Lando Norris has fumed at F1 bosses after Pierre Gasly almost crashed into the back of a recovery vehicle at the Japanese Grand Prix in a repeat of the incident that killed Jules Bianchi eight years ago.
Bianchi passed away after driving into the back of a tractor at the same circuit in 2014. Gasly narrowly avoided a similar fate under the yellow flag with visibility incredibly poor.
The race was red-flagged three laps in and drivers returned to the pits, with Gasly clearly livid. And Norris took to social media to share his outrage during the break.
He tweeted: “Wtf. How’s this happened!? We lost a life in this situation years ago. We risk our lives, especially in conditions like this. We wanna race. But this… Unacceptable.”
A number of drivers crashed out of the Japanese Grand Prix on the opening lap, which brought out the yellow flags. After Gasly flew past one of the stationary recovery vehicles that was on the track, the Frenchman was livid over the team radio.
He said: “God! What the?! What is this tractor?! What is this tractor on track? I passed next to it, This is unacceptable! What has happened? Can’t believe this.”
However, the AlphaTauri driver was summoned to the stewards for apparently speeding under the safety car, allegedly reaching speeds of 150mph.
An FIA statement read: “The Safety Car had been deployed and the race neutralised. Car 10, which had collected damage and pitted behind the Safety Car, was driving at high speed to catch up to the field. As conditions were deteriorating, the Red Flag was shown before Car 10 passed the location of the incident where it had been damaged the previous lap.”
Norris’ McLaren boss Andreas Seidl backed his driver, adding: “It’s clear that what happened there absolutely must not happen, no doubt.
“But at the same time, that’s for me a discussion that we have behind closed doors with the FIA and the race directors, because that’s the right way to work together in a constructive way, that’s why I want to keep it like that.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has blasted the authorities and called for a full investigation. He said: “Totally unacceptable.