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Safety car regulations to be discussed at Silverstone

FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting and F1's twelve teams will sit down together ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix to discuss what might be done to improve the sport's safety car regulations in the wake of the Valencia controversy
F1's twelve teams will have the opportunity to discuss the contentious current safety car regulations with the sport's governing body the FIA in an Extraordinary Meeting of the Sporting Working Group at Silverstone on Wednesday – with the events of last weekend's outing in Valencia likely to top the agenda.

FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting – the chief subject of Fernando Alonso's post-race outburst in Spain – will chair the reunion, during which both sides will be given the chance to explain their point-of-view. On Sunday, Ferrari claimed the result of the European Grand Prix was 'manipulated' given that for respecting the rules to the letter, its two drivers Alonso and Felipe Massa were effectively penalised far more than McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton who did not.

Key amongst the topics up for debate is likely to be the length of time it takes stewards to deliberate over punishments for transgressions, with the 16 laps between Hamilton overtaking the safety car in Valencia and the British star serving the drive-through penalty he received for his misdemeanour in effect enabling him to get off scot-free without losing a position – much to Alonso and Ferrari's displeasure.

One possibility is that the pit exit could be kept open throughout the period in which the safety car is out on-track to allow drivers to simply blend into the queue, thereby avoiding the kind of situation that saw Mercedes Grand Prix's Michael Schumacher lose so much time in the same race by being held at the end of the pit-lane until the stream of cars had gone past.

Another option – now refuelling is no longer a factor – could be to keep the pits closed until all drivers are lined-up behind the safety car, with the only potential issue in that scenario being that all competitors would probably then pit at exactly the same time, leading to a very crowded and therefore potentially dangerous pit-lane.

Whilst any changes agreed are not likely to take effect until 2011, the outcome of the meeting will doubtless be awaited with some interest.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Thursday, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari & FIA Chief Technical Delegate Charlie Whiting
Mercedes Benz Safety Car
Race, The safety car leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Rene Dreyfus and Tazio Nuvolari at the 1935 Grand Prix de Pau
Pic credit: Agence de presse Meurisse‏ [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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Sebastian Vettel drives the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi for the first time - Pic credit: Infiniti
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Makaveli Lives - Unregistered

July 02, 2010 7:37 PM

@jefemano, you need to let it go mate! Dragging up events from 2006!!! Dear, oh dear. On the regulations why not just adopt the American system used in IRL and NASCAR. Let's face it the Americans have been using safety cars for a lot longer than over here in Europe and from what I've seen of the IRL televised here in the UK they seem to have the regulations well sorted out and when the SC is deployed there are never any incidents of this kind.

spaghettieddie

July 02, 2010 6:34 PM

This shows how inept the FIA are. They have to wait till almost raceday to discuss this? Give me a break! With all of the technology that we have these days a tele/comp conference is easily done. Stupid asses! :? :) Ed



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