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After Horrible Crash in Australian GP, George Russell Calls for Automated VSC in F1

Nischay Rathore

After Horrible Crash in Australian GP, George Russell Calls for Automated VSC in F1

George Russell faced a moment of horror in the final minutes of the Australian GP. After crashing into the barriers and ricocheting back on the track, he begged for immediate deployment of the safety car. The FIA took several seconds before deploying the Virtual Safety Car (VSC). Had the Briton not maintained a healthy gap to his rivals behind, he could have faced another devastating accident. As a result, the Mercedes driver has now come out making a sane suggestion to make sure another driver does not face the same frightful scenario that he did.

Speaking with the media at the Japanese GP, Russell said, “I think we should find a way to ensure that if a car is in a danger zone, some sort of automated VSC is activated, within half a second or so there. We’re talking about important seconds and lives at risk. I think the time has come to make steps forward in this sense, thanks to the technology we have.”

Russell’s car parked right into the middle of the track, on a section that emerged after a blind spot. To make matters worse, it is a high-speed section where the cars usually travel at a speed in excess of 155 mph.

Fortunately, the drivers behind him were at a 10-second distance which gave them enough time to slow down after learning about the VSC deployment. Since George Russell is currently also serving as the president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), he can hope to gather the support of his fellow drivers to bring a positive change for their safety.

Fernando Alonso’s penalty for the George Russell incident divides drivers

George Russell and Fernando Alonso were locked in an exciting battle for P6 towards the latter part of the Australian Grand Prix. As the race progressed to the final lap, and both drivers approached Turn 6, Alonso ahead slowed down significantly.

It was enough for the Briton to switch off, which resulted in him being unable to avoid the barriers. The FIA took notice of the incident and handed Alonso a 20-second time penalty for “dangerous driving“.

That punishment resulted in Alonso falling from P6 to P8. The Spaniard later took to social media to express his anger with the penalty, schooling the ruling body over the strategic advantages of slowing down.

Charles Leclerc, however, was not one to forgive Alonso. The Monegasque not only found Alonso guilty of causing the accident but also called for harsher penalties in the future.

Leclerc discussed the ineffectiveness of time penalties in such scenarios that pulled down the Spaniard by only two places. Nico Hulkenberg was also among those who felt Alonso deserved to be punished.

However, Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas, and Lance Stroll had a contrary opinion about the incident. While Bottas felt the penalty was “a bit harsh”, Stroll (Alonso’s Aston Martin teammate) believed it was “ridiculous”. 

Meanwhile, Norris was of the opinion that the two-time champion’s actions were “odd” and “extreme”. However, the McLaren driver ruled out the move to be a brake test and did not think it should have evoked a penalty.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Nischay Rathore

Nischay Rathore


Nischay Rathore is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush with over a thousand articles under his belt. An avid Ayrton Senna admirer, Nischay embarked on his sports journalism journey despite completing graduation in Law. When not covering the high-speed thrills of the pinnacle of motorsport, he can be seen enjoying crime thrillers and 90s gangster movies with a hearty bowl of buttery popcorn.

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