Former F1 team boss Alan Permane has suggested the FIA needs to look at changing safety car rules after the Italian Grand Prix. However, his views also come months after Lewis Hamilton was caught out in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton lost the title after Verstappen was allowed to change tyres under the safety car and pass the Briton on the final lap. Fans were outraged at the ending after it emerged race director Michael Masi had not allowed all lapped cars to overtake.
However, supporters were equally aggrieved after Verstappen was allowed to cruise to victory behind the safety car at Monza. It has led to calls for races to be stopped and restarted with a certain number of laps remaining to allow for a grandstand finish.
Permane has warned there could be “unintended consequences” to a mandatory restart but stressed it “doesn’t sound crazy” if it was written into the regulations.
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has also called for the FIA to change the rules to allow some “really top last laps of racing”. However, he was not keen on red flagging the race just to “have a show for one lap”.
Permane added that rules changes should not be “knee-jerk” but stressed fans did not want to see races end under yellow. He commented: “It’s not an ideal finish at all. No one wants to finish under the safety car. It’s miserable. It’s really miserable for the fans. We didn’t do our best, that’s for sure.
“Maybe we don’t need to knee-jerk, to say every time it’s red-flagged within 50 kilometres of the end or something, you throw a red flag. Maybe we need to just make sure we get those safety car procedures right.”