Safety Gone too Far?

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Having seen the safety car being deployed for the start of wet races these days and being called out for almost any incident such as in Australia when a car was parked on the pit wall but way off the racing line and on a straight to boot, also when it is wet and the safety car is out, is it right for it to stay out for soo long that the drivers are calling for inters.

Has safety gone to far? Will we ever see true wet racing again? And how many more races will be ruined by safety cars that really do not need to be deployed?
 

Marc

Nothing to see here.
Contributor
The safety car in Aus needed to be called not only because the car was there, its more due to the safety of the people who have to retrieve the car and reallty cant see any other way of doing that when cars take less than 2 mins around the track.

As for the wet, yeah I do kinda agree they stay out for too long these days, but in the same respect I would rather see that than ever have to see a Senna/Ratzenburger moment again in my life. Ya only need to look at other incidents such as Massa to see its still an extremely dangerous sport, and whether its choice to do it or not safety really should be a priority in my opinion.
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
In answer to you first question: Yes, it has gone too far.
Examples in recent times of true wet racing are China 09, Britain 08, Monza 08, Monaco 08, Fuji 08 (still fully wet once we eventually got going). However, with Charlie Whiting seemingly having his finger glued to the safety car button these days when it comes to wet races, I find it hard to be able to see 'true' wet racing - ie races unaffected by the safety car due to the rain. But these previous races have shown that decent wet racing is possible. What really annoys me is that as soon as the safety car is called in after a red flag, many drivers come in for intermediates, and the fact that the red flag period is far too long. The race on Sunday was a prime example of this. Actually, I think the safety was called out too early - Vergne stayed out on intermediates until the red flag.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I was considering starting a similar thread after the GP at the weekend.

I really can't see the point of wet tyres any longer if the safety car is going to be deployed when inters are required and the race is going to be red flagged when full wets are required.

We saw the same thing in Canada last year.

If that's the case why not just stop the race at the first sign of rain and stop wasting money on inters and wets?
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Those are my concerns mjo we used take the mick out of American racing because of the over use of the safety car I remember Spain 96 Schumacher put un a sensational drive in far worse conditions than there were on Sunday and then there was Spa 98 another great race and great drives from real talent like Schumi and Hill.

My point about Australia is that the car was in a safe enough place and didn't need to be recovered, I know it was in the DRS zone but they still had turns 2 and 3 for overtaking..
 

Hamberg

FOTA VIP, I've got the avatar to prove it :)
Contributor
I'm sick of these rolling starts and safety cars for wet weather.There are few occasions where all the the drivers are calling for a red flag or safety car and Malaysia 2012 wasn't one of them from what I could see. Full wets do what exactly??
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I was considering starting a similar thread after the GP at the weekend.

I really can't see the point of wet tyres ........We saw the same thing in Canada last year. If that's the case why not just stop the race at the first sign of rain and stop wasting money on inters and wets?
Kinda of agree but anything that doesn't compromises driver/steward safety can't be bad thing. What happens if it starts raining hard the second they've all just pitted? There's much better weather forecasting these days than there was even 5 years ago when we saw this:


Liuzzi almost smacked into a heft JCB, I'd rather they played it safe than risk anyone's life, it's only entertainment after all.

That said, I also prefer it should the Eclleship not organise races scheduled to commence the second the predictable monsoon hits.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Once again Vergne managed on inters also instead of jabbing the safety car button some discretion should be used.

Also Senna and Ratzenburger's deaths had nothing to do with safety cars or wet weather, the cars are getting safer and safer and so are the tracks and yet it seems that the FIA are wrapping the drivers in cotton wool on top of this.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
From my armchair I'd have said safety has gone too far. Yet I did not note any drivers who criticised the deployment of the safety car, I seem remember Schumacher and Button (as always) saying it was necessary.

I look back in time to races such as Fuji 2007, that race was far worse than what we saw on Sunday. The drivers were actually allowed to race. It also seems that if the is any amount of aquaplaning at any part of the track they will red flag it, I though part of the skill in F1 isn't just going as fast as possible but also keeping it on the track. Not to mention aside from the safety aspect it certainly is not appealing, the timeslot of the Malaysia GP really hurts it's overall entertainment factor if half the time we go there now we can expect a red flag.
 

tonyw151

Points Scorer
Contributor
I must admit they were some of the first races i remember seeing so don't recall how bad conditions were but Aus '91 was abandoned due to weather, France '92 was red flagged, Ok not a safety car but racing was still being stopped. Wish they still had monsoons with a bigger circumference. Surely that would stop the planks riding on the water?
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
While I agree that the SC is used too often, especially in wet races, we must remember that there have been quite a few red flag/SC periods over the years due to rain. It's easy to forget that Fuji 07 started under SC and Maylander led 18 laps.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
While I agree that the SC is used too often, especially in wet races, we must remember that there have been quite a few red flag/SC periods over the years due to rain. It's easy to forget that Fuji 07 started under SC and Maylander led 18 laps.
Yes but I'm sure that had we had those conditions on Sunday the SC would have been out far longer than 18 laps. Look at Canada 2011 when the track was ready for inters, nevermind full wets...
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Some people seem to think that it is overly dangerous to race in the wet, yet if you look back in history how many drivers have been injured or lost their lives due to wet weather racing compared to dry weather racing? even if you calculate it as a percentage value?

Wet weather racing brings its own safety margins the cars are slower the drivers concentrate harder, usually it is only the cars that get damaged not the drivers...

Again spa 98 DC and MS... nobody was hurt just the cars..
 

Viscount

Pole Sitter
Contributor
I do think that they are slightly too cautious when it comes to safety but I also think that they have to be. It's impossible to know where the line is so it's better to be too safety conscious than too little otherwise they'd only be reacting to incidents rather than preventing them which I believe is their goal.

You say nobody was hurt at Spa 1998 but do you want to see cars racing or crashing? In that race at the first wet start 13 cars crashed before turn 2, only 8 of the 18 cars that made the restart finished. Wet starts behind a safety car might be boring but I'd rather see them than what happened at the start of the 1998 Spa GP.
There were parts flying everywhere in that crash and what happened to Felipe Massa in Hungary 09 could have happened to any of the drivers there.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/8222487.stm

When deciding on when to bring back in a safety car when it's raining, Charlie Whiting does get the opinion of the drivers who actually have to drive the cars.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Problem is the drivers can sometimes be biased.

You have a small lead in the WDC, your main rival is bearing down on you at a considerable rate. Yet you find yourself leading this race where it is raining and your rival has crashed out, do you really expect the driver to say the conditions are fine? Fact is although the drivers will have the most insight into the conditions their motivations are not simply driven entirely by safety, but also by competition.
 
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