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FIA reacts to Italian GP finish after massive criticism

The FIA have released a statement following the ending of the Italian Grand Prix behind the Safety Car.

The FIA have explained the reasons why the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix ended behind the Safety Car and was not restarted. On Lap 48 of 53, Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren retired at the Lesmo corners with engine failure, meaning the Safety Car needed to be deployed so marshals could enter the track to clear it. However, they were unable to do so, and coupled with the Safety Car picking up George Russell instead of leader Max Verstappen, the race ended behind it - the first such instance since the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. F1 tries to end races under green flag conditions wherever possible, with the FIA saying this was its intention in a statement after criticism from the likes of Christian Horner and Mattia Binotto about the decision. "While every effort was made to recover Car #3 (Ricciardo) quickly and resume racing, the situation developed and marshals were unable to put the car into neutral and push it into the escape road," it began. "As the safety of the recovery operation is our only priority, and the incident was not significant enough to require a red flag, the race ended under safety car following the procedures agreed between the FIA and all Competitors. "The timing of the safety car period within a race has no bearing on this procedure."

Wolff on decision to end behind Safety Car

Despite winning the race, Red Bull boss Horner said the decision went against the "principles" agreed to try and end in green flags conditions. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff - whose driver Lewis Hamilton lost out on an eighth title following a late Safety Car restart in Abu Dhabi in 2021 - however, felt differently as his other driver George Russell took third at Monza. "Race direction is always going to be [subject to criticism], but this time, they followed the rules," he explained. "Maybe they could have done it a lap earlier on the on the rules, but they accepted the race finished behind the safety car and this is how it should be."

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