In the wake of Carlos Sainz’s opening lap crash on the run out of the hairpin, marshals sent a recovery truck onto the circuit to help retrieve the stranded Ferrari.
With memories still fresh of the incident at the 2014 Japanese GP, where Jules Bianchi suffered injuries he would later succumb to after hitting a similar crane, there was widespread unease in the paddock about what happened.
A number of drivers expressed their concern about the tractor being there as they toured around behind the safety car, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly – who drove past at much higher speed as he was off the back of the pack following a pitstop – was left furious at the dangerous situation.
Speaking afterwards, the Frenchman said: “We lost Jules eight years ago in similar conditions with a crane on track in the gravel. I don’t understand how eight years later in similar…