Ritomo Miyata blasts ‘harsh’ red flag rules

Toyota protege Miyata finished eighth in Saturday’s rainy 30-minute qualifying session, and would have been promoted to seventh on the grid after Ryo Hirakawa subsequently forfeited his fastest lap due to a boundary violation of the track.

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However, the 22-year-old was stripped of his times because the second of three red flags in the session was caused by his TOM’S car losing power, forcing Miyata to park off the track at the turn 13 to the right. in the last sector.

Super Formula rules state that any driver responsible for a red flag loses their qualifying times, whatever the cause, meaning Miyata is expected to start Sunday’s race from 20th position.

But Miyata thinks losing his grid spot for something beyond his control is unfair.

“It was a case of force majeure,” Miyata told the Japanese edition of Motorsport.com after qualifying. “It’s not like me, the team or the engineers at Toyota want something like this to happen, and I’m not okay with all my times being taken away because of it.

“All of our efforts have come to nothing…we didn’t do anything on purpose, so it’s frustrating, although I don’t want to blame anyone. I think wasting my time is hard.

Miyata added that he did everything possible to put his broken down TOM’S car in a safe position once he lost power, the root cause of which he does not yet know.

“I knew I had to get the car as far off the track as possible,” he said. “I had heard that if I could pull up near the ‘fire station’ [marshals’ post with a fire extinguisher]there would be no red flag, but there is a slope there and I couldn’t reach it at that speed.

“We did what we could. What I want people to know is that we didn’t do it on purpose, it was just a car problem. I want this to be considered when the outcome is decided.

Miyata also asked why Super Formula has different rules from Formula 1, where a driver keeps his qualifying time even after crashing and causing a red flag.

“If you look at F1, in Monaco, the driver who crashed can still be on pole,” he stressed, referring to Charles Leclerc’s 2021 pole in the principality. “Why should the rules be different in Japan? »

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