In an article I wrote for the blog yesterday I looked at the circumstances surrounding the crash of Jules Bianchi at Suzuka. In that piece I looked at the use of the flags before Jules accident, not only in how they could have played a role in his perception of returning to racing speed but also if they had been issued correctly. Having surmised that the green flags had started to be waved only after the stricken Sauber had been lifted past the marshal post, it appears new evidence has come to light. Patrick Marsh has contacted me this morning to submit new evidence into the row:
Moving the stricken Sauber back toward the track exit did indeed make marshaling post 12 the one immediately after the incident, however the mere fact that the intervention marshal is on the track limits beyond the post surely predicates the use of the green flag.
I'm therefore no longer sure that the green flag waved by the post marshal (12) falls within the scope of the regulations and sporting code and instead suggest that post 13 should be the first instance of a green flag at that time. (Posts are supposed to be no more than 500m apart). The FIA have launched a full investigation into the accident in a hope of learning from any mistakes that may have been made. The accident itself was a perfect storm, the type of accident that requires multiple scenarios to have played out making its probability relatively low.
Once again my thoughts at this time remain with Jules Bianchi and his family.