‘We risk our lives in conditions like this…but this is UNACCEPTABLE’: Lando Norris leads F1 fury after Pierre Gasly passes a tractor at high speed in wet Japanese GP… as Sergio Perez says the sport ‘lost Jules Bianchi because of that mistake’
- AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly came perilously close to a collision with a tractor
- Lando Norris and Sergio Perez have both taken to Twitter to vent their outrage
- The vehicle’s presence evoked memories of Jules Bianchi’s fatal crash in 2014
Lando Norris took to Twitter to vent his outrage after a tractor was left on track during the stop-start Japanese Grand Prix, with Pierre Gasly passing the vehicle at high speed in a dangerous wet Suzuka.
The McLaren driver was not alone either, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez claiming that it was a similar ‘mistake’ that led to the untimely death of French driver Jules Bianchi in 2015.
The race was red-flagged almost immediately after lights out, but after a lengthy delay the time-limited race eventually resumed, with Max Verstappen leading the way in pursuit of his second world championship.
AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly came perilously close to a serious incident with a tractor
Live speed data showed Gasly doing 200 km/h as he approached the tractor in a moment that he hit out at race stewards as ‘unacceptable’ and claimed he ‘could have killed himself’
McLaren’s Norris took to social media, writing: ‘Wtf. How’s this happened!? We lost a life in this situation years ago.
‘We risk our lives, especially in conditions like this. We wanna race. But this… Unacceptable.’
And Red Bull’s Mexican driver Perez followed his rival by saying: ‘How can we make it clear that we never want to see a crane on track?
‘We lost Jules because of that mistake. What happened today is totally unacceptable!!!!!
‘I hope this is the last time ever I see a crane on track!’
Race control explained the vehicle’s presence on track by stating: ‘The Safety Car had been deployed and the race neutralised. Car 10 [Pierre Gasly], which had collected damage and pitted behind the Safety Car, was driving at high speed to catch up to the field.
‘As conditions were deteriorating, the Red Flag was shown before Car 10 passed the location of the incident where it had been damaged the previous lap.’
Bianchi suffered a collision at the very same track when he collided with a recovery vehicle at high speed, which left him in a coma for nine months before he died on July 17, 2015.
Bianchi’s father hit out at race control for showing ‘no respect’ for Gasly or his son’s ‘memory’
And footage of the race showed the Frenchman coming perilously close to the tractor in extremely bad light with the torrential rain proving just how dangerous the recovery vehicle’s presence on track was.
As it was Gasly could not escape the race unscathed, after eventually losing control of his AlphaTauri in the wet conditions and ploughing into the advertising boards.
Gasly himself took to the team radio to vent his frustration at the incident, in a chilling warning that was full of fury: ‘What is this? What is this tractor on track?! I passed next to it.
‘This unacceptable. Remember what has happened. Can’t believe this.’
Gasly also collided with the advertising boards later on in the stop-start race
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