The F1 drivers and team bosses were mixed about the Australian GP having so many red flags which was termed ‘for the show’ by many.

Ever since the success of Netflix Drive to Survive, there’s increasing notion that anything that F1 and or FIA does during a grand prix weekend, it is more for the ‘show’ and not for the sport itself which is ruining the DNA of motorsport in general.

After F1 grand prix and or championship deciding topics, the Australian GP had another added to the list due to the amount of red flags used during the race. The first one was for Williams’ Alexander Albon as he threw too much gravel on the circuit.

The second one was for Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who clipped the wall at Turn 2 and threw too much debris even though he parked the car at a safe place in Turn 4. The final one was for the collision between Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon during re-start.

Eventually the race ended with cars going through the chequered flag after safety car led them on the final lap. There were arguments on side of the topic, with safety being the prime aspect for the red flags especially on a tight F1 circuit like Albert Park.

Here’s what was said by F1 drivers and team bosses:

Verstappen: “I think it’s quite clear, I just didn’t understand why we needed a red flag. I think if you would have had a Safety Car and then just had a normal rolling start we wouldn’t have had all these shunts and then you have a normal finish. So they created the problems themselves at the end of the day.”

Alonso: “I was surprised with all the red flags, to be honest, because the first one, I think, was [because of] a Williams in Turn 6, but we went through there one lap, I think, behind the Safety Car and there was a little bit of gravel, but nothing really too bad on track. But we never know in the car what’s going on on the track itself. So apparently, maybe one barrier was not properly fit there, so I think the FIA has more information than us. So if there is a red flag, it has to be for a reason.

“We will ask probably in Baku what was the reason for the second? I know there was a piece of tyre debris in the first straight but the car itself was on the inside of Turn 4 so it felt quite safe there. And the safety car is for those kind of reasons so yeah, for us, maybe it was a different opinion. But as I said the FIA are the only ones that have all the cards on the table so in those kinds of situations, we trust them, and we try to keep them going.”

Stroll: “It didn’t feel like it. I don’t know. I think they maybe just could have called it before we did that last lap. But I think it would have been cool. We didn’t have fuel, I don’t think anyone could have done another lap, but it would have been maybe good just for the fans to do one more lap of proper racing. That’s how it goes. They probably should have just called it maybe instead of finishing under the flag.

“There’s other things we’ve got to think of. It’s fun for everyone watching at home, it’s cool to have that kind of restart. So yeah, maybe that’s something to think about. But also it is nice in a way to do a lap behind the safety car, just to wave to the fans and stuff at the end of the race, it’s nice for everyone that comes out to watch.”

Tsunoda: “A bit frustrated because, you know, potentially I ended up P5. The incidents happened behind me because I had pretty much a mega start, and, until turn one, I overtook six cars or something like that. So a bit frustrated, but it is what it is. After the red flag, it was a bit frustrating. It was a waste of time. And what was the start that what we did right after the first red flag? It’s just completely useless, you know; there’s just no point. It just burned a few wheels, and, yeah, that’s it.”

Norris: “I kind of hate it. I don’t like the restarts. I guess, maybe in the first quarter of the race, I understand it. The second half, and especially with four laps to go, I feel like you ruin a lot of things. And I don’t feel like it’s fair for a lot of people who have done a good job and they get taken out, and their race is over. I don’t feel maybe like the second to last red flag was needed. I don’t know. I didn’t see everything, but from what I could see in the car, I didn’t feel like it was needed. It just caused a bad end to the race. I think if we just finished behind the safety car, it would have been a bit more straightforward. So, yeah, a bit annoying from my side.

“Nothing against FIA, but the people who make decisions don’t know what’s going on inside the car … the whole point of red flagging it feels like it was just to put on a show. I’m the one driving the car, so I just feel like I could have been so unlucky for no reason. I feel like I easily could have crashed with Hulkenberg at the end because the restart’s got people going off (track), and you’re suddenly swerving and things like that. So we come all the way to Australia, but it’s so much hard work drive 56, five, 55 laps perfectly. And, because they try and put on a show, you just get unlucky, and everything can get taken away from you all of a sudden. So I just think that side of it, I just think it needs a small rethink.”

Ocon: “Obviously, very chaotic restart. Honestly, you know, it could have been any cars I collided with, there were cars coming back on the track. Pierre was one of them, but yeah, no hard feelings. He came and apologized, and as I said, it could have been anyone. My tyres were hot, and I didn’t feel like it was very slippery. But yeah, what was tricky was a little bit the (sunlight) being low. We couldn’t really see so well. But, but yeah, I mean, some drivers just suicide a little bit in turn one, one like Nyck on the side, and yeah, it was, it was very close and obviously, you know, there’s a lot to gain at the time. But yeah, a little bit too much for some drivers.”

Horner: “You can understand the rationale between wanting to finish under racing conditions rather than cruising behind the safety car for three laps. They might have been able to clear the circuit and get it going, I don’t know. Like all these things, there’s always something to learn. As it unfolded, it was a case of did they cross safety car line one, was it another Silverstone, basically. We had tremendous support from the operations room as well, they have all the data in a calm environment, so basically they crunch the numbers and obviously Jonathan working with his team as well. It was clear the race wasn’t going to restart.

“It’s something that has been discussed. I think there’s always been a preference to finish under racing conditions, so if by stopping the race enabled them to tidy up the circuit, so rather than cruise out the remaining laps under a safety car, it’s the right thing to do. The problem is, when you’re the lead car and you’ve been controlling a 10s lead all afternoon suddenly it’s a massive variable that becomes a bit of a lottery. For safety reasons the red flag should always be shown and there was a lot of debris on the track. I think when you look at it, it was the right thing to red flag it, the problem was it was only two laps to the end of the race and so you’re always going to get winners and losers out of that.”

Stella: “We understood enough to do the right things operationally and stay in the race and stay out of trouble. It was complex. The rules, everything made sense to us, yes. We are comfortable that the red flag should come as soon as possible and then we’ll deal with the classification as a lower priority because the first priority is always safety. I think the red flag in this kind of situation, red flags come out because you need to re-establish the barriers, that’s normally the reason why you have red flags. It was the same in Saudi in the past and the same in other places. So it was not a surprise that this situation is red-flagged.”

Wolff: “Both red flags we didn’t see coming. Restarts are a great entertainment factor, but we need to understand going forward when a red flag is being put out and when it is a safety car or a VSC. For those incidents you could have applied either. I think restarts are mega. When they come as a surprise and you can’t really understand, then the maybe not so much. But I’m generally in favor of making great entertainment, but the rulebook of the sport is the key DNA and then let’s define altogether; what is a VSC, what is a safety car and what is the red flag?”

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