Yellow fever at Suzuka

Yellow fever at Suzuka

The gaggle of yellow flag penalties at Suzuka prompted memories of a similar situation at the track 12 years earlier, and questions over how such situations are handled. Adam Cooper investigates

On the Saturday of the 1997 Japanese Grand Prix we faced a long evening as the FIA stewards deliberated over a string of yellow flag offences – an investigation that, whatever the outcome, would have a direct impact on the world championship.

In morning practice Jos Verstappen had come to a halt on the run between Spoon Corner and 130R. He was off the track and on the verge, and out of harm's way. But yellow flags were out, and while marshals attended to his car Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Rubens Barrichello, Johnny Herbert and Ukyo Katayama were all clocked for speeding. All had to come and plead their cases after qualifying.

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