Mercedes gamble undone by another F1 snafu
Not for the first time this season, Michael Schumacher and his Merc GP bosses are calling for clarification of the Safety Cars rules after the German was undone in the European GP.
Pitting while the Safety Car was out on track, Schumacher got a set of fresh rubber only to find himself red-lighted when he went to leave the pit lane.
The red light was on due to the fact that the rest of the field was passing the exit of the pits.
As a result, the seven-time World Champ had to wait for the field to pass and dropped all the way down to the back of the pack.
"What a race," said Schumacher, who finished P16, well out of the points.
We would like to have clarification about the Safety Car situation as the red light on the exit from my first pit stop destroyed a race which otherwise would have offered us very good possibilities.
Our point of view is that as the safety car had passed the pits without having the cars lined up behind it, there should not have been a red light.
"There was a green light for a moment and then suddenly it went red again. We believe that this was not correct.
"Our strategy was right in that context as we took the opportunity which could have given us a finish even close to the podium."
The German, though, wasn't the only Mercedes GP team member who feels the grey regulations for the Safety Car once again cost Schumacher points, just as they did in Monaco earlier this season.
"With Michael, we were looking to benefit strongly from the Safety Car," said team boss Ross Brawn.
"As the leaders had not been picked up, Michael was waved through and that gave us a golden opportunity to make his pit stop as our predictions were that the option tire would hold up for the remainder of the race.
"However, when Michael came to exit the pits, the red light was showing which cost him a significant amount of time. In our view, the regulations are clear that the exit light should not go red until the line of cars has formed behind the safety car, and we would like the FIA to look into this
"There was no line formed and over 18 seconds between Hamilton and Kobayashi when Michael came in. It was a good effort from Michael to try and recover from there but ultimately a very frustrating afternoon."