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Lewis Hamilton slams FIA for delaying Monaco Grand Prix start | formula One

Lewis Hamilton has cited criticism of the FIA’s reluctance to delay the start of the Monaco Grand Prix due to rain. The race was eventually postponed by 70 minutes after a heavy downpour, but the seven-time champion believed it could have started as planned, believing the sport’s drivers are more than capable of handling difficult conditions.

The Grand Prix was won by Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez, but only after race director Eduardo Freitas felt conditions were too poor to start the race. Freitas is one of the two substitutes for Michael Masi, who was removed following the controversy at last year’s Abu Dhabi GP.

As one of the reasons for the delay and the subsequent start behind the safety car, the FIA ​​​​cited the drivers’ lack of time at the weekend in the wet. Hamilton, who finished eighth, was convinced they could have taken to the track.

“I don’t know why they didn’t send us out from the start, but we’re Formula 1 drivers [the weather] is not a sufficient reason,” he said.

“I was like ‘Let’s go’ when it was just a bit of a drizzle at the beginning. We will talk about it in the drivers briefing but we should have started the race.”

The FIA ​​has since blamed a power outage caused by the rain, which affected the race’s starting system, as responsible for the long delay. Originally the race was held for 16 minutes, during which time drivers believed they could have raced.

But then the rain intensified considerably. Two formation laps were completed behind the safety car before another 45-minute break ensued.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Pérez won the Monaco Grand Prix Photo: Daniel Cole/AP

The sudden rain shower had caused the power problem. “The delay in restarting racing after the heavy downpour was due to a power supply issue with the launch systems, launch portal and light panels,” the FIA ​​said in a statement.

However, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also cited a failure of the TV broadcast as the reason for the delay, possibly also caused by the power failure. “The rain at the beginning was torrential,” he said. “Then there was a connectivity issue for the TV broadcast, so we couldn’t get started.”

The circuit and its facilities at Monte Carlo are temporarily rebuilt each year and organizers are in the process of negotiating a new deal with F1, which will not condone infrastructure failures such as a power outage preventing the race from starting.

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