Russell: No circumstances in which a tractor on track is acceptable

Russell: In no circumstances is a tractor on track acceptable

Russell: No circumstances in which a tractor on track is acceptable
George Russell insisted, after the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix tractor incident, that there are no circumstances in which having a recovery vehicle on the track becomes acceptable.

Other than Max Verstappen winning his second consecutive Formula 1 Title in Japan, the most discussed topic after the race at Suzuka was the incident when a tractor took to the track to recover the stricken Ferrari of Carlos Sainz on crashed on the opening lap of the race.

The incident brought back the ugly memories of when French F1 driver Jules Bianchi lost his life after crashing into a tractor in similar conditions back in 2014.

Mercedes driver, and Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) director George Russell had a lot to say about the incident after the race was concluded in Japan, a race he finished in eighth place.


“There are no circumstances in which we’re happy to see a tractor on the track,” Russell told the media in Japan. “There’s obviously a lot of talk about Pierre, but that’s irrelevant.”

The Briton was referring to the penalty given to Pierre Gasly for speeding under Safety Car conditions which some believe was the Race Directors’ way of diverting attention from the tractor incident, especially as the French driver was the first to point it out, enraged by it.

“There were 17 other cars on the track who passed that tractor without seeing really a lot of what was going on,” Russell added. “You obviously had to move out of the spray to get a clear view, and moving out of the spray meant in the line of the tractor.

The same thing happened in Singapore

“As I said, there are no circumstances, especially in wet conditions, wet, intermediate, drying, there’s no circumstances in which a tractor is acceptable,” he insisted.

Russell revealed their were talks amongst the drivers via WhatsApp and the drivers’ briefing about the incident, especially since something similar took place at the Singapore Grand Prix.

“I think we spoke a little bit about it in the drivers’ briefing this week, because there was a tractor on-track in Singapore with Tsunoda’s crash under a safety car, and it was at the point that people were transitioning to slicks,” he said.

“And we expressed our view of that we don’t ever want to see that happen. That was obviously last week. To come here one week later, given the circumstances and the history of course, is pretty disappointing.”

Russell, being a GPDA director intends to have a discussion with the FIA about the matter, as the governing body has launched an investigation in the matter.

“The FIA has launched a thorough review of the events involving the deployment of recovery vehicles during the Japanese Grand Prix,” a statement by the FIA said.

Russell said: “We’re all going to of course speak to the FIA. In our view, it’s pretty straightforward. No tractors on-track. And if you need a tractor on-track, red flag it.”