Charlie Whiting, the F1 race director is very reluctant to send out a safety car during a race and this is because F1 has a TV schedule and they cannot be running over their allocated time.
So this means that when a digger is at the side of the track during race, tough. Drivers of the F1 cars, driver of the digger and the marshalls have to deal with it.
Every time marshalls come onto a circuit during a race and every time a digger comes onto the track during a race Martin Brundle, for the past 20 years, has been saying it is an extremely dangerous situation. Brundle himself has first hand experience of an F1 car interacting with marshalls at Suzuka in 1994. It is a shame for Bianchi to have been seriously injured for something that is so obviously wrong.
F1 tracks spend tens of millions of pounds making their tracks safe only to put an extremely hard and sharp object in the area where there is most likely to be another crash, it is madness and Martin Brundle has done well to control himself over the years.
The situation is completely ridiculous and has been for the history of F1. Whenever a marshall is required to enter the track during a race the safety car MUST be deployed first, EVERY time. And the same goes for earth moving equipment.
Safety cars periods should be a regular fixture of any F1 race. The problem is Charlie Whiting (or his staff) do not appear to know how to manage the safety car properly (for example, the safety car at Suzuka for Bianchi’s crash did not pick up the leader but Button) but they are getting much better and the more they deploy the safety car the better they will get.
The dilemma for F1 is how they fit safety car periods into their schedule and in this case they simply have to look towards the USA.
Make the races last two hours long and if this means throwing some “competition cautions” to get some extra advertiser time so be it.
People moan about losing the “purity” of the sport. Total garbage. The sport is what it is because of the fans not because of the purity. The mission of F1 is entertainment and not purity. Purity never has been the attraction and never will be, the sooner F1 realises this the more safe it will be and the more people will watch it.
Let us hope the lessons from Bianchi’s accident are not ignored, I for one cannot wait to see closer races in F1 and I look forward to seeing Bianchi make a full recovery, soon.