The coach of Daniel Ricciardo has shared an insight into what goes on when a raced red flagged. The chaotic Saudi Arabia GP was stopped not once but twice this past Sunday
The Australian revealed what took place when the chaotic race in Jeddah on Sunday was red-flagged not once, but twice.
During the enforced break, TV viewers are able to see a hive of activity as the racers park in the pit lane and get out of their cars.
Mechanics are able to use the time to repair any damage to a car, tyres can be changed and drivers can take a break and recharge their batteries before the resumption.
Italiano, who has worked with Ricciardo since the end of 2017, described the hustle and bustle of the pit lane when the race was stopped.
“It’s quite hard to keep your cool in situations like that,” he told Express Sport. “And when there are red flags it’s mayhem in the paddock with everybody rushing around.
“From my point of view, Daniel gets out of the car and he’s drenched so I try to get him fresh gloves, a new balaclava, rehydrate him and cool him down, all the while trying to keep him in the zone. I don’t want him to get that adrenaline dump too much.
“Getting out of the car for a red flag is quite challenging for the drivers, because you have to reset and go all over again when your adrenaline is so high. And there were two red flags!”
Ricciardo finished fifth in one of the most eventful F1 races in history, and both the McLaren driver and Italiano were pleased with the result.
“It was a lot of mayhem – you can get that with a new circuit, and definitely a high-speed street circuit like Saudi,” he added.
“But we were glad to be out of the drama and have a smooth race, because we had a few unlucky times during the triple-header.
“Fortunately we turned the tide last week in Saudi Arabia and had a good result. Daniel was very quick from the get-go there, so we’re hoping for a good season ending.”
The race’s first major incident came on lap 10, when Mick Schumacher careered into a tyre wall and out of the race, leading to the safety car being brought out.
James Moy Photography/PA Images)
After the first red flag, chaos ensued as soon as the race restarted, as Hamilton got the better start and was ahead into turn one.
But Verstappen pushed his way through by going off the track – with Esteban Ocon slipping in to take advantage and move into second.
And the red flags were waved again moments later when Perez was spun by Charles Leclerc and Nikita Mazepin smashed into the back of George Russell.
As Verstappen had overtaken illegally, Red Bull were offered the chance by Masi to accept a third-placed start behind new leader Ocon and Hamilton in second, which the team accepted – the stewards did not need to get involved.
Formula 1 via Getty Images)
The all-out action was disrupted by frequent virtual safety car periods, with debris on the track causing too much of a risk to drivers in the view of race director Masi.
But the most drama came when Verstappen was told to give the position back to Hamilton and slowed down, but the Briton ploughed into the back of him and took heavy damage to his front wing.
The Dutchman was given a five-second penalty and ceded the position back to the seven-time champion, leaving the Mercedes driver to make it through to the chequered flag in first and set up a thrilling final race in Abu Dhabi with the pair level on points at the top of the driver’s standings.