Jun.8 - F1 race director Michael Masi has denied that Sunday's race at Azerbaijan was only restarted for 'the show'.

"The Americans took over so I wasn't really surprised that the first thing is the entertainment," said AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly, referring to Formula 1's owners since 2017, Liberty Media.

At Baku, the race was red-flagged to clear the debris and check the condition of the tyres after Max Verstappen's sudden tyre blowout.

After a long delay, the race was re-started from a standing start - with just two laps to go.

Gasly, though, said he supports the decision.

"I must admit it was very intense but I really enjoyed it. If anything, hopefully in the future they will do the same," said the Frenchman.

Sergio Perez agrees, but only if the decision to re-start red-flagged races is "consistent".

"It certainly helps the fans to be sticking to the TV," said the Baku winner.

But Sebastian Vettel thinks "more and more" decisions are being made in F1 for the 'show' factor alone.

"I just think we need to watch out that it doesn't become too artificial and we don't lose the roots of the sport," said the quadruple world champion.

But even from the purist's perspective, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says the decision to re-start was correct.

"It doesn't matter if there are 2, 10 or 20 laps to go, restarting is normally quite safe and we certainly saw two interesting laps," he said.

"Even the standing re-start was the right decision, also in terms of entertainment. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone changed tyres so I don't see that there was any safety risk," said Seidl.

Finally, when asked if Formula 1 was trading safety for entertainment with 2-lap restarted races, F1 race director Michael Masi rejected the charge.

"There is nothing in the regulations stipulating that a race cannot be restarted if circumstances permit," he said. "And I saw no reason to end it with the red flag."


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31 F1 Fan comments on “F1 denies last GP's two laps standing restart only for show

  1. f1award

    It's the American way, normally you'd follow the safety car for the remaining 2 laps. Imagine if it was deciding race of the WDC and a team helped called a halt to the race, in the way RB did, which then influenced the result. F1 would never be the same again.

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  2. ReallyOldRacer

    How is running the last two laps of a race simply for 'show'? Parading around behind the safety car is frustrating for all but one of the divers, and for ALL of the fans. Good decision, quit whining HAMfans.

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  3. shroppyfly

    agreed safety car for a few laps to end the race is boring but , look at tour de france , on last stage, everyone just follows the leader not being allowed to overtake and he wins it just cruising to the line, ive never understood that

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  4. JJ75

    Jesus, are you mad?? After the epic disappointment of Maxs' epic tyre blowout..the last 2 laps were amazing!! To see Hamilton cruise off in a straight line and give Perrez his first win of the season was worth the wait..we still have a fighting chance going into the next race. What would you rather? Completing a race behind a safety car? Formula 1 is gone boring enough with Mercedes and rules rules rules..2 laps of chaos was a joy for me anyway!!

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    • shroppyfly

      agreed, fi history williams then mclaren domination followed by ferrari yrs, then redbulls years and now MB, f1 always had these phases, but Rules way to many rules and rubbish penalties, it has to be said though to that some rules helped end domination ala williams and ferrari yrs, yes the last 2 laps were just what the race needed, brilliant end

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      • ReallyOldRacer

        Absolutely, unless you are a HAM apologist. Checo did a great job, but to be fair, if Sir Lewis had gone on to win the race it still would have been a brilliant race finale. We all have favorites, but the restart was the right call.

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          • JJ75

            I was as devastated as Max after the tyre blow out..but that magic button comment from Lewis actually made my day..there was literally tears rolling out my eyes..oh to have been in the same room as Toto,Hamilton and Bottas after that race..I'm surprised they haven't blamed Bottas!!!

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  5. shroppyfly

    Toto , Na Ja well actually the button was in the wrong place, its zee buttons fault not Lewis, nein , nein Lewis wasnt to blame, we will check with the button but its definately the buttons fault, with Bottas head getting redder all through the debrief ah pure Magic oops

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    • JJ75

      Toto: ya actually valteri moved an inch forward and that threw Lewis off his normal trajectory and his super human fingers hit off the magic button..so yes to summarise we concur it is indeed valterise fault...- (to be said in monotonal Toto dialect)

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  6. Jax

    OH the glee of the haters when Hammer makes a mistake. I get it. Y'all don't get the opportunity to rejoice too often Lol. By all means bask while it lasts. The misery will return soon enough.

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      You've been kinda' quiet, Jaxman, and justifiably so. Your guy really screwed the pooch at Baku. You're taking it quite well. Ya' know, except for your relentless BOTbashing, I agreed with you after the Monaco fiasco. Still not ready to back away from my HAM by +30 at summer break forecast, but your taxi fleet should probably be checking their headlight condition for a potential funeral procession. Shrop' and I are practicing a dirge duet for the occasion. You bring the whiskey.

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    • shroppyfly

      Jax, this is Toto , Lewis didnt make a mistake, while your here can I book a Taxi for
      Mr Russel to
      Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team
      Operations Centre
      Brackley
      Northants NN13 7BD

      Pick him up from
      WILLIAMS F1 LIMITED,
      GROVE, WANTAGE, OX12 0DQ

      No rush, don't want to put the brakes on anything your currently doing, sorry didn't mean to say brakes, I know its a sensitive subject at the moment.

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  7. Jax

    How about I swap the taxi for a limo just in case you two take your puppy love to the next level Old fella? Shall I contact my Jeweler friend and bring a selection of rings? Engagement party after the ride perhaps? 😄
    Your lame taxi jokes aren't cutting it fellas.

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  8. shroppyfly

    The only puppy love around F1 is Lulus big old mutt, who took a dump on Totos office carpet and bottas commented that's how my car drives at the moment, don't you fret Jax this season has plenty more fun to give us yet

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  9. Rick

    Of course, M M would say that he has to stay on the right side of Liberty Media Its all about the show as far as they are concerned & to hell with proper racing

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    • shroppyfly

      Oh i see , you make the rules now for the Fia do you,as much as im not a MM fan , i think he should be the authority on this, And in this situation he IMO made the right call, red flag lol lol

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    • JJ75

      Didn't realise the F.I.A members made comments on threads here..
      But sure, if the narrative supports your desired outcome sure why not..
      On the other hand I believe there's a set amount of laps to complete, these men are getting well compensated financially to complete the remaining 2 laps under pressure..sob..forgive me if I don't feel sorry for the pressure and relish as a fan a bit of drama that is well deserved in what has become a very underwhelming sport in the last few years..

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      • ReallyOldRacer

        Spot on, JJ75, but one little niggle. Anyone who has a racing license, or otherwise subscribes is a member of the FIA. It's not just a group of dotards with pit passes.

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        • Jj75

          Thanks for the heads up really oldracer..might subscribe myself and make completely biased claims in threads, when my favourite driver presses the wrong button in future! What I will say, the restart has certainly ruffled a few feathers and sure isn't that worth it just for the upset!!

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      What seems clear, Rick, is that you are a HAMfan. In this instance, the reg's are very clear and were properly administered. Facts, my friend, facts.

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  10. shroppyfly

    And finally RB called for the redflag because of the 2nd massive tyre blow out, to enable not just the remaining RB car to have new tyres out of safety reasons, BUT Hamsters car aswell" and naturelly the rest of the field , and indirectly giving him a BETTER chance to win the race , the fact he messed up is nowt to do with the red flag,

    Hammy fans are up Toto creek without a paddle on this one

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  11. Rick

    A hamster fan I am not! just think the race with 2 laps to go red flagged should have been the end of it the rest was just drama being created out of nothing but hey that's just f1 now a days trying to make a spectacle! only my opinion for what it's worth😂

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    • JJ75

      To be fair the only drama created by the final 2 laps was Hamilton cruising off in a straight line? So I can't understand your relenting defence of the restart..point is it was..and no amount of complaining is going to reverse the decision now..again I'm going to give my opinion which is it was exciting to watch and as a fan of f1 for years I am sick to the stomach of Mercedes domination, yes they deserve it but its boring to watch..forgive the rest of us for wanting a bit of excitement, even if sometimes it only lasts 2 laps!! I'm sure even some of the drivers enjoyed it..especially the ones who got on the podium for a change. Have a little rest there now for urself from the shoulda would couldas, and let's get ready for the next race!! Excited!!

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