European Formula 3 driver Ameya Vaidyanathan epitomized the whole “look where you want to go” advice in operating a vehicle over the weekend, when he slammed a stalled car at the start of a race. Now, officials are looking at whether he “meets the standard of ability and awareness” for F3. Ouch. That’s harsh.
European F3 is on the Formula One ladder, and typically races three times per race weekend. F3 was at Germany’s nearly 1.5-mile Norisring this past weekend, and Vaidyanathan’s crash happened at the start of the second race there.
Neither Vaidyanathan nor the driver he hit, Dan Ticktum, had serious injuries from the ugly crash. Ticktum went on to win the third race of the weekend and closed up his title gap to one point behind first-place driver Marcus Armstrong.
But Vaidyanathan’s chances to compete in F3 in the near future may be hurt by all of it, Motorsport.com reports. Stewards requested that the FIA, the governing body for F3 and dozens of other international racing series including F1, assess Vaidyanathan’s ability to compete in F3. From Motorsport.com:
The statement read: ‘The stewards request that the FIA review this incident and the driver standard of Ameya Vaidyanathan.
“The stewards request that the FIA consider whether the driver of car 24 [Vaidyanathan] meets the standard of ability and awareness required to compete in this championship.
“The driver of car 24 advised the stewards that he followed his normal start procedure. The driver of car 24 was looking to his left where another car was trying to overtake him.
“The driver of car 24 advised that he did indeed see the yellow flags being waved by the marshals. The driver of car 24 did not alter his driving speed to respond to the yellow flags.”
Multiple yellow flags came out immediately after the start in response to Ticktum’s stalled No. 27 car, which started in fifth on the grid compared to Vaidyanathan’s 21st-place starting position in the No. 24. Vaidyanathan didn’t start the third race of the weekend, and Motorsport.com reports he was “barred from participation” in it. An F3 press release said Vaidyanathan was unable to make the third race because his car was too far gone.
Vaidyanathan may be heading the same way as far as racing in F3 goes, because the stewards over there obviously aren’t taking this one lightly.