Max Verstappen has blamed Formula 1 race control’s decision to use standing restart in the Australian Grand Prix for the multi-car incident on Lap 57. Following Kevin Magnussen’s wall strike and debris on the track, the race was suspended for a second time, with a two lap shootout planned from a standing start on the grid, with Verstappen leading Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Verstappen and Hamilton escaped unscathed but Alonso was tagged out of third while Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries all retired in incidents at Turns 1 and 2. Post-race, speaking after his 37th career win, Verstappen was at a loss as to why the standing restart was used – in scenes similar to the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “I think it’s quite clear, I just didn’t understand why we needed a red flag,” the Red Bull driver told media including RacingNews365. “If you would have had a Safety Car [for the Magnussen incident] and then just had a normal rolling start we wouldn’t have had all these shunts and then you have a normal finish. “So they created the problems themselves at the end of the day.” These thoughts were echoed by third-place finisher Alonso whose position was reinstated after falling to last following contact with Carlos Sainz with the FIA only able to determine an accurate running order by taking the order from under the Magnussen red flag. The two-time Champion added that the drivers were likely to ask questions at the next race to obtain further information about the need for the red flag and not covering Magnussen’s incident under a Virtual or full Safety Car. “If there is a red flag, it has to be for a reason,” he said. “We will ask probably in Baku what was the reason for the second [red flag]? “I know there was a piece of tyre debris in the first straight but the car itself was on the inside of Turn 4 so it felt quite safe there. “And the Safety Car is for those kind of reasons so yeah, for us, maybe it was a different opinion. “But the FIA are the only ones that have all the cards on the table so in those kinds of situations, we trust them, and we try to keep them going.”

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