Formula 1

FIA Investigating Why Giovinazzi’s Wheel Detached Itself During Spa Crash

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Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Michael Masi, the FIA’s Race Director, says questions are being asked to why a wheel detached itself from Antonio Giovinazzi’s car during his crash during the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday that ended up in the path of George Russell.

Giovinazzi crashed his Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN car heavily on the exit of the Fagnes chicane and then came back across the track before coming to rest on the grass.  However, his left-rear wheel detached itself from the C39-Ferrari and went across the track and into the path of Russell, who had no where to go but to the scene of his own accident.

Masi says everything in the incident is being investigated to understand just why the wheel tethers did not do their job.

“Yes, it is a concern,” Masi is quoted as saying by Racer.com. “Why it came detached I’m not 100% sure, but immediately once the car came back to the drop off area our technical team already started the investigation.

“(They were) taking photos, we’ve got the footage, the technical department in conjunction with the safety department will investigate why. We need to look at all the available data and process it, and let the appropriate people look into it – the incident itself and what happened.”

Masi also said it he never considered red flagging the event, instead deciding to clear up the crash behind the safety car, with the Race Director praising the quick work of the marshals to clear a route through the debris for the safety car and drivers to follow.

“It wasn’t necessary to have a red flag,” said Masi. “As we saw, a red flag is one of many tools available to the race director, as is the Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car.

“The marshals did a great job clearing a path through in the first instance, quite quickly, and there were a number of cars in front of the Safety Car.

“Once the Safety Car line went through there was a very clear path through there. In my view a red flag was not necessary.”

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