Formula 1 race director Michael Masi says he has no choice but to end the Formula 2 sprint race prematurely due to extensive ban damage following the clash between Luca Kyoto and Jack Idken.
Both drivers escaped the crash after making long, left-handed turns around the corner at Sochi Autotrome.
The race was later stopped and half the points awarded, with China’s Guanyu Zhao winning his first race in the series.
Masi, who visited the crash site before the race was stopped under the guidance of F2 Race Director Sylvia Pellet, said the race would have eaten into the F1 table after the ban was repaired.
“I think it’s unfortunate, but at the end of the day, there is a timetable for beginner players to adhere to,” Masi said.
“Secondly, the size and repair of that incident – I think it took 90 minutes to finally repair that.
“So, I think it’s unfortunate that the FIA Formula 2 Championship has not finished its race, it just happens.”
Kyoto’s car caught fire quickly as both cars failed under the dextrose barrier, raising concerns that he would have been trapped in the flames if he had been injured enough to pull himself out of the car.
Masi says it was a challenge for the marshals to come on the scene quickly because of the distance between the nearby post and the accident.
“Probably they got there quickly, the challenge was that it was too far between the two Marshall posts where the incident took place,” Masi said.
“I don’t want firefighters from the marshal posts on the side of this incident to run with the fire extinguisher 150 odd meters or whatever.
“After the race was stopped and all of the race cars passed, we saw the marshals from the opposite side of the track cross.
“Under the circumstances, yes it is never good to see a fire. The positive part is that both drivers thankfully got our escape, which is the most important element of all.”