Race director controversies aren’t limited to Formula 1. In Saudi Arabia, the Formula 2 sprint race was turned on its head by confusion over whether the pit lane was open or closed following a two-car collision at the final corner.
Reigning Formula 3 champion Dennis Hauger had led from pole position and looked set to follow an instruction to lead the field through the pit lane during a safety car period, only for the decision to be reversed. As usual, the teams were notified via their timing screens, but Prema sought clarification with the director via radio and was told to send Hauger down the pit lane. Which it did, only for the rest of the field to stay out on the track, following the order on the screen.
Hauger dropped to 12th, then received a 10sec stop-and-go penalty for his trouble and finished last… Prema protested, but the FIA dismissed it. What a mess.
Carlin’s Liam Lawson won among the chaos, before MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich dominated the feature race to take the championship lead. Imola in Italy will host the next F2 races later this month.
Motorsport greats: Mike Thackwell