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Was it the right decision to stop the race ? 

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For the first time this season we have a race re-start. In all previous starting incidents the safety car was deployed to clear the track. This time though after the safety car was deployed a decision was made to stop the race probably due to a lot of debris from the Burti - Schumacher crash.
Some have questioned the decision and went as far as accusing the race stewards of giving Michael Schumacher as second chance at his home Grand Prix, others though completely agree with the decision indicating that it would have been dangerous for the race not to be stopped.

Jacques Villeneuve and David Coulthard criticised the decision to stop the race. Villeneuve indicating that the most dangerous part of the race is the start so why go through that again given that the cars already passed the accident area while Coulthard believes that stopping the race was inconsistent with what has occurred at past event and went as far as indicating that is was a favour for Michael whose race ended at the start and said "I said to the team at the time, if you were cynical you would understand the reasons for the red flag!"

On the other hand Ralf Schumacher agrees with the decision to stop the race as the debris from the accident could cause a tyre puncture and given that this is a high speed circuit it would have been dangerous. 
Michelin's Motorsport director also agreed with the decision and said "The track looked like a battlefield. It would have been dangerous not to stop the race because you don't want tyres picking up pieces of carbon shrapnel when cars are travelling at 200mph. Debris like that tends to be razor sharp and work their way slowly into a tyre before causing it to puncture. The race director did the sensible thing by showing the red flag."

Do you agree with the decision to stop the race ? Or do you think that it would have been safe to continue with the safety car until the track was cleared ? Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

Consistency is everything relating to fairness. Should the race have been stopped? Absolutely! However, I've seen many occasions during this season and past where race officials have put drivers, track personnel, and spectators in jeopardy by not stopping a race. I do agree that the officials made the right decision in this case, but for the wrong reasons. Michael has the season all but wrapped up without the help of the officials - Richard S - USA

#1 Michael Schumacher in the #2 German Grand Prix driving a #3 Ferrari. This race would not have been restarted if any of these three elements had not been present - Ed J - USA

If you have to stop a race you should have the red flag immediately and not after you have past a lap and then decide. In doing so you have send the wrong signal - Peter Y - Singapore

Yes it was correct to stop the race but it should have been red flagged straight away and not have the safety car out fist - Joanne C - England

Although I must admit to thinking that there was some bias towards MS because of the restart, I also do believe that the safety of the drivers and the marshals is a much more important issue. We've already had two marshals killed (2000 &2001) due to accidents on the track. The drivers had already driven through the debris but who could say that they definitely had not picked up any on their tyre. Ferrari took RB's tyres off his car just to make sure - Margaret - Scotland

They were right to stop the race.  Whether there was any bias involve, we as viewers can't doing a thing about it.  That's life.  I do know this, it was a spectacular start to the race and it was even better to see both drivers get out and jump back into to spare cars and make up the small field that is F1 today - Ang - Cairns, Australia

We all should agree that the race should be stopped for safety reasons..... however time and again we have seen that the FIA stewards do " favour" Ferrari. It seems that DC is always whining but why should he not??? He's the next closet challenger to MS. Williams are very competitive this season and it's great. I really wonder what will Ralf say if he's in DC's position right now!!. Cheers!! - Terry - Australia

It is very interesting to read the comments so far and although I do not agree with all of them some are really worthwhile. I must say I have not thought about it as Emmanuel did but his is a very real view point and there can be no arguments about it. Well said Emmanuel!! Also good to see Marion and Chris back on the list.

Please enlighten me on one point: A lot has been said about the drivers having gone through the debris once therefore why not again. When exactly was this once? It couldn't have been at the start as the accident occurred almost at the back of the field and did not affect most of the field. The safety car took them through once at not even normal SC pace but surely you don't want to count that as "gone through once" in the same context as mentioned - Johan M - South Africa

Whether you agree with the re-start will I guess largely depend on whether you are a Ferrari fan or McLaren fan. One thing for sure though, if Ferrari / MS wasn't involved in the crash, then there will not be such a big fuss about the re-start.  Need I say more - Li - Singapore

I agree that the race was stoped it is to late when we loose a driver or the officials when a damaged tyre blows.
We should always be on the safe side.
What would have been said if a driver was injured from a damaged tyre - Ian K -

I strongly think they did the right thing. I am a Ferrari fan but if they didn't restart it, you would have cars flying of the circuit at 200mph with deflating tyres and so on. But in restarts you can have the same thing happening but in order to resolve these accidents from happening is to move the grid further back from the first corner - Chris - Australia

I think it was wise, as it could have caused a lot more problems with blown out tyres and it made for a better race to have a full grid (even though 12 of the grid did not finish) - Bree W - Australia

It's was stupidity that they felt the need to restart considering that the drivers had already gone through the debris once and therefore by the time they approached that area again it would have been over 2 minutes...therefore enough time to clean up the problem.  To restart meant an increased chance of a repeat performance.  It would not have happened if Shuey was not in the accident! - d - Australia

To be honest about it, the decision to stop the race and clean the track was in order, regardless of whether or not it favours Ferrari or M Schumacher.
But to be blunt about it, if some racers imply that Ferrari and/or M Schumacher are capable of exerting pressure or influence on the f1 organizers or stewards, I think it is not their fault that they have this kind of clout in the circuit. Do they not wonder instead why this is so, and their organization or drivers are not capable of the same? It is just the politics and realities of life. If you have it flaunt it if not, keep quiet about it. You can only whine and whimper, but what can you do about it? There are two options for these kind of people: 1) Get out of F1 if you are that frustrated, or 2) Organize and join a rival league.
This is a reality that is seen around the world, if the US talks, many disagree even in the UN. but with their protestations, are they willing to go into an armed conflict with the US?  of course not! not yet anyway, or not squarely. This kind of politics also applies in other sports not only in f1 - wake up fellas !! - Emmanuel - Philippines

If you compare this accident to previous more dangerous situations, no, I don't think the race should have been stopped. Every body knows why the race was stopped, and this is not the first time that F1 stewards and the FIA behave in a way so as to help and optimise MS's situation.

I was not amazed at all, this is not the first and, unfortunately will not be the last time. Moreover, I think that probably the race should have been also stopped when MS retired, oh I forgot, he only has 1 spare car, so maybe next time Ferrari will get 4 or 5 spare cars for the OVERRATED MS. Who knows, maybe Ferrari will also sign contracts with all race stewards in advance so that each time MS retires, the race will be stopped and then MS gets to his spare car and continues racing - Bilal M - Lebanon

It is pretty obvious that all who like Michael will say it way the right decision and all who don't will say it was the wrong decision, I was furious with the red flag but now that I think about it was the right thing to do, to all those who think it was the right thing to do, honestly ask yourselves would the race have been restarted had it been a McLaren or a Williams instead of Michael's Ferrari ?
probably not (sad but true) when it comes to Ferrari the officials seem to have a soft spot for them - remember Sepang 99 - F1 fan - Australia

Why Montoya, Mika .Fissi, and co (other drivers except DC & JV ) didn't complain about the restart. Why Jean Alesi with his long experience didn't have a small negative comment to the race director DECISION? Last year when Barrichello was driving with slicks in rain (what a performance!!!!), Ron Dennis made comments about Ferrari team director irresponsibility. What about DC driving with a  suspension bolt inside the cockpit. What about driving at 200 MPH with a small piece of Kevlar sticking in the inner side of the tyre. Some time ago I did agree with the risks being against Traction Control  in F1, but I can not  agree with superficiality, with the need to win at any cost or with excuses to cover  lower performances. I can not agree with unreasonable decisions based on personal vendetta, needs for publicity or because someone likes or dislikes another person. The race director  is in charge and is responsible for drivers, teams, marshals and even public safety. In my opinion it is easy to prevent a bad situation than correct it later. In my opinion the race director decision was legitimate, correct and fair, according with FIA rules and with common sense. Best regards, Marian - Romanian living in the US

IMHO there is no doubt that the race should be stopped.  The track was way too dirty. I just thing that in such cases the drivers who caused the accident should start from the boxes - Andre B - Brazil

Hey, DC was just showing emotions and let me tell those who are talking about Bias... What did Michelin's Motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier
say? Was he going to get any advantage out of MS rejoining the race.. He was the best person to make the statement which will be logical as he knows abt the tyres.... And his statement goes like this..."The race director did the sensible thing by showing the red flag." So now its for those who talk about bias to talk sensibly... Lucky - India

Michael certainly does not need the marshal's help in beating Coulthard.  He is one class above the rest.  What about Monaco last year, when Michael was in the pole and leading, when the race was restarted due to the accident and pile up at the corner.  How come nobody said the marshal was favouring Mika or David then?  Looking at the accident and the extent of the debris, it was certainly a wise decision, whether Michael was in front or behind.  Keep up the good work, Marshals - Joseph W - Singapore.

I agree it should have been stopped. What has DC got to complain about. He would still have ended up the same problem. There was so much debris which could have caused a much serious accident so DC and Villeneuve give you mouths a rest - SAA - UK

Ha, Had David blew his tyre on that debris and gone to his fav. gravel trap, his story would have been different - GOP - India

Kevin - In Afrikaans we have a saying "Die beste stuurman staan aan wal" which basically means that the guy that is not involved in the decision making thinks he knows best when the decision does not favour him.

For one minute put yourself in the Race Director's shoes. You are faced with this situation that even Michelin's Motorsport Director describes as a battle field (They had everything to lose by Michael's return to the race). You have to think of Mika and David and Ralf and...  Have they picked up debris or not. You have to think of the teams who have invested millions in this race alone. The situation affects them all not only one or two teams. You have to consider the possible damage or latent damage already sustained by debris having been picked up or will be picked up that is not immediately apparent. You, most importantly, have to consider the lives of the drivers and what is going to happen when something goes wrong in this, one of the fastest tracks on the tour, that could have been avoided with a red flag. The answers to a all of these things you don't have. Only the questions. And time is against you - you must make the decision NOW. You can only see this battle field. But YOU have to push the button. Or not!  C'mon Kevin  - Call it! - Johan M - South Africa

What a fiasco!  Yet again we see Ferrari bias in the F1 hierarchy.  Michael has a long history of attempting to influence restarts when he has a first lap problem (was it Austria last year when he parked his car up on the track?).  I don't doubt that there was considerable pressure from the Ferrari team on the race director to red flag the race; how else could they hope to beat David?

After the Ferrari scrutineering controversy of a couple of seasons ago, the positive discrimination of Ferrari over all the other teams (but especially their close rivals) has been obvious to anyone who cares to look.  Here is yet another example.

I feel sorry for David.  Dogged by worse reliability than Ferrari, and then the Newey affair, the poor guy needs the playing field levelling up, not tipping further against him - Kevin B - UK

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