Safety Car Brings Chaos to Result of Monza Feature Race
The first GP2 race of the weekend was turned on its head when the safety car emerged after a dramatic crash for Carlin’s Sergio Canamasas.
Rapax’s Arthur Pic, who started the race in third and was having a good first half of the 30-lap race, was behind Canamasas after making his pit stop from soft to medium Pirellis.
The Frenchman tried to get past him by going side-by-side at the second Lesmo corner. However, space wasn’t quite there for the two, and they touched, with Canamasas flipping in the air and thankfully landing the right way up.
Pic was on the inside of Canamasas going into the corner, but he lost control of the rear. Despite Pic defending his innocence over the team radio, it did look as if it was a hopeful lunge to fight his way back up to the front.
It was a bit of a lost opportunity for Pic as he has only had one podium so far in 2016, a third place in the German sprint race, with the driver needing to score 25 points in the final four rounds to avoid his worst finish in the series. He finished 11th with 60 points in 2015 and currently sits with 36 points in 14th so far this season.
Both drivers retired, and the safety car came out on lap 17. The contact destroyed the right rear corner of the Carlin car which took most of the brunt of the accident. The car landed on the right rear tire.
What would happen next revolving the safety car was just as dramatic.
When the safety car came out on that lap, three cars were yet to make their pit stop, with Russian Time’s Raffaele Marciello, Rapax’s Gustav Malja and Prema Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi yet to change tires. Each of these cars was outside the top ten on the grid and therefore started on the medium tire, with the top ten on soft Pirellis.
Prema Racing’s Pierre Gasly had been leading dominantly before the pit stop phase and was effectively the race leader. It would be assumed that once the other cars pitted, he would retake the lead from the position of fourth.
However, the Safety Car went on track and picked up Gasly as the leader, leaving a confused top three in the middle of the pack wondering where they were. It is unclear what could cause such a problem in that scenario, and the public is rarely told. There certainly seemed to be no problem with the timing screens.
In the end, they had to let cars past to establish the real order, but it was a rare scenario that doesn’t often happen in racing.
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