DANGEROUS INCIDENT: The FIA is investigating the bizarre incident that saw a race marshal remain on track as the race restarted at the Singapore GP. Image: AP / Yong Teck Lim
Singapore - Formula 1's governing body is looking into a dangerous incident that occurred during the Singapore grand prix.
Recalling a similar incident at the night race in 2015, a marshal retrieving debris had to sprint to safety on Sunday (September 18) as the racing pack approached after the safety car period.
According to Bild newspaper, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff joked: "At least the guy last year was drunk."
Too close a call
But it was no laughing matter, as the leader of the pack, Nico Rosberg, made clear: "That was pretty hairy. I think just as we didn't expect the restart, he didn't either, because the restart was pretty abrupt."
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said even race director Charlie Whiting was caught by surprise.
Whiting said: "Suddenly I saw yellow flags again. At the restart they should all be green."
READ: As it happened - 2016 Singapore Grand Prix
Whiting confirmed that the current safety protocol at the end of a safety car period is to ask the clerk of the course if the track is clear not once, but three times.
"Then we order the safety car in. We were surprised that a marshal was then suddenly on the track," he said.
Auto Motor und Sport said the FIA is now awaiting a report about the race from Gabriel Tan, the local clerk of the course.
Germany's Auto Bild said the marshal was cleared to enter the track by his local boss.
READ: 2016 Singapore GP - Rosberg holds off Ricciardo to seize F1 lead
"It was very dangerous," said Wolff. "But we have to defend the work of the race organisers -- they restarted the race very quickly, which is what we ask for.
"A marshal who only meant well and wanted to clear the track was obviously surprised. Luckily, no one was hurt," he said.