Lance Stroll said he drove as safely as possible when he encountered a group of marshals on track during a Safety Car period in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The Racing Point driver said he did not expect to encounter the marshals at the edge of the circuit approaching Acque Minerale after he and other drivers had been allowed to overtake the Safety Car to re-join the leading lap.

“I was given the message that lapped cars were allowed to overtake the Safety Car and catch the back of the train,” said Stroll. “So I followed those instructions. I saw the marshal on the track, of course, and I immediately lifted off and backed off and I was as safe as I could be in that section of the track.”

Stroll and five other drivers were released from behind the Safety Car to re-join the lead lap, but double yellow flags continued to be waved at Acque Minerale where marshals were working.

“I wasn’t warned and I wasn’t expecting to see anyone on the track once I got the message that I was allowed to overtake the Safety Car and catch the back of the train,” said Stroll. “Thankfully there was nothing bad that happened there but for sure we’ll have to address it and make sure that something like that doesn’t happen again.”

Stroll passed three marshals on the track
An F1 marshal explains why Stroll’s Imola near-miss raises safety concerns

Romain Grosjean, who passed the same group of marshals before Stroll did and warned his team about them, also said he was surprised to discover them. He intends to raise the matter at tomorrow’s drivers’ meeting with Formula 1 race director Michael Masi.

“Obviously I was a bit surprised that there were marshals on track at a point that we were going quite fast,” said Grosjean. “It was made worse by the fact that it was a blind spot on the track.

“But also they were trying to clear as much as they could as quickly as they could for the race to resume. So probably, yes, we can bring that up in the drivers’ meeting just to see, make sure that at least we get the communication so we are aware of what’s coming.

“It wasn’t a big deal, I guess it just was a bit of a surprise at the time. It’s never nice to be driving and seeing people and I guess for the people being on track it wasn’t nice to be seeing cars coming quite fast because I think we were unlapping ourself at the time and therefore we were just pushing to catch the pack back before it restarts.”

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