Replace the safety car

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Just_a_fan
Just_a_fan
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Replace the safety car

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During the 2021 season (and during others as well), we have had a number of situations where the safety car has affected the outcome of the race for various drivers in various ways. Fans on various sides have been angry about the results as we all know far too well. :lol:

I understand that the safety car is used to ensure the drivers are going slowly by an area where marshals are on track. This is exactly right - the marshals need to be protected from the hot heads driving the cars.

However, the safety car is a very blunt instrument for this purpose and ends up with the cars pottering around at unrealistic speeds, tyres cooling, etc.

Would it be better to use the "slow zone" concept as used at Le Mans, for example? Have slow zone boards and flags and between the slow zone starting flag and the green flag require the drivers to apply the pit lane speed limiter. No speeding and no overtaking in the zone.

That way, the cars are racing everywhere else on the lap and the risk of an incident like we saw at the end of the Abu Dhabi race is removed.

We then have a hierarchy of control - yellow flag: slow down, no overtaking; double yellows: slow down and prepare to stop, no overtaking; slow zone - apply speed limiter, prepare to stop, no overtaking; red flag - race suspended, return to pits.

No need for a safety car or a virtual safety car - the slow zone covers both of the situations that these currently cover - and we have more on-track racing, even during the recovery of a stopped car with marshals and heavy lift equipment on track.

What do forum members think?
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools." oh, and "The Dutch fans are drunk. Maybe"

LM10
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Re: Replace the safety car

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Short answer: This sounds like a good idea.

Edit: But I doubt we'll see the SC being replaced as it adds so much spiciness to the show.

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El Scorchio
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Re: Replace the safety car

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LM10 wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:56 pm
Short answer: This sounds like a good idea.

Edit: But I doubt we'll see the SC being replaced as it adds so much spiciness to the show.
The issue I have with it is that it’s up to the clown in the director’s seat to subjectively decide when and how they are used and it’s clear his motive is for dramatic impact rather than keeping any sort of integrity.

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El Scorchio
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Re: Replace the safety car

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But seriously I’d prefer VSC or full course yellows. It’s a lot fairer but I understand why the Bianchi incident is a counter argument to that.

I’d say just put the pit limiter on all the cars.

Just_a_fan
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Re: Replace the safety car

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El Scorchio wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:14 pm
But seriously I’d prefer VSC or full course yellows. It’s a lot fairer but I understand why the Bianchi incident is a counter argument to that.

I’d say just put the pit limiter on all the cars.
But a Bianchi-type accident would be prevented by a slow zone. He would have been going at pit lane speeds not significantly quicker as he was at the time. If he'd slid off there at pit lane speed he'd have never reached the tractor and wouldn't have died.
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools." oh, and "The Dutch fans are drunk. Maybe"

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El Scorchio
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Re: Replace the safety car

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Just_a_fan wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:42 pm
El Scorchio wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:14 pm
But seriously I’d prefer VSC or full course yellows. It’s a lot fairer but I understand why the Bianchi incident is a counter argument to that.

I’d say just put the pit limiter on all the cars.
But a Bianchi-type accident would be prevented by a slow zone. He would have been going at pit lane speeds not significantly quicker as he was at the time. If he'd slid off there at pit lane speed he'd have never reached the tractor and wouldn't have died.
Then sign me up for slow zone or forced application of the pit limiter!

Jolle
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Re: Replace the safety car

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El Scorchio wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:28 pm
Just_a_fan wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:42 pm
El Scorchio wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:14 pm
But seriously I’d prefer VSC or full course yellows. It’s a lot fairer but I understand why the Bianchi incident is a counter argument to that.

I’d say just put the pit limiter on all the cars.
But a Bianchi-type accident would be prevented by a slow zone. He would have been going at pit lane speeds not significantly quicker as he was at the time. If he'd slid off there at pit lane speed he'd have never reached the tractor and wouldn't have died.
Then sign me up for slow zone or forced application of the pit limiter!
With marshals on track (to recover a car), the poor visibility from a F1 car hand the still killing speed of 80 km/h I don’t think that would be the safest solution. The good thing of a safety car is that the field is bunched up, so you have about 2 2.5 minutes of no traffic per lap instead of cars poodling by every few seconds, possibly weaving of controlling stuff on the dash

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diffuser
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Re: Replace the safety car

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El Scorchio wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:12 pm
LM10 wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:56 pm
Short answer: This sounds like a good idea.

Edit: But I doubt we'll see the SC being replaced as it adds so much spiciness to the show.
The issue I have with it is that it’s up to the clown in the director’s seat to subjectively decide when and how they are used and it’s clear his motive is for dramatic impact rather than keeping any sort of integrity.
Not to defend the clown but the problem is he has too much leaway in the regs. If the regs were written in a way to say he has to do "this, that and the other thing" before the SC can be brought in, he'd have to follow the procedure and the fans would know what to expect. The fact is, the way I understand it, he can skip steps as he sees fit. The Latfi accident then puts Masi in a real predicament where he ends up with the ability to choose the Champion of the 2021 season by his actions/flexibility of the rules.

Reminds me of when the NHL first implemented a penality for shooting the puck over the glass when a team was pinned in their own end. The idea was to prevent the defensive team from getting an easy out when they were under pressure in their own end but they left it up to the refs to decide if the player was doing it intensional. It was a disaster, constant bikering whether the player did it on purpose and it was being called differently by different refs and at different times in a game. No ref wants to be the deciding factor in a tight game. So it never got called lare in the game. They've since changed it to an automatic penalty. The players don't like it but they don't argue. It's clear to everyone why the player is going off. So it's "player X messed up" and not "the ref wanted that team to win".

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Ryar
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Re: Replace the safety car

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Topics like this need to have a balanced context to discuss, agree and debated on. The current context for this topic is the frustruation of yesterday's race result, more than a keen interest of the sport. Except for couple of good, contradicting points (first one from just_a_fan and then from Jolle), the other posts are so far venting the frustration out. There are some necessary evils and I think SC is one of them. It's an element of surprise and fun, beyond the primary objective of safety of marshals. Drivers are greedy morons and bound to ignore safety instructions and can invariably make mistakes of speeding up.
Hakuna Matata!

Just_a_fan
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Re: Replace the safety car

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Jolle wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:20 am


With marshals on track (to recover a car), the poor visibility from a F1 car hand the still killing speed of 80 km/h I don’t think that would be the safest solution. The good thing of a safety car is that the field is bunched up, so you have about 2 2.5 minutes of no traffic per lap instead of cars poodling by every few seconds, possibly weaving of controlling stuff on the dash
I hadn't thought that the safety car does give the marshals more car-free time, that's a good point. However, the cars effectively race until the safety car picks them up so they are initially going at greater than the pit lane speed limiter past the initial accident even with a safety car. A slow zone can be activated immediately meaning all cars approaching the incident are slow from the first few moments after the crash.

The drivers weave to keep tyre temperatures and pressure where they need them for racing. With a slow zone, they are racing for the vast majority of the lap so they don't need to weave to keep the temperatures up. A simple "pit lane speed limiter, no weaving, single file in the zone" rule would apply.

The slow zone does still allow some tyre strategy dice rolling because it's still a much slower lap than a normal lap. In effect the slow zone would be somewhere around a quarter or half a pit lane in length (by the time you have the required number of marshal posts to do the necessary flags), so you still get the chance to take a pit stop, but the benefit is that everyone will get that pit stop chance because a slow zone would obviously last more than one lap. So the driver that has worked hard to get a lead doesn't see it killed by a safety car bunching everyone up. I've always thought that was really unfair - it's like suddenly taxing a person at 150% so that the guy next door who isn't as good at his job can buy a nicer car.

In order to allow the drivers to slow down for the slow zone, I would envisage three sets of flags.
1. Waved yellows with slow zone board
2. Slow zone active lights on the track side and the driver's dash
3. Green flag

Between 1 and 2, the drivers must slow down to the pit lane speed limit (just as they do approaching the pits) but they mustn't overtake someone who is also doing so. Between 2 and 3, the drivers must have the pit lane limiter active, be in single file. At 3, the hammer goes back down and they're back up to racing speed.

I can see the idea needs some tuning, but it is a first draft. 8)
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools." oh, and "The Dutch fans are drunk. Maybe"

Jolle
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Re: Replace the safety car

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I think the same with the tread about the red flags and other rules. They are clear and fair is basics. It’s more a problem how the rules are applied recently, not the rules themselves (plus a feeling that people were wronged by applieing them)

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adrianjordan
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Re: Replace the safety car

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Just_a_fan wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:40 am
Jolle wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:20 am


With marshals on track (to recover a car), the poor visibility from a F1 car hand the still killing speed of 80 km/h I don’t think that would be the safest solution. The good thing of a safety car is that the field is bunched up, so you have about 2 2.5 minutes of no traffic per lap instead of cars poodling by every few seconds, possibly weaving of controlling stuff on the dash
I hadn't thought that the safety car does give the marshals more car-free time, that's a good point. However, the cars effectively race until the safety car picks them up so they are initially going at greater than the pit lane speed limiter past the initial accident even with a safety car. A slow zone can be activated immediately meaning all cars approaching the incident are slow from the first few moments after the crash.

The drivers weave to keep tyre temperatures and pressure where they need them for racing. With a slow zone, they are racing for the vast majority of the lap so they don't need to weave to keep the temperatures up. A simple "pit lane speed limiter, no weaving, single file in the zone" rule would apply.

The slow zone does still allow some tyre strategy dice rolling because it's still a much slower lap than a normal lap. In effect the slow zone would be somewhere around a quarter or half a pit lane in length (by the time you have the required number of marshal posts to do the necessary flags), so you still get the chance to take a pit stop, but the benefit is that everyone will get that pit stop chance because a slow zone would obviously last more than one lap. So the driver that has worked hard to get a lead doesn't see it killed by a safety car bunching everyone up. I've always thought that was really unfair - it's like suddenly taxing a person at 150% so that the guy next door who isn't as good at his job can buy a nicer car.

In order to allow the drivers to slow down for the slow zone, I would envisage three sets of flags.
1. Waved yellows with slow zone board
2. Slow zone active lights on the track side and the driver's dash
3. Green flag

Between 1 and 2, the drivers must slow down to the pit lane speed limit (just as they do approaching the pits) but they mustn't overtake someone who is also doing so. Between 2 and 3, the drivers must have the pit lane limiter active, be in single file. At 3, the hammer goes back down and they're back up to racing speed.

I can see the idea needs some tuning, but it is a first draft. 8)
I do like this idea. If it works in Le Man's why not in F1?

If they did this then perhaps they could also implement a rule whereby you can't enter the pits on the first lap with a Slow Zone in effect unless you have damage, which would then allow time to decide whether a red flag was needed and get rid of the advantages of changing tyres under a red flag.
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CMSMJ1
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Re: Replace the safety car

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Pit them. Everyone lines up. No work on the cars.

Marshalls can work without concern or stress and get the job done.

One lap out of pits - and rolling start.


The sponsorship of the SC by Merc and Aston probably drive the major conversations about the SC - they like to show them off....
IMPERATOR REX ANGLORUM

basti313
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Re: Replace the safety car

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I am again surprised by this discussion. Last week we had the same on Red Flags...remember 2011 Monaco? Ferrari fans were all over the place, Ham fans said a front wing change should be allowed, Vettel fans were for tire changes....

Now this stupidity with the safety car...
Please remember that the removal of the backmarkers was based on the lobby of Ferrari and Mercedes which introduced several changes in the years 2009 to 2012 to get a grip on RedBull in SC situations.
Before 2007 the race director had the power to select who is removed and who not....that was not to the like of the teams, so no backmarker removal. Then in 2009 Vettel profited from it with having Grosjean as a stopper behind....and it was the other way round. At this time the safety car was deployed after two laps. With this rule in place Ham could have still done an easy change this year and the race would definitely have ended under SC conditions.
The ideas to change the deployment of the safety car was lobbied by Mercedes! This was a 2013 change when they suddenly were getting competitive.

From my point of view we had these changes for the show...and this is why they are bad. But now we can not just go back as Merc was the loser.....the unlapping will stay, the SC is generally a must have as you need to clean the track with cars lined up behind the SC.

Just_a_fan
Just_a_fan
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Re: Replace the safety car

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basti313 wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:11 pm


From my point of view we had these changes for the show...and this is why they are bad. But now we can not just go back as Merc was the loser.....the unlapping will stay, the SC is generally a must have as you need to clean the track with cars lined up behind the SC.
The discussion is not because Mercedes lost. The discussion is about whether there is a better way of dealing with incidents on track that is fairer to all of the teams and drivers. We have had, over the years, lots of times when a safety car has hugely disadvantaged one team/driver and fans of all teams and drivers have had cause to complain at some point because they have fallen foul of it. We've seen the rules changed regarding being able to pit, not being able to pit, etc., as each situation has caused issues.

The safety car is a pretty poor way of dealing with an issue at one point on the track. It causes issues for the drivers because of tyre temperatures and it massively penalises some drivers through no fault of their own whilst benefitting others through pure luck of the draw. That's hardly the "pinnacle of motorsport" is it?

Is the safety car really the best that F1 can come up with to deal with a localised incident on track?
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools." oh, and "The Dutch fans are drunk. Maybe"