Charlie Whiting defended his decision to use the safety car during the Chinese Grand Prix after heavy criticism from Sebastian Vettel. The safety car was deployed after the Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley collided. Hartley was rear-ended by Gasly in the 31st lap of the race, and afterwards he was forced to retire.
Vettel was the most vocal driver against the deployment of the safety car during the Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver finished eight after he had a contact in the final stages of the race with Max Verstappen. The German considered that the timing of the safety car deployment should have been arranged to ensure that he was not put at disadvantage.
"If we decide to use the Safety Car it’s for safety reasons and I don’t look to see who’s going to be advantaged and disadvantaged." Whiting explained. “We waited until there was a good gap in the traffic. The debris was scattered over a large area and I wanted to wait until the Safety Car had got the cars behind it before I was prepared to send any marshals out." he continued.
“If you’ve got the marshals have come a long way, they’re just exposed out there. I know they’re doing 30% of a real lap but it’s still quite fast and I’m not sure you can totally trust drivers to do the right thing.” Whiting concluded.