Safety Car Rules

Kewee

Race Winner
I'm hoping this thread will receive plenty of attention so the powers that be may read it.

I cannot understand how a driver is allowed to gain a place through the timing of their pitstop while there fellow competitors are being held by the safety car as happened with Vettel and Hamilton.
It's perfectly acceptable for a driver to gain a place during a pitstop under race conditions. It's usually achieved with a brilliant in-lap and well planned tactics, but gaining a place under the safety car seems incredibly unfair to me and many other fans I've spoken to. A driver is not allowed to overtake on track when the safety car is deployed, how difficult would it be to extend that rule to include cars that are pitting. I can even write the rule for them if they like.

'If a driver is going to gain an advantage through the timing of his pitstop when the safety car takes control of the race he must rejoin the field in the same position he held on the lap the safety car is deployed.'

Doesn't seem a difficult rule to tweak to me. In the case of the Australian GP, Vettel would have had to rejoin the field behind Hamilton. This thread has nothing to do with favoring any particular driver, I just believe its wrong for a driver to be able to make a pass through the timing of his pitstop when his competitor is being held behind safety car.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
I don't like safety cars more than the next man, but I think they have tried the majority of alternatives and will probably continue tweaking until they offend the least.

With the specifics of the thread you should bear in mind Martin Whitmarsh's comments whereby he felt there was no point in complaining, this time McLaren lost, next time they may be big winners, it's just a racing incident lottery
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Whilst I agree with sentiment unfourtunatly it would be impossible to police and its just an unfourtunate side effect of something that is needed for safety. Unless your suggesting race stoppages and aggerate times? I do think its the luck of the draw and what comes around goes around and it evens itself out over the years

I agree.
Or just simply no pitstops during SC.
Probably that would even be better.

They did that and it just created the situation the other way round. Those who needed to pit as the safety car came out had to stop out as the field closed up and then come in the pits when it came in just ended up at the back of the pack. You have that again and you'll have someone writing an article about how its unfair to lose places from not being able to pit
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
They did that and it just created the situation the other way round. Those who needed to pit as the safety car came out had to stop out as the field closed up and then come in the pits when it came in just ended up at the back of the pack. You have that again and you'll have someone writing an article about how its unfair to lose places from not being able to pit
That was when they needed to stop for fuel. So that's much less of a problem these days.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Yeah but all their advantage they'd gained over the cars behind would be wiped out so when they pitted afterwards they'd end up at the back of the chain thus losing positions due to the safety car.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
If you have to pit after the safety car has bunched the race together it would be a much larger penalty the one or two places.

Based on the race today Seb had a scheduled stop for that lap anyway and just lucked out - a reputation that used to follow Michael Schumacher around
 

Kewee

Race Winner
The ruling I'm suggesting is far simpler than many are suggesting. Regardless of when a driver pits during the safety car period, he rejoins the field in the position he held when the safety car was deployed and race control doesn't instruct the safety car to release the field until they are in their correct positions. It's done in every other form of motorsport, usually using pit boards. It doesn't take long to shuffle the field into their correct positions. F1 is the most sophisticated form of motorsport in the world with the least sophisticated and most unfair ruling on safety car deployment. Every driver, and every team on pit wall, and Charlie Whiting, all know the position the cars are in when the safety car is deployed. They all have team radios to communicate with, and tell their drivers the position they need to be in before the safety car releases the field, it really is very simple and very fair. As I said in my original thread, your not allowed to pass when the safety car is deployed, all I'm suggesting is the ruling should extend to cars pitting.
Something that some of you may be missing here with my suggestion, is when the safety car is deployed the field becomes effectively frozen. The whole point is to prevent a team from taking an unfair advantage over other drivers who are literally stalled behind the safety car, and with the technology available in F1 it's a very easy fix.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Which other form of single seater series does that Kewee? Coz I've never heard of it before.

I do see your sentiment and as I said it would be the fair way but the likelyhood of it happening is zilch as its all about the show and anything that shakes the order up and create actions is not going to be got rid of anytime soon.
 

Clinton

Rookie
It's not the like the safety car is "fair" anyway, because it erodes what are sometimes massive time gaps between the cars. The current rules are probably the least unfair practicable.
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
The ruling I'm suggesting is far simpler than many are suggesting. Regardless of when a driver pits during the safety car period, he rejoins the field in the position he held when the safety car was deployed and race control doesn't instruct the safety car to release the field until they are in their correct positions. It's done in every other form of motorsport, usually using pit boards. It doesn't take long to shuffle the field into their correct positions. F1 is the most sophisticated form of motorsport in the world with the least sophisticated and most unfair ruling on safety car deployment. Every driver, and every team on pit wall, and Charlie Whiting, all know the position the cars are in when the safety car is deployed. They all have team radios to communicate with, and tell their drivers the position they need to be in before the safety car releases the field, it really is very simple and very fair. As I said in my original thread, your not allowed to pass when the safety car is deployed, all I'm suggesting is the ruling should extend to cars pitting.
Something that some of you may be missing here with my suggestion, is when the safety car is deployed the field becomes effectively frozen. The whole point is to prevent a team from taking an unfair advantage over other drivers who are literally stalled behind the safety car, and with the technology available in F1 it's a very easy fix.
Then Vettel would have won. Because he was in the lead when the safetycar was deployed.
 

Legs

Points Scorer
Excuse my naivety, but couldn't the safety car issue be resolved with the same speed limiters that the drivers use in the pitlanes? There is a system in sports car racing called Code 60 whereby all cars are required to slow to 60km/h within 10 seconds, which effectively neutralises the race while keeping the cars circulating.

The only drawbacks I can see are that
  • It does not bunch the field, so marshals don't have a prolonged period with no cars passing to get the work done, and
  • Tyre pressures would drop off significantly if used for a long period.
However
  • If the limited speed is sufficiently low, drivers would be able to be instructed in advance about where marshals are on course and would be able to pass the incident site appropriately, and
  • The transitions from racing to safety mode and back would provide opportunities for closing/passing/errors
That safety car to remove Petrov's car today was utterly ridiculous. Did it really need to be removed? Have the race directors not seen the 1984 Dallas GP? There was no way anyone was going to hit it - unless they were doing a Martini (Oz '91) and crashing in the middle of the straight...
As an aside, when was the last time that the lead changed when the safety car came in?
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
Then those who were pitting would be at an advantage as they would effectively be at 'race pace' going through the pits the same speed as all the other cars on the track. Vettel probably would have jumped Button as well had there been a SC speed limiter that was the same as the pit lane speed limiter.

The Safety Car is always going to throw in an element of luck throughout a race, just as it always has been since it was introduced.
The current rules are probably about right, it's just something that some will benefit from more than others. Whether unfair or not, a safety car deployment often makes a race far more exciting by bunching the field up - just look at Canada last year for one example.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
The reason there was a change of position is that while Vettel was going at full speed while Hamilton was in the pits, Hamilton was slowed to Safety Car speed while Vettel was in the pitlane. The use of delta times prevents anyone getting an advantage on track speed, but time lost in the pits is always going to be less under SC conditions - unless, I suppose, you reduced the speed limit during SC periods to 25kph or something.
I don't really mind things as they are as it becomes a strategic consideration for the teams, and not completely a matter of luck. Mainly perhaps, but not completely.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
If they're going to throw a Safety Car out there for a stricken car on the main straight, then we're only going to have a handfull of proper GP a year now. Once the field is artificially bunched then its much harder to decipher true pace, great drives, and overtaking stats comparable to days gone by.

One thing that SC's make clear though is who gets the shaft.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I wasn't convinced that a SC was really necessary today. Petrov's car was on the opposite side to the racing line and the marshals could have just straightened it against the wall under yellow flags, so that it was completely off the track.

SCs always introduce an element of luck but they are also overused.
 
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