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F1 Mexican Grand Prix: Red Bull requests Virtual Safety Car rule changes

Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have come out in unity to ask for changes to Virtual Safety Car procedures with a minimum speed introduced.
Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have come out in unity in demanding clarity on the Virtual Safety Car rules and potential changes after losing out during the United States Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was jumped by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg at the restart of the first Virtual Safety Car period in Austin and has since admitted he didn't know when the race returned to green flag conditions, making him a sitting duck for the German.

The Australian also felt matters were made worse when race leader Lewis Hamilton backed the pack up by going 'four or five seconds' slower than the required delta time, allowing the cars to catch one another rather than theoretically maintain the same time distance.

“I was just confused when it was green basically, when it ended,” Ricciardo said. “My engineer came on the radio and said VSC ending and that is normally like a 10-second warning, so I was aware it was going to end soon. I had a look for the boards.

“I have never really had it in the past but I didn't get anything that race, but I don't know if that is an internal thing or an issue with the VSC itself.”

Both Red Bull drivers are seeking assurances that the Virtual Safety Car procedure will be made clearer in the future and is asking for a minimum speed limit to be introduced as well as a maximum speed limit to prevent cars from bunching together.

“It is the first year of it so we are trying to understand what works and what doesn't, but it is nice to find little hurdles, it's the only way we can improve it,” Ricciardo explained. “We will get more opinions in the drivers' briefing and get a minimum.

“I know Rosberg caught us as a pack because we were positive, I think four or five seconds slower, so that was already bad and then my biggest one is when he passed me, I didn't realise we were green. I think the minimum will be proposed.”

Kvyat feels the current regulations can be unfair to some drivers and the Red Bulls were made to bear the brunt of it in Austin.

“We suddenly found Nico Rosberg being quite far away from us and suddenly he was on our tail,” Kvyat said. “Lewis Hamilton was leading, he wasn't really following his target so all guys behind started to catch. I think we will get clarification from Charlie [Whiting, F1 race director], this was my first impression so far, it's not a big deal, and it's very easily corrected.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.10.2015- Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
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October 30, 2015 11:16 AM

The idea of the VSC is to maintain the gaps between cars and this is done by having set times for sectors. Once in the 'final' sector i.e. just before the lights go green, the set times go out the window and it becomes like a safety car end and the leader can back up the pack. However, whereas with a safety car there is a physical line to cross before overtaking is allowed, in the case of the VSC, there is no line so once the lights go green its every man for themselves. This wrecks the principle of the VSC (of maintaining the gaps) but there is no easy solution.

Sasha Alexandrovich

October 30, 2015 1:05 PM

Is it so friggin hard for Charly Whiting to override all team radio like in Le Mans. VSC ending in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0..... Just ditch the whole stupid VSC and introduce slow zones with an overriding team radio warning and a forced by race direction button speed limiter. F1 is trying to reinvent the wheel.

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