Lapped cars under safety car
25th September 2011, 19:07 at 7:07 pm #130126
Under safety car today we saw a lot of lapped cars between Vettel and Button, which perhaps cost us a fight for victory. Something similar happened in Interlagos last year, costing McLaren as well.
A few years ago we had safety car rules which allowed lapped cars to overtake the safety car and rejoin at the back of the field, which took a lot of time and was just plain weird.
So what if they left the rules as they are, but showed the blue flags before the restart? That way we would have a line of cars on the lead lap first, then those one lap behind, then those who are two behind etc. I guess that’s not too hard to do and it would really remove the problem of traffic after a restart. What do you think?25th September 2011, 19:18 at 7:18 pm #179035
Anything has to be better. I like that idea so long as it dioesn’t cause too much chaos under the SC. The rules atm aren’t just daft for the show but they’re a real pain when lapped cars are fighting with one another and getting in the way. I remember at Interlagos last year Jaime (or possibly Sutil) started defending from Alonso and nearly put him in the wall at the restart and it was just too confusing.25th September 2011, 19:37 at 7:37 pm #179036
Yep, it’s one big confusion for drivers and fans that can be easily avoided.25th September 2011, 22:17 at 10:17 pm #179037
On the other hand, those cars were between them because Vettel had lapped them, why should the car behind get a free pass? Frankly I think the safety car already gives a potentially huge advantage to the car behind (depending on what the gap was), changing it would only make that advantage even more unfair.26th September 2011, 2:46 at 2:46 am #179038
FIA need to look at this carefully as it spoils the race,they should clear the top 10 at least so that they don’t have any back marker between them.26th September 2011, 7:01 at 7:01 am #179039
On the other hand, those cars were between them because Vettel had lapped them, why should the car behind get a free pass
Because arguably they lose even more time than they would have – lapped cars that were 2s apart are now half a second at the restart and they have to slalom between them – and it’s unnecessarily dangerous. They’re going a lap down anyway and in the era of blue flags talking about making it too easy for the drivers…well, in for a penny and all that.26th September 2011, 7:37 at 7:37 am #179040
Are you saying that those lapped runners caused Jenson the 20.7s Vettel lost when the safety car came out?26th September 2011, 8:25 at 8:25 am #179041
No I don’t think they should be allowed to unlap themselves. First of all, all SC periods would be extended a couple of laps to get the time to do this. Also, the lead driver have had to put his race in danger to slalom through the traffic, I don’t see why the drivers behind him shouldn’t have to do the same. I see that it would be more exciting if the lapped drivers should unlap themselves, but I don’t think it is fair. The race leader is already penalized enough by a safety car, I don’t see why the drivers behind him should get another advantage to improve the show.26th September 2011, 8:29 at 8:29 am #179042
The big disadvantage of the system they had for letting backmarkers get in line was, that they sent them to overtake the field and join them at the back. As they seperated cars with laps between them, this meant it took up to 3-4 laps more of SC running.
I think they should let the backmarkers go to the side in the last lap before the SC on a straight and let the people that are on the same lap as the leader slot in behind each other to avoid what we saw here (and in Interlagos last year).26th September 2011, 14:24 at 2:24 pm #179043
@raymondu999 No, but Button lost around 10 seconds to Vettel in the two laps after the restart. Without that he could’ve perhaps fought for victory.26th September 2011, 14:37 at 2:37 pm #179044
I was responding to Icythye’s point. Yes, Button lost about 10s in that restart from Vettel. However, that is completely ignoring the fact that Vettel put up a mega first stint and pulled 20.7s on Button. It’s not fair that he worked his arse off in the first stint to pull a gigantic lead and have it all just wiped by the safety car in a way26th September 2011, 14:48 at 2:48 pm #179045
Ah, right. I misunderstood, sorry.26th September 2011, 15:32 at 3:32 pm #179046
I’m not a big fan of the Safety Car anyway, I think it should be scrapped.
For the majority of incidents, they could just impose a speed limit on the cars, with no overtaking. This would allow the marshals to work in about the same level of safety as the first few laps after a SC deployment (where the cars have to stick to a low speed before catching the SC).
In more serious situations, the best course of action is a red flag. Line everyone up on the grid. The marshals can then work more quickly (as they have NO cars on the track to worry about), the race can get underway more quickly, and we don’t get a chunk of “wasted” laps behind the SC. Personally, I’d set a limit to the # of laps at limitted speed (or behind the SC, if they chose to keep it), maybe 5 or 6, after which the race is red flagged until the problem is sorted.
I know this introduces an unfairness to anyone who has built up a large gap to the car behind, but so does the SC (no matter what is done with lapped runners). I think the SC is an out-dated concept which is not needed in todays motorsport.26th September 2011, 15:59 at 3:59 pm #179047
Yes I agree that a safety speed limit would be much “fairer.” Except when the lead car is ailing due to an issue. Then we’ll get people complaining again.26th September 2011, 16:12 at 4:12 pm #179048
The safety car is hardly outdated, it has only been regularly used since 1993. The problem is that without a safety car, the field can’t be bunched up. If every car was evenly spaced out around the track, whilst the marshals clear up the circuit, then the slow down periods would take much longer, than if a safety car was used.
Unfortunately for anyone who loses their big leads, it is just too damn bad, safety comes first. And for the benefit of the race, the safety car is a much better option.
Going back on topic, I think lapped cars should be allowed to overtake again. When I realized that Button had three cars between himself and Vettel, I was slightly annoyed. Back in 2007 and 2008, I never thought to myself that safety car periods were too long. I just understood that safety car periods will take as long as they need to take.
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