Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle has defended the FIA over the decision to throw three red flags during Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix. The red flag was first thrown on Lap 9 after Alex Albon’s crashed Williams was left beached on the circuit, with gravel strewn across the racing line. The race was then suspended a second time on Lap 54 of 58, when Kevin Magnussen struck the wall and a tyre detached itself from his stricken Haas. From the resulting restart, a melee ensued involving several drivers, leading to the third red flag on Lap 56, after which there was no return to racing conditions. With a red flag necessitating a standing restart, and therefore wiping out advantages that drivers had previously built up over their rivals, much debate after the race centred on whether the stoppages had been necessary. Speaking after the race, Max Verstappen was clear that he thought the Lap 54 red flag was unnecessary, while Fernando Alonso admitted the decision was ‘strange’, and George Russell called the race’s first red flag ‘totally unnecessary’. However, Brundle dismissed the notion that the red flags had been thrown in order to generate more excitement. No one trying to make it ‘more fun’ – Brundle “I don’t think there was any instruction to whizz this show up when required,” Brundle told Sky F1 . “You have to walk a mile in the shoes of the people who are responsible. “It is easy for us to sit on the sidelines going ‘should have done this, should have done that’.” Brundle also referenced an incident from the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, when Ferrari driver Felipe Massa suffered head injuries after being struck by a spring that had become dislodged from the rear of Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn. “Back in 2009, Felipe Massa nearly died with a piece of someone else’s car coming through his cockpit. “It is also a street circuit [at Melbourne] with a lot of fans either side of the track and also marshals and medics that are down there. “So, if there are pieces of debris on the track, you can’t have them flying through the air at 200mph. “I thought when Alex Albon went off they could perhaps have just used a Safety Car and swept the gravel up and cleared the car away. “A red flag perhaps seemed slightly unnecessary but towards the end of the race, we had a tyre and wheel on the track and lots of debris. “I am absolutely confident no one is going ‘hey, let’s make this a little bit more fun’.

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