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.

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