- The day before, we thought when the revs and average speed were so fast that there would probably be a fast race.
We can leave early.
It happened differently, Mika Salo laughs on the phone.
On Sunday, for the first time this season, Salo was judging the F1 race, as a driver member of the jury.
The Tuscan GP was driven on the fast Mugello track.
The race was suspended twice after the crashes.
Salo says that the jury was only able to leave at nine o'clock, which is about four hours after the checkered flag waved.
- It took a long time.
We had to go through the data of everyone in the mass crash.
To see who pumped the gas and who didn’t, Salo explains.
The ex-driver refers to the turbulent situation at the beginning of the race.
When the safety car left the track in the sixth lap, Mercedes Valtteri Bottas was at the top of the hose on the main line.
The cars coming from behind collided with those who were driving slower in front of them.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean blamed Basta for the situation at the time of the incident.
Read more: Emotions hot in the F1 crash race - the recording reveals how Grosjean raged on team radio for Bottas: "Do they want to kill us?"
- When we looked at the data afterwards, we saw that Valtteri did nothing wrong.
He gave a steady throttle and did not apply the brake.
So did Lewis Hamilton.
From then on, there started to be pumping, Salo says.
By pumping, he means that the drivers alternate between accelerating and braking to gain an advantage on the re-start.
An accordion movement is created in the car hose, which grows towards the stern of the hose.
- The rules state that pumping must not be carried out if you are behind a safety car.
If the gloom goes a little wrong, and one presses the gas to the bottom while the others brake, then it goes around, the F1 judge estimates.
In Mugello, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was the one who drove the gas at the bottom and collided with those who braked ahead.
Did the jury find the culprit in a hurry?
- No, because no one was punished, but they were all guilty.
Except for the first two, Salo says.
The first two of the car hose were Bottas and Hamilton.
Twelve other drivers were warned.
Read more: As many as 12 drivers were warned of the chaos of Mugello's F1 race - Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen received clean papers
There was enough hurry for the jury in Mugello when there were three crashes during the first six rounds, all of which went to the judges ’fault.
Salo explains how the jury works in a stressful situation.
- We always make it urgent to have drivers who are able to continue the race.
During the race, we try to find cases that affect the outcome of the race, Salo explains.
The case described by Salo was, for example, a five-second time penalty given to Kimi Räikkönen.
Räikkönen crossed the depot line.
Read more: Video: Kimi Räikkönen raged on team radio - fans went wild and a hilarious exclamation became a new Kimi hit
- If two cars stay on the track and something else happens at the same time, it is not worth starting to investigate the case when there is more to do.
Ferrari’s F1 team celebrated its 1000th race in the World Cup in Mugello and hosted the pippos on Saturday.
The former driver of the stable, Salo, who drove in Maranello reds in 1999, had been invited, but did not get to work for the party.
- We went so damn late on Saturday.
I had to go to a party, but I didn’t have time.
It was reportedly great.
I saw the pictures, Salo says.
Jo Bauer, head of the Fia technical delegation at the International Automobile Federation, checked the compliance of all cars on Saturday night.
Salo waited for the decision at the office until 10 p.m.