blasted for being “worse than it was before” following the delayed start to the Monaco Grand Prix.

The FIA referees made the call to first delay the Monaco race with a threat of rain looming. That threat became real and it was announced that the race would be further delayed, eventually starting an hour after the scheduled beginning.

The initial delay has been criticised by many and some say it robbed fans of the chance of an exciting race in Monaco, something that can be hard to achieve given the difficulty at overtaking.

Spanish journalist Antonio Lobato has criticised Race Control for this call and said that there was a breakdown in communication.

“There has been a mixture of stories because there is a part that we can’t judge, which is that they have said that they have had a power supply problem in the grid, that they couldn’t put the whole traffic light system,” Lobato said soymotor.com’s Twitch channel.

“We accept that because we can’t say otherwise either. But there were some very strange things, especially a lot of confusion when it came to sending messages.

“I base myself only on page 3 of what Formula 1 sends us, which is the page where we have all the messages from Race Direction, which I would like to think is the same that the teams receive, although the teams must have other types of information via radio.

“What appeared on that page was very little and very poorly explained and, in fact, the start of the race is a bit surreal. The message of ‘The formation lap is about to start behind the Safety Car’ and then they do two laps, it’s no longer a formation lap per se, and yet the race time doesn’t start.

“Then there came a moment when those of us who were broadcasting, Toni, Pedro and myself, had a doubt. We said, ‘Let’s see, has the race started or hasn’t it started? Because the stopwatch didn’t move, it didn’t move a second and they had done two laps and that’s when the red flag came out and they went inside.

The stewards changed following Michael Masi’s sacking and the new incumbents have proved much stricter but Lobato believes this has actually made the situation worse.

“Michael Masi was ‘brushed off.’ What he did was very big but I don’t want to see a situation like that, like Abu Dhabi, in a Grand Prix because this has been a bit chaotic and I think they’ve lost the plot a lot.

 

“I don’t want to think that there is an unprecedented tension like in Abu Dhabi because then I don’t know what these men are going to do, but I think we are worse off than before.”