It turns out the team principals were not the only ones confused about the delayed race start to Monaco GP. After the rain began to drizzle during the National Anthem segment before the start of the race, the race director decided to further delay the start of it. But many believe the race should’ve started, as the delay resulted in the rain hitting the hardest after the race just began, leading to a red flag.
We’ve already spoke about the opinions of some Team Principals in a previous article, but what do the drivers have to say about it?
When asked about the delayed start, Pierre Gasly, the driver for Scuderia AlphaTauri said: “I don’t understand why we didn’t go straight away I mean…I was ready and it was wet so…
“I was like okay, let;s go, that’s a part of the race. If we need to go at two, we go at two, or three, whatever, we just need to go, but I didn’t understand why we didn’t.
“I have to speak with the team to know exactly the reasons. The red flag, the first one, I think legit, cause form P17 I was literally driving blind, I couldn’t see a thing, so I think this was right but yeah…we could’ve started earlier. “
Asked after the race if he thinks it should’ve started at three o’clock, Daniel Ricciardo responded: “Then? Yes. There was obviously the delay and sure it was raining, but those conditions were good enough so I wasn’t too sure why we didn’t initially get going but then once we’ve got out, and then red flagged it - that was 100% the right decision. But yeah if you ask me why we didn’t start at three, then I am not sure.”
The sentiment seems to echo through the paddock, as many other drivers say the same. Asked about the delay, Valtteri Bottas said he didn’t understand the delay as well. As he said: “I didn’t quite understand the delay cause initially the rain wasn’t that heavy, then there was a bit of a break so I think we could’ve got a few laps anyway and that amount of rain that happen before the first red flag…we could’ve stopped the race. It was a bit strange.”
Kevin Magnussen from Haas F1 team believes if the race would’ve had to be red flagged in the middle, it’s just a natural course of racing. As he said in regards to the reasons behind the delayed start: “I don’t know what the reason was. I didn’t really understand it. But you know…they must have their own reasons.
"We could’ve started. Of course there was a point afterwards that there was torrential rain and that the race would’ve been red flagged but that’s part of racing.
If the conditions are okay, they should start us.
"Or maybe give us a crash course in wet weather driving or something; we can go and take some classes,” the Dane joked.
"We're professional, we've done this before. If we can't do it, nobody can drive in the wet."
A driver that wasn’t happy with how things panned out after the delay was Alex Albon of Williams Racing. When asked about what he thought about the delayed start, Albon responded: “I reckon we could’ve gone straight away. We took delay and then obviously that’s when it hit us.
“And then I was expecting a standing start. I thought normally we would’ve been taking a standing start, but we’ve opted for a rolling start and even on the slick tire one, that was the most surprising. I thought this should’ve definitely be a standing start, cause also for me it ruined my race so I was 30s back from everyone else by the time I got through traffic so. I’m sure we’ll have a discussion about it.”
Even the 7-times World Champion Lewis Hamilton didn’t really understand the reasons behind it. As he said: “I don’t really know the reason for them not sending us out at the get go, I’m not really sure. I don’t have all the information”
After the drivers were informed the reasoning behind it was apparently that it was a safety precaution, because the drivers didn’t get any running in wet conditions through the weekend, many of them weren’t happy with that answer.
Kevin Magnussen responded: “Really? Was that it? I mean…that’s fine.. [but] we're professional drivers. It’s Formula 1.”
Lewis Hamilton seemed to share the same opinion as Magnussen. As he said: “For Formula 1 drivers? That’s definitely not really a good enough reason. Thats why I was saying like: lets go! When it was just drizzling a little bit at the beginning. So again i’m sure we’ll talk about it at the drivers briefing and discuss it but…we should’ve started the race.”