The situation in Italian Grand Prix, when the race ended behind a safety car, inevitably brought back memories of the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi. According to Lewis Hamilton in such conditions, races should be extended by several rounds to avoid similar finishes.
“What is the problem? Every driver wants to drive more time. I wanted to try to take another position from the Ferrari in front of me. In retrospect, maybe it’s a good thing the race ended this way. I’m grateful to have made it there, starting from the back row,” commented Hamilton
The seven-time world champion admitted the situation brought back memories of Abu Dhabi.
“That’s the rules, that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Only once in history did they not apply the regulation as they did in Italy and that one time the result of the championship was changed. But the situation is what it is,” he said.
“My tires didn’t handle too bad. I felt I could keep them warm. There were two other people in my “window” and if I had stopped in the pit, I would have gone out behind them. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I stayed the course. The soft had started to wear out and the others stopped for new tires. So I probably wouldn’t have progressed,” added Hamilton.
In Abu Dhabi, the then race director Michael Massi allowed only the cars between Hamilton and Max Verstappen to return to their positions in the column and removed the safety car. It was then explained that the teams did not want a race to end behind a safety car, although there was no such express rule. The regulation states that the cars between the safety car and the race leader will be allowed to overtake the safety car, make a lap and take up their race positions.
Three laps passed at Monza yesterday before race director Eduardo Freitas gave the signal allowing the cars to do so. However, the regulation was observed, as Toto Wolff explicitly pointed out
“The rules were followed word for word whether I was traumatized by Abu Dhabi or not. If someone is unhappy with the regulation and wants to have an impressive show, two laps of racing and chaos, I totally agree, but then we need to change the rules. There is no reason to complain now,” said the Mercedes boss.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 11, 2022