Watching the BBC F1 Highlights for Australia, I found it hard to understand how Vettel managed to pass Hamilton due to the Safety Car. Its meant to be because Vettel was in a position that he didn’t have to slow down? Could somebody who understands please spell it out for me!
When the safety car is deployed, everyone is expected to slow down and drive at a safe pace until they catch the safety car. When the safety car was deployed, Hamilton had already passed the pit entry, so he had to do most of a lap at a lower speed. Vettel was much closer to the pit entry, so he could get in and out of the pits before Hamilton came back around.
Don’t get this either. Vettel was behind by a couple of seconds, he pitted, then he was in front. Did Vettel overtake Hamilton in the pit lane? I thought overtaking was not allowed while the safety car is out. Very confusing.
Here’s the lowdown. The McLarens pit. Vettel stays out. He’s obviously flat out. As Vettel reaches Turn 11 the safety car comes out. So Vettel’s inlap was only affected in sector three. Meanwhile Lewis comes out and has to go through a whole lap of safety car limit – vs the lap Vettel did which was only safety limited in sector 3. It was the luck of the draw.
Ah, that actually makes more sense, thanks raymondu.
So Vettel basically had a fast in-lap, and Lewis had a safety-car-slow out-lap, so that when Vettel came out of the pits, Button had come back round past, but Hamilton didn’t make it, and lost a place. Any idea what the margin was there? (How far back Ham was from the pit exit?)
Yeah, would have been nice to see the driver tracker when this happened so you could have seen where they were and how the safety car affected them.
Basically HAM pitstop was during VET at race speed. And VET pitstop was at HAM SC delta speed.
It seems the general consensus is that the safety car gifted Vettel the second place, and that he would have only gotten third if not for the ‘gifted’ pit stop. It’s a shame that this idea clouds what actually went on and just leaves some with a sour aftertaste.
Vettel on his option tires was much faster than Hamilton when he closed up to him, but with a +10kph speed difference, making an overtaking move on Hamilton would have killed his tires. The moment Hamilton got the call he needed a few more laps before his pit stop, Vettel closed on him with tenths-of-a-second laps and he was less than a second behind when Hamilton pitted.
Vettel was biding his time, saving his tires so that he could get the undercut on Hamilton. The shame is that with the safety car, we didn’t actually get to see how things would have panned out. If Vettel was able to make up the time and make the undercut. But simply putting it away as “Vettel was lucky” takes away from a brilliant piece of strategy we saw today.
@mnmracer Hamilton pitted before Vettel, so how would Vettel have got an undercut, even without the safety car?
Sorry, mix up of terms.
A safety car-related question just popped into my mind.
If a driver is nearing the end of the second sector when the safety car comes out, they will be given a delta time for the third sector of that lap, correct? I don’t know what the delta times are usually like, but let’s say it’s ten seconds above the normal sector time. If the driver races at normal pace – which he is not supposed to do – but then comes in for a pit stop and trundles down the pit lane at the relatively snail-like speed limit, wouldn’t that mean that his overall time is still within the delta? If so, it means he could effectively just carry on racing normally until he leaves the pits. That doesn’t seem fair.
I haven’t heard of the delta time before, but it seems kind of odd. While some (notably Vettel and Schumacher) are very good at putting in exact lap times on command, none of the drivers have any concept on how much slower 10 seconds is. Doesn’t seem like a very realistic target. The way I understand it, they just have to treat it like a double yellow flag: clearly slow down so that you can anticipate any surprises.
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