Lewis Hamilton’s claim safety sacrificed for entertainment is ‘offensive’ – FIA

Lewis Hamilton has been told by Formula One's governing body that his accusation they endangered lives in the Tuscan Grand Prix is "offensive".

The FIA have taken a dim view of Hamilton's incendiary remark which the six-time world champion made in the aftermath of Sunday's crash-strewn race at Mugello.

Hamilton felt the lights on the safety car were turned off too late in a deliberate ploy to back up the field and spice up the restart. The switching off of the flashing bulbs indicate when the race is resuming. A huge pile-up ensued after the safety car peeled into the pits.

Hamilton said: "They are trying to make it more exciting but today they put people at risk. It was over the limit. It wasn't safe."

But responding to Hamilton's remarks, FIA race director Michael Masi rubbished the Briton's claim.

"From an FIA perspective, safety is paramount, full stop, end of story," he said.

"We are absolutely not trying to spice up the show. In my capacity as race director, my role is sporting integrity and safety and anyone that says otherwise to that is actually quite offensive."

Hamilton also said there needs to be a rethink as to how the safety car is used.

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SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP wears a shirt in tribute to the late Breonna Taylor on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP wears a shirt in tribute to the late Breonna Taylor in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second placed Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP talk in a press conference after the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Florent Gooden - Pool/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second placed Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Miguel Medina - Pool/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (R) walks past AlphaTauri's French driver Pierre Gasly after both crash during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Luca Bruno / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BRUNO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
AlphaTauri's French driver Pierre Gasly (L) crashes with Haas F1's French driver Romain Grosjean during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Luca Bruno / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BRUNO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
AlphaTauri's French driver Pierre Gasly leaves his car after a crash during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Luca Bruno / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BRUNO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 stops in the gravel as he retires from the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Luca Bruno - Pool/Getty Images)
Drives crash during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Claudio Giovannini / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CLAUDIO GIOVANNINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Drives crash during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Claudio Giovannini / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CLAUDIO GIOVANNINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 stops in the gravel as he retires from the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Carlos Sainz of Spain and McLaren F1 climbs out of his car after a collision during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
Haas F1's French driver Romain Grosjean (L) and Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crash during during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Luca Bruno / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BRUNO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crashes during the Tuscany Formula One Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Scarperia e San Piero on September 13, 2020. (Photo by Luca Bruno / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BRUNO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 leads the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia AlphaTauri looks on before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP is pictured wearing a shirt in tribute to the late Breonna Taylor on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: A parachutist flies with an Italian flag before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: A parachutist flies with a Ferrari flag before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: A parachutist displays a Scuderia Ferrari flag over the circuit prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Miguel Medina - Pool/Getty Images)
SCARPERIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 13: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
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But Masi, the Australian who succeeded Charlie Whiting following his death last year, added: "Simply put, the drivers can criticise all they want, but if we look where the lights were extinguished on the safety car to the control line [where the race resumes] the distance was similar if not longer than a number of other venues.

"We have the 20 best drivers in the world, but in the Formula Three race, those drivers in the junior category had a very similar restart to what occurred in the Formula One race and they navigated it without incident.

"I don't think there is any need to review the safety car restart rule."

Despite the chaotic nature of Sunday's race, Hamilton claimed his sixth win from nine rounds this season to extend his championship lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas to 55 points.

Hamilton also moved to within one victory of Michael Schumacher's record with his 90th career win.

He will be given his first shot at matching Schumacher's record at the Sochi Autodrom in Russia a week on Sunday.

"It just doesn't seem real," said Hamilton on the possibility of equalling Schumacher's tally. "Getting these wins is not easy, but I never thought I would be here, that's for sure."

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