Massa wants lapped cars out of the way – do you agree?

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Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Bruno Senna, Interlagos, 2010

Felipe Massa wants to revive the rule allowing lapped cars to get back on the lead lap during a safety car period.

This idea seemed to be a popular one in the reaction to the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The rule is used in other championships and F1 used to have such a rule, but it was dropped at the start of this season. Do you want the rule to be revived?


The advantage of safety car periods is that they bring cars together on the track, promoting closer racing.

But that benefit is spoiled if there are lots of lapped cars between the leaders – as was the case at Interlagos.

There was so much traffic between the leaders it pretty much guaranteed an uneventful end to the race.

As Felipe Massa said afterwards:

In my opinion, it was better when the rules allowed cars to un-lap themselves when they were behind the Safety Car, as it would have made the racing more interesting.

This is especially true when you consider the situation in the championship, because there were at least a couple of backmarkers between Vettel and Webber at the restart and a lot more between Webber and Fernando, so it was not particularly good in terms of the show.
Felipe Massa

Of course, Massa may well have said this because he was a lap down at the time and would have benefited from getting a lap back.


Safety cars already disadvantage leading cars by eradicating the time advantages they have built up over their rivals.

Is it right that they should also lose the benefit of having lapped more cars than those behind them?

This boils down to an argument about whether to implement rules that are for the benefit of ‘the show’ or rules that are better for F1’s sporting credibility.

I say

I like the idea of getting lapped traffic out of the way in principle. But in practice it’s not easy to implement in F1 without causing other complications.

The sheer amount of time it takes for lapped traffic to complete an extra lap and re-join the end of the safety car train is one such problem.

Because the safety car typically laps the track at more than half racing speed, allowing lapped cars to catch up takes at least two laps.

This is a particular problem close to the end of a race. It led the race director to ignore the rule on some occasions when it was in the regulations.

For example at Suzuka last year the restart was given with four laps to go while leader Sebastian Vettel had the lapped Romain Grosjean right behind him.

The rule works far better in championships that have shorter tracks and slower safety cars – NASCAR and IndyCar, for example. But few F1 circuits are shorter than five kilometres.

An alternative solution could be to force anyone who’s been lapped by the leader to fall to the rear of the safety car train. But it may prove too difficult to instruct drivers to organise themselves in that fashion as each would not necessarily know how many other cars to allow past.

You say

Do you think lapped cars should be allowed to unlap themselves during safety car periods? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should lapped cars be allowed to unlap themselves behind the safety car?

  • No opinion (5%)
  • No (25%)
  • Yes (71%)

Total Voters: 1,915

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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196 comments on “Massa wants lapped cars out of the way – do you agree?”

  1. I think they should because we saw a situation in Brazil where the viewers didn’t really know who was in what position as the cars were close on track but in the wrong order.

    In my opinion we were robbed of a battle between Seb, Mark and Fernando (Though I would say that!)

    1. They should be allowed to unlap themselves or at least allow front runners to pass them. I hate this rule in Indycar and very disappointed they brought the same rule into F1. We got robbed of a great restart in Brazil and lost count this year how many great restarts that was robbed from the Indycar fans due to this silly rule.

      Hate the rule with a passion. Because not only do we get a sad restart but the lapped cars will be getting blue flagged like crazy after the restart to let the front runners past. Why not let them unlap themselves file in at the end. Now there will be no traffic for the front runners for a while and the midfield and rear guard will be able to fight between themselves without having to worry about constantly getting blue flagged.
      Would IMO result in more exciting racing across the entire field.

      1. I’am kind of 50/50 with allowing them to unlap themselves, because I see the downsides.
        But I’am all for the idea of lapping cars while under SC, I see why it would be sometimes confusing for some backmarkers to know to let or don’t let the car behind past you, but with the flag lights on the steering wheel and the lead drivers being so arrogant they shouldn’t have any problem forcing their way trough :D

      2. We didn’t get robbed of anything. If there had been no SC incident then those backmarkers would still have been between the cars.

        Vettel and Webber would have been the ones robbed — robbed of the lead they’d built up.

        This is a sport people. What makes you think it is fair to allow people to catch up when someone else crashes? How is that sport?

        1. I couldn’t agree more. The old rule for unlapping cars always seemed crazy and so false to me. Also it made a mockery of the safety car. If the back markers can circulate quite safely by themselves when unlapping themselves what do you need the safety car for!

        2. I completely agree Daniel.

          It is true that removing the lapped cars would make it more exciting, but so would splitting the race into 5 short sprints, where they line up on the grid after each section. More exciting, while desirable, does nothing for the credibility of the sport.

          @Jim N – Spot on, the safety car is their for safety, and it’s use shouldn’t be handicapped by rules to make it more exciting. F1 is always talking about safety, so to limit the safety cars usefulness seems rather bizarre.

        3. Give that man a coconut.

          Daniel knows exactly what’s what, and effortly nails it full-square. There’s little enough sport left in this business, let’s at least try to hang-on to what we’ve got.

          1. Yep, totally agree with Daniel, Jim, Mike… Quite frankly I’m astonished by the voting so far (at the time of writing 72% want the “race” to be artificially manipulated.)

    2. If the safety car had never been deployed then we wouldn’t have had that scenario either.

      As another commenter stated about lapped cars: is that they’re lapped because the leader passed them. So must every else as well.

      The idea is absurd. In sport you don’t create an artificial situation for the viewer. The race is for the drivers and thus anything that takes away from the “realness” is wrong. I include in that forced tire changes.

    3. I agree, that this situation behind the safetycar barred almost everyone from racing in the last laps.

      It separated the leaders from each other but it also seperated the rest from each other (Rosberg, Schumacher from Button and Kobayashi, Alguersuari Sutil et al from Hulkenberg and Kobayashi. So it was a shame for everyone.

      But i voted no, as i remember only too well, how it used to take for several more laps to have all cars unlap themselves in regular fashion.

      I would support the possibility of having them sorted in running order. With the radio this should not be any problem with arranging that (with a drive through for not giving way).

      1. I agree, however I can’t help but feel that we might have still had a fight at the finish if Vettel had some cars in front of him as well. Maybe the safety car should just pick up whoever meets it first rather than waiting for the leader? It does seem a little stupid having one of those rules but not the other

        1. Bigredbears10
          9th November 2010, 20:59

          As another commenter stated about lapped cars: is that they’re lapped because the leader passed them. So must every else as well.

          Maybe the safety car should just pick up whoever meets it first rather than waiting for the leader?

          I agree. Why does the leader (who may be about to lap a full train of cars) get the benefit of a clear track to run away from his pursuers, yet they get no such benefits. I don’t think the cars should be able to unlap themselves, because it is not “sporting,” but neither should the leader get a free pass and advantage over rivals.

          Besides, I’ve always felt that the reason for a SC is because the track is dangerous. Yet the most dangerous part, immediately after the wreck when the driver(s) are vulnerable in/around the car, the SC allows numerous cars to drive through the dangerous area at high speed while waiting for the leader to come around.

          Doesn’t make sense.

          1. Well said. I voted for letting cars unlap but reading the comments here I’ve changed my mind. The SC is enough of a randomizer *without* letting cars unlap. Think of when a driver builds a gap in which to pit, only to see that gap suddenly turn into a penalty. Meanwhile, with the same stroke of luck another driver benefits because he just happens to be near the pit entrance when the SC is deployed.

            The SC should deploy as soon as possible after a serious incident occurs, and whichever driver happens to be the one behind the SC when it enters the circuit should also lead the pack when the SC peels off.

        2. I agree too. The leader should not get an artificial advantage while everyone else gets stuck behind back markers. If the leader happens to be the one that ends up behind the SC then fair enough but if not the hard luck. The safety car should be deployed immediately and pick up whoever happens to be at that point of the circuit as you say.

          1. I agree, not only is this the fairest solution, that holds up the sports credibility. But quite frankly, I think it would be the most interesting as well.

      2. Well said. I do agree with the people here who suggest the leader shouldn’t get the advantage of being first though, if we leave everyone else in their track position to not further than the SC already does disadvantage anyone who had a gap behind them.

        Of course, then the rule about the race leader setting the pace until the white SC line also needs to be changed back again then.

    4. i remenber seing rosberg letting massa get passed because he thought he was alonso obviously blue flags were too confuse and it brought less excitement than before the safety car period

    5. I agree with allowing cars to ‘unlap’ themselves in theory, however as usual Keith has hit the nail on the head so to speak.

      How to do it effectively and with minimal difficulties would be the major factor. If you also take into account the times the safety car has come out for genuine safety purposes (i.e a 3 or 4 car pile up, or parts strewn across the track) it would be unwise to allow lapped cars to try to ‘unlap’ themselves as well.

      While it’s not brilliant, allowing faster cars to overtake slower or lapped cars still adds to the show, it increases the excitement levels especially at the pointy end of the season when a mistake by a lapped HRT or Virgin can wreck the Championship for Red Bull or Ferrari (or whoever is leading at that stage).

  2. Yes

    Your Comment Was Abit Too Short

    1. yes.

      Nothing more irritating than back-markers.

  3. I voted no, because the question was “allow lapped cars to unlap themselves”. However, I vote YES for removing lapped cars from between those cars on the lead lap.

    I would achieve this, as Keith alluded to, by allowing the lead lap’s cars to form up behind the leader by them overtaking the lapped cars ahead. I would write the rule so the responsibility is with the lapped cars to move off the racing line on the straights, and the lead lap cars to move forward in unison as the straight allows safely until such time as it’s done… shouldn’t take much more than a lap to be honest.

    1. I agree that this is the best option. I’ve got it all figured out:

      Lapped drivers could be informed of their status using a combination of pit-car radio and steering wheel lights. For extra safety, a confirmation button for them to indicate they have received the message, which would cause their rear light to flash (double speed of wet/pit-limiter light), to inform the driver behind.

      Each circuit would have designated “move-aside” zones on (a) straight(s), which the drivers would be informed of at the drivers briefing.

      Once the train has formed, the radio/lights/blue flags in the zone would tell lapped drivers to move off the racing line in unison and reform (in their own lapped-drivers order) at the back of the train.

      If time and laps allow, this could then be repeated for multiple-lapped cars within that rear section.

      Now can somebody tell FOTA/FIA how it should be done?

      1. …or send the lapped cars down the pit lane, as suggested below (good idea ozzmosis!)

      2. I like how you’ve left nothing to imagination =)

        Of course, you have a problem if an accident occurs in the designated move aside zone

        1. So a track needs at least two such zones. Solved!

          I think this idea has some promise, although it sounds a bit complicated – but I guess if it is combined with stop and go penalties to make sure people move over and don’t abuse the system, it might be workable.

    2. To avoid the confusion of a backmarker not knowing how many cars to let past, it can be done like this, in two stages.

      First, the lapped cars all together unlap themselves and move to the front of the queue. So now you have a train of lapped cars in front with a train of cars on the lead lap right behind.

      Then immediately after, the lapped cars train in front can move off line to allow the lead-lap train to overtake them.

      There you go, now the lead-lap cars are in front, the lapped cars behind. And it can all happen within half a lap if executed well..

      1. Sounds weird, but how about a solution with 2 SC’s, SC “A” has the train behind it, and the other, SC “B” is a few hundred meters ahead: then they can tell each car in race order to overtake the whole train, past SC “A” (which is the train leader), but queue up behind SC “B”/behind the last car of that new train. Job done isn’t it?

        And make sure the cars behind SC “A” don’t weave or do anything crazy, but to follow its line on the track, so that the train leaves a gap for the overtaking cars to do said overtaking quickly.

        With that said, in Monaco this would take quite a while!

        1. If Lewis couldn’t work out what the line meant when he overtook the safety car… I just can’t see this working…

          Fantastic idea for sure, but I just don’t think it’s practical.

  4. 100% yes.

    The lapped traffic ruined the second part of the race, so many potential battles lost.

    OK, so it would take a few laps for it to be sorted, but thats better than 30 laps of nothing.

    1. I thought the problem with letting the lapped cars by was that they race like crazy to get back to the end of the train and therefore blow by the “accident” that caused the safety car. In doing so they put many lives in danger. If so, that method is unacceptable.

      Some of the previous comments about the lapped cars moving backwards sound like good ideas though…

      1. They weren’t released by the Safety car to unlap themselves until the track was safe, so them speeding through the accident zone wasn’t a problem.

        Personally I think they need to do something, aside from the Webber/Vettel battle, we were also robbed of seeing what Hamilton and Button on fresh option tyres could do against Alonso who was on worn tyres on Sunday…

        1. You mean the fresh option tyres they wouldn’t have been on if there had been no SC?

          I was 14 when the SC was first introduced in F1. I hated the idea then and I still hate it now. I would prefer that the race is stopped and times added together. But there are better options.

          A full course speed limit would slow the cars to a safe speed for medical cars and marshalls, and maintain the gaps between drivers.

          Another idea is to stop the race and then later restart the cars from the pit-lane in the order they last crossed the line with the same gaps between them. You simply flash the car’s number when they are allowed to go.

          Let’s say that Vettel had lapped the field yesterday, but unbeknownst to him his tyres were close to worn through as a result. How would it have been in anyway sport to allow everyone else to catch him up? How is it fair to allow anyone to catch up at all?

          1. How is it also fair that the leader my have been approaching a group of backmarkers and the safety car then picks the leader up giving him a clear track at the restart? As someone posted above, the safety car should simply pick up whoever is behind it when deployed not just the leader.

          2. But that’s no fairer – I think we have to accept that once the safety car comes out whoever it ‘picks up’ is gong to lose a huge amount of time to whatever car is in front of it. Given that, it might as well be leader as it makes life more interesting, besides which they can take it into account in their strategy. Otherwise it’s a bit arbitrary.

          3. That’s a fair point.

  5. I defintiely agree. Just because of lapped cars, Alonso almost had several crashes. And more importantly his chance to fight Webber after SC period was taken away by traffic. And it´s not been the only situation in the past.

  6. I think all the slower cars should be removed from the championship altogether!!

    1. Yes, I agree, we should have time trial at the beginning and the winner can race by itself for the rest of the season….

  7. Steffan Harries
    9th November 2010, 16:16

    I agree, lapped cars should be able to unlap themselves while under a saftey car situation. The saftey car is effectively a rolling reace-restart so having the cars back in the correct order under that restart just makes sense.

    It might not be the easiest thing to implement, and may mean lapped cars using more fuel than they would otherwise and take up more time…but it just makes sense. It promotes better racing, a more exciting show and introduces that challenge to the drivers to regain the lead they had previous to a saftey car deployment.

    1. Plus it stops those who have just been lapped from losing out in situations like sundays. The leaders were travelling through the pack so while Hulkenburg and Kubica were right behind the two mercedes, they would up a full lap behind because of the safety car.

      They must have been pretty annoyed when Rosberg had that messed up pitstop which they couldn’t gain from!

    2. I think the problem is that the un-lapped cars go too fast to get back to the end of the train and become a safety hazard when they pass the clean up crew.

      Kieth’s article describes the positives and negatives from a racing point of view, but there is nothing about the actual safety point of view….it is a ‘safety’ car after all. What it does to the racing is secondary.

      I like the idea of the lapped traffic dropping back and getting a green light indicator and a call from the pits to tell them when they are ok. At the same time, this is unfair to the guy who actually lapped the cars before his competition has….

      1. Keith’s article describes the positives and negatives from a racing point of view, but there is nothing about the actual safety point of view….it is a ‘safety’ car after all.

        I think the regulation as it was written had the ‘safety’ aspect covered and if it was brought back I imagine they’d do the same:

        If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” is shown on the timing monitors, any lapped cars which are between the cars running on the lead lap at the time the safety car crosses the Line on the track for the first time will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car by passing them on their right.

        They must then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.

        (Emphasis added)

        I think the problem is that the un-lapped cars go too fast to get back to the end of the train and become a safety hazard when they pass the clean up crew.

        When the rule was in place in F1, were there any instances of a lapped car going past the scene of an accident in an unsafe manner? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

        1. We did have to wait longer before racing could be resumed though.

          1. Which would lead to many more complaints than we get now with the current system…

  8. I think they should ban the safety car rule.

  9. I think lapped cars should be allowed to unlap themselves, but the idea of lapped cars letting the leader through during the safety car period is a better idea in my opinion.

  10. Safety car is used to allow marshalls to work in safe conditions.

    I never understood why leaders should stay behind the safety car at a slow pace while others can un-lap themselves at high speed.

    For sure they can slow down only where incident is, but still.

    For me a good solution would be to inform each driver of it’s position then every driver stops on the starting grid. When everybody is there at it’s position, then we start again for a lap behind safety car. During this time marshall can work in total safety because no more cars are racing.

    1. That would be difficult for the engines, tyres etc…

  11. I personnaly hate SCs. I think they alter the race enough already.
    The guys that haven’t lapped as many backmarkers as the front runner haven’t been quick enough, that’s it. Why should the front-runners see their hard work anihilated ?

    Is that just for the “entertainment” ? So that we get to see what is basically another start ?

    I don’t like that way of thinking…

    How many races without SC this year ?

    Sorry if I am in a bad mood, but i am a bit tired of that “more overtakings, more rain, more entertainment” trend. Fine, accurate driving 70laps long makes my day.
    Randomizers like rain and Sc don’t…

    1. Accidental Mick
      9th November 2010, 16:37

      Agree 100% Gwenouille.

      Do away with safety cars and give the stewards a remote button that gives the drivers a 10 second warning then swirches on the pit lane limiter. solves all problems.

      1. Track marshalls need a block of time in which they can clear a wreck / attend to an injured driver when cars are not circulating nearby. You need a safety car to bunch the pack up.

      2. @ Accident Mick
        Giving the stewards control of the driver’s speed is ludicrous. It would likely create even more problems than the safety car.

        I believe that people that are against safety cars just need to accept that it is a part of racing. Formula One drivers are professionals, it maybe frustrating to lose a big lead, but it is up to them to deal with it and try to make the best out of the situation. Some drivers will be screwed by the saftey car, but it’s not like it is the only thing in Formula One that a driver can be screwed by.

        1. In certain races the SC alters the strategy, we don’t see a pure race.

          I agree that we shouldn’t give the stewards control of the pit-lane limiters. But the drivers can do it! Go past 2 FCSL* boards without conforming to the limit and bang 10 second stop-go. Simple.

          The double waved yellows will still mean marshals on track, there will still be no overtaking, marshals and medics can do their job more safely than they could at any other road-side in the world. And no lead built up is eradicated. What’s the problem?

          *FCSL = ‘Full Course Speed Limit’

          1. The problem is debris that are on the track itself, with the safety car Marshall have time in which no cars are passing them to remove debris from the track, your idea, despite is merit, eradicates this gap. I think that would make things harder.

            Secondly, I believe the pit lane pit limiters are set to 60km/h at Monaco… If the cars ran at 60 or less, simply put, the engines would fry.

          2. The solution to the first dilemma is road-work barricades to direct the cars around working marshals and debris.

            To solve the second problem you have two settings on your limiter.

            There is yet another solution. Once at the FCSL, the cars get directed off the circuit completely, and instead lap around another closed loop. Once the debris is cleared they get directed back onto the circuit. The only difficulty with this solution is that it requires the ‘Off course loop’ to be at least as long as the circuit itself. But on the other hand it doesn’t need runoff or a million marshals because the cars will only ever be doing 100 km/h on the loop.

    2. 1000% agree

      Annoys me that all the commenters care about is their entertainment, not that the drivers who’ve already worked to pass the cars get disadvantaged hugely.

      1. It annoys me even more that almost no one is talking about the fact that the SC is deployed for SAFETY and has nothing to do with entertainment. When it is deployed priority #1, 2, and 3 are the lives of the marshals, clean up crews, drivers, etc.

        then the next priority is getting the track clean. then the order of the backmarkers….

        It used to bother me badly (and still kinda does) when I would see an unlapped car going almost full speed right by a clean up crew and a crane….if there was a wreck there, that would be it….

        Shumacher almost hit a crane a few years back when a few folks wrecked in one corner (can’t remember where). I’ve been saying to my pops every time there is a crane and crew out on track, that there is no doubt in my mind the next person to die in F1 will be while a clean up crew is on track….and this is without letting the un-lapped cars through.

        In it’s current form, the SC rules don’t make for pretty racing, but let’s make sure our priorities are in line.

        1. That was Brazil 2003 , a freaking awesome race, but actually it wasn’t an SC condition. Still, 4-5 cars aquaplaned off the same corner.

          1. Oh poor Rubens :(

            I think the track might hate him :/

  12. You are still racing lapped cars imo, I’m not suggesting they should block, but the racing is circular not one long run, and technically they should be racing each other even if a lap down.

    Blue flagging lapped cars inconveniences the lapped car far more than the overtaker when often they are expected to literally stop to allow the leaders to overtake and can lose positions themselves as a result.

    1. I agree. 100%.
      A soon-lapped car should be able to defend.

  13. I voted ‘yes’ but not for the ‘go ahead 1 lap’ option. It’s too costly in terms of time and disadvantages the leaders.

    I like the idea of shuffling out the cars and letting the lead lap drivers move ahead of the pack. Say, a word from safety control could have the lead lap drivers move to the left down the next suitable straight and move ahead of the lapped cars… Although I imagine this could cause havoc with the electronic systems detecting overtakes while under yellows.

    They aren’t overtaking behind a safety car anyway so it shouldn’t be too taxing on the drivers to remember the process.

    1. How does your solution not disadvantage the leaders?

      1. Because the lapped cars aren’t unlapped, so aren’t on the same lap.

        It encourages racing and if a driver isn’t prepared to fight for and defend positions, well, what are they doing there anyway? :)

  14. “The sheer amount of time it takes for lapped traffic to complete an extra lap and re-join the end of the safety car train is one such problem.”

    What if, as the safety car approached the S/F straight, all lapped cars had to peel off into the pitlane, then rejoin the safety car train at the tail? The stop/go light at the end of the pitlane could prevent anyone rejoining until all the cars on the lead lap had passed the pit exit.

    – ozz

    1. Very good idea. The only issue I see is that if the lapped cars all make a stop for tires while driving through, and lead-lap cars aren’t allowed in the pits on that lap, then they’d be quite unfairly disadvantaged.

      1. Of course, you can get around that if you put in a rule preventing the cars driving through the pits from getting new tires that lap. Essentially closing off the working area of the pit lane.

        I think your idea could work well.

        1. Its true, they did used to have the rule banning pitstops during safety car anyway so maybe they should reintroduce it? Afterall it was only removed because cars were running out of petrol. Shouldn’t be such an issue now!

          1. Okay, so the pitlane entry remains open until the SC crosses the start/finish line at the end on its first lap around having picked up the leader, the following lap the pitlane entry is closed for pitstops and any cars not on the lead lap have to drive through it with their limiters on – for safety reasons no team personnel are allowed in the pitlane area at this time. All the cars on the lead lap carry on down the track at normal SC speeds and the lapped cars are held at the end of the pitlane by the red light if needs be until all the cars on the lead lap have passed them.

            At this point the pitlane is fully reopened and anyone wanting to make a stop can do so.

            I suppose you could then instruct any cars that were more than 1 lap down to pass through the pits a second time to put them back in their correct position in the train, but as there are fewer of them then it shouldn’t be any more of an issue for them to pass down the pitlane while team personnel are working in it than at any other time. They could also be allowed to make a stop at this time if they wish.

  15. I feel that they should allow the cars to pass the cars in front if they are about to lap them. eg. if VET is at the front with a lotus behind then WEB, then WEB should pass the Lotus behind the saftey car.

    This would be alot quicker then allowing cars to unlap themselves….

    1. Yep agreed, was going to suggest this my self.

  16. The situation in Brazil was a complete mess. The rationale behind it was that it should be fairer, but I fail to see how it is: whilst lapped cars cannot make up ground, those who were just about to get lapped (i.e. Mercedes) gain a massive advantage. Also, it made the SC make the race more boring rather than exciting. Bring back the old SC and close the pit lane :).

  17. Yes, I think so. At Brazil, it would have given a better race both at the back and front of the field.

  18. Would have worked out well for Christian Klien – wasn’t he 6 laps behind at one point? Although would everybody have to have waited whilst he caught up, would he be deemed to have done an additional n laps without actually doing them or would this just not apply to anybody except those at the front of the queue?

    1. I believe when cars unlapped themselves, they were only allowed to get one lap back.

      1. Oh fantastic! So we give an advantage to some drivers and not others. Instead of a race how about we just have them all roll a huge dice 6 times and the person with the lowest total wins?

        So we are all for preventing those who are just one lap down from being disadvantaged in their chase of the car ahead who was just about to be lapped, but not for the same situation for drivers who’ve only just gone 2 laps down!?

  19. A def. NOOOO! ! !

    For all the wrong reasons to do so…

    It’s like manipulating race outcome.
    NASCAR, IndyCar run on ovals!

    This is Formula One.

    Bring back the racing, no artificial variables.

  20. knoxploration
    9th November 2010, 16:29

    Allowing backmarkers to unlap themselves is an absolutely ridiculous idea. By definition, they’re already a lap or more behind the leaders, and hence among the slower cars on the track. That suggests they’re the least drivable cars, the least talented drivers, or both — and so we let them drive around the track ahead of the safety car, picking their own speed on what’s supposedly a dangerous track? Utterly daft. Not to mention that it takes far too long for the backmarkers to rejoin the tail of the safety car queue.

    The correct solution is incredibly, blindingly obvious — and hence will never be considered by the powers that be in F1, for the simple reason that the F1 rulebook always takes the most obtuse way possible of arriving at any solution.

    The answer is this.

    As soon as you’re all lined up behind the safety car, no passes for position are allowed, but if the car behind you is about to lap you, *you fall back under the safety car instead*.

    Hey presto — no lapped traffic for anybody to deal with on the restart. The backmarkers lose less time too because they don’t have to look in their mirrors for lapping traffic on the restart, and know anybody challenging behind them is a fight for position. Best of all, we don’t artificially try to favor the backmarkers and get them back in the race again.

  21. Keith, one the arguments against the rule is that leading cars are already penalized heavily enough by the safety car on account of reduced gaps, even if he lapped cars maintain position behind them.

    In Brazil however, I believe Seb would’ve been thankful for the safety car even if lapped cars were allowed to rejoin at the back of the queue simply because it eliminated the possibilty of him tripping over a backmarker in front. This situation might have allowed Mark to capitalize, who likely would not have had enough of a speed advantage to overtake him normally.

    1. You are right about that trade off. On the one hand Vettel would have lost his 3 second lead, on the other hand he would have got rid of having to lap cars for another 15-20 laps as all those cars would be behind him after the SC and happily battling among themselves.

    2. I agree with you about this particular race, but it was the exception rather than the rule.

      1. But it is always true that the race leader ends up with a clear track ahead after the SC under the current rules, so it is a very likely situation, rather than exceptional, especially on shorter tracks like Interlagos.

        This means that on such tracks, it is likely that the leader is less disadvantaged especially when there is a group of cars (1 or more) in relatively close pursuit of him, and they lose the chance of using traffic to gain on him.

        So if the racing was rather close, the fight for the lead gets disturbed, while if there is a gap it is anyway likely that there is traffic in between, so the leader loses that gap, but is likely to have a buffer of some cars behind him anyway.

        1. It’s because Interlagos is shorter that it was exceptional. It’s not common for the leader to be approaching so many reasonably competitive cars at that point in the race.

  22. I don’t care about the rule allowing lapped guys to unlap themselves.

    But at least they should instantly move aside at restarts. In fact, they should move aside everytime a fast guy is coming.

    And they should ALL do it!. The likes of Glock, Kovalainen and such know how and where to move. But di Grassi, Senna… they’ve been woeful this year.

    1. Senna was appalling on Sunday and blocked Webber at least twice,losing him time just as he was catching Vettel. For reasons like this I voted yes. I want to see the best of the best racing the best of the best, not them trying to overtake a back marker.

    2. I’m pretty sure Glock got told off by the stewards in Canada for ignoring blue flags, and didn’t Kovalainen whack someone when he got lapped a few races ago? Though neither of those 2 have been bad as di Grassi and Senna. The Hamilton-Webber collision at Singapore wouldn’t have happened if di Grassi had got out of the way when he was supposed to.

      Generally the standard has been poor this year though, more so amongst some of the midfield runners who don’t seem to expect that they are going to go a lap down. And Brazil was bordering on farcical even before the SC.

      I’ve never noticed Trulli getting in anyone’s way though. And Chandhok seemed to be doing a reasonable job, even though he got clobbered twice (by Alguersuari and Massa) through no fault of his own!

  23. While the current rule is unfair to the lapped guys fighting for position, the old one makes SC “unnaccepting unfair” (sorry if that doesn’t exists) to leading folks.
    As I think the guys in the front are more important to the race, things should stay as they are.

  24. Yes absolutely, for reasons which we saw clearly this weekend! However, it is called a safety car for a reason, so they should not unlap themselves by driving at full speed around the lap until they join the queue again – it should be done so with caution.

  25. I don’t care how “fake” it might be it would spice up the racing lots. If they had that rule on Sunday we could have seen an epic finish to the race.

    1. You know what else would spice up the racing? Shortcuts. Or how about when a car is about to exit the pit lane a random number generator decides whether to put up a red light. That could make things interesting.

      There are all sorts of game show like ideas we could use to spice up the show, but none of them is racing.

  26. Yes. One of these days we will see an accident at the restart because of cars trying to lap a car engaged in its own battle, like Buemi nearly did to Button last weekend.

    1. I must say, I’m for any solution to backmarkers being in the way; send them to the back, having to move aside immediately, etc. As long as we have blue flags, it’s ludicrous to leave them in the way.

      1. And just think about how real that is. Even Heidfeld with his years of experience messed up in Brazil (thinking he was fighting Rosberg).

      2. I must say, I totally agree with you. The slow cars **** me off to no end. I’m happy enough that they race, though I do believe teams like HRT should have never been able to race until they proved they were quick enough!! They have to be in the same ball park *** – my XR5 could do a lap at the same pace!

    2. Even when there aren’t lapped cars in the group statistically there are far more accidents the lap after a SC pulls off than there are on any other racing lap. The SC causes accidents!

      If we care about safety, and if we care about sport then we need a solution that doesn’t artificially bunch people up.

  27. I voted yes because lapped cars will anyway get blue flags and have to move out of the way, but joining behind the field can allow them to overtake themselves and let mid field drivers overtake without drivers losing gap from the car in front because they have to give way to another car.

  28. I feel that instead of unlapping themselves and taking two laps as said, the cars in the lap ahead should be allowed to overtake the lapped cars.

    Each driver will know he should be behind which driver, and so ther wont be much confusion. Also this can be done in matter of minutes.

  29. I was very surprised to see those backmarkers just stay where they were. Usually they immediately receive a drive-through penalty, but not this time. Only Hidefeld was penalized, perhaps for allowing Massa to overtake Rosberg, which was also quite pointless.

  30. Anything that artificially manipulates the race such a re-ordering the cars violates the definition of “a race” or “racing” and diminishes the character of the series. Included in this is one driver giving another team member his position.

    Why should lead cars gain an advantage just because they are leading and not have to pass the cars they were coming upon and would have had to pass anyway before the SC came out?

    Perhaps they should have a true F1 car as SC so they could re-start the races at full speed since it’s only the initial speed differential that is at question here.

    1. The purpose of the Safety Car is to bunch the cars together allowing for long periods of time where marshals can work on a clean track to sort out an incident. It’s so they don’t have to keep shouting “CAR” every 10 seconds and stop what they are doing.

      In short, there is nothing to be done about the cars being artificially close together short of stopping and re-starting the race and running an aggregate result. And they’re not exactly popular.

      Having a bunch of cars waiting to be lapped at the restart is unsafe. That’s why they should shuffle them.

      1. I’ve already posted two solutions on page 1. The FCSL might be problematic if you actually need a large amount of space between cars to clear debris. However, the rules say that if the track is blocked by debris then the race MUST be stopped.

        I can only presume then that if a race isn’t stopped then there is enough clear space on the track for cars to go through single file around any debris.

        So, why can’t they do like we do on roads all over the world — slow the cars to a safe speed* and use road-work barricades to direct the cars onto the safe line and around working marshals?

        * The FCSL (Full course speed limit).

  31. Today i saw in a blog that it could be used the way the yankees do in Nascar. Two lines after the safety, the leaders in the exterior and the lapped cars in the interior one. I think it´s a good idea to apply this in F1.

    1. that just wouldnt work on a non oval track, the ovals have often got more than 2 racing lines and cars set them selves up to race high or low on the oval depending on how they want to attack the race.

  32. The idea’s nice but its not quite feasible…

    If it takes 2 laps for a car to unlap themselves, then allowing the Hispania’s to unlap themselves at around 70-75% race distance, such as Brazil 2010, would take 8 racing laps.

    Just get on with the motor race!

    1. They only ever get to unlap themselves once to get all the cars on the lead lap in line behind the safety car. They don’t all get to get back on the lead lap if they are more than a lap down.

      1. So we help out some cars and not others? Why don’t we just roll a dice?

  33. Who cares if the cars unlapping themselves get back to the pack. They are getting the benefit of getting that lap back… if the SC is out 2-3 laps… great they’ll catch up. If not, oh well consider yourself lucky to be back on the lead lap.

    The Brazilian GP could have been great if VET, WEB, ALO, and HAM could have fought it out.

  34. I voted ‘no’.

    There are better ways to improve ‘the show’, such as limiting down force, wings size and shape. This can reduce the ‘dirty air’ and make easier to overtake, so lapped cars won’t be a big problem. And it will give us more overtakings even on high down force tracks.

    Stefano Domenicali mentioned once something like that the problem to overtake is that the car is very efficient and the one behind is aways in disadvantage.

  35. YES!!! this rule needs to be put back to work…I was very disappointed watching about 6 cars ahead of Fernando. I am sooo sure the outcome of the race would of turned out different if Fernando would of been right behind Webber after the SC restart. If some ***** like that happens next race nd has somewhat of an effect on the Championship race oh boy just be ready for some pretty ****** off people.

    1. For the moment everyone abides by the same rules (unless you have $100,000 to spare and are oblivious to public opinion). Sometimes they work for you and sometimes they work against you. That’s life!

      1. that’s not true: it only cost mclaren $10,000.

    2. Oh no. Alonso had to overtake 6 cars between himself and Webber who were… there before the SC came out? I don’t see your point.

  36. Something needs to be done, one problem that was blatantly apparent was when Alonso was making his way through lapped cars that had before the safety car period been racing with massa for position, the cars he was trying to lap ended up fighting alonso for position for a number of corners before realising / being told it wasnt massa.

  37. I’d just let everybody unlap except for the last 10 laps of the race.

  38. Allowing lapped cars to unlap themselves is sensible. If the safety car is deployed while the leader’s in the process of lapping a chain of cars (as happened in Brazil) half of that chain end up almost a lap behind the cars that were, prior to the safety car, almost immediately in front of them.

    I also think they need to get rid of the “delta time” rule (since it’s not being enforced properly, e.g. Rosberg in Suzuka ’09 and several cars in Valencia) and just close the pits when the safety car is deployed (in effect, going back to the 2007-9 safety car rules but without the complication of refuelling). That would stop drivers from rushing back to the pits under SC and allow lapped cars to re-catch the safety car relatively quickly (obviously they would only be released once the track was clear) and get the race going again without too much delay.

    1. A further potential solution could be this: I don’t know whether they still do it, but in the WTCC the first two laps of any safety car period used to not count towards the overall race distance. If applied to F1 that would allow enough time for the field to sort themselves out without reducing the time left in the race.

      Two laps under a safety car is maybe worth a single racing lap in terms of fuel, so it shouldn’t make anybody too marginal on fuel unless there are multiple safety cars and someone’s been really cavalier with their fuel load.

      It would also resolve the silly situation of starting a race behind the safety car and wasting racing laps, if the field was released after a couple of “sighter” laps without it counting towards the overall race distance.

      1. Yes, but without refueling, that means that cars have to have an extra amount of fuel to do those two laps for each SC period, so you would probably have to regulate that you allow a max of, maybe 5 SC periods so that they can calculate how much extra fuel to add …

    2. Closing the pits would still have the problem of cutting into a driver’s pre-determined pit window. They might run out of fuel, but why should they be relegated to last because they were going to change tyres? It also lessens the room for quick-thinking like we saw in Brazil and Korea.

    3. “Allowing lapped cars to unlap themselves is sensible.”
      No, because a safetycar is deployed to increase safety, so it doesn’t make sense at all to allow backmarkers to race at full speed to catch up. And it’s unfair.

      But what’s wrong with the idea of using an automatic speed-limiter in stead of a safetycar?

      1. As I said, you wouldn’t release the backmarkers until after the track was cleared. The automatic speed limiter idea is an interesting one, but can it be implemented?

        1. The speed limiter idea wouldn’t have the desired effect.

          You want to bunch the cars up to allow plenty of time for the marshalls/medics etc to work without cars going passed them.

          1. You don’t need to bunch up the cars. Just slow them down to a safe speed and direct them away from the marshals.

            You can do this with a full course speed limit, and road-work barricades directing the cars onto the desired line. Just like they do on roads everywhere around the world.

            If the track is actually blocked then the rules say that it must be stopped.

          2. Yes but what if they need to move a crane or similar across the track to recover the car?

            With the cars bunched up behind the safety car you have a nice big gap of over a minute in which to do this, if the cars were spread out then it would be much more difficult and nowhere near as safe.

  39. Maybe there should be a seperate lane marked out on the track – a bit like a ‘bus lane’. Except that it would be called the ‘Ferrari lane’.

  40. In the end the safety car is there for a reason, and that reason isn’t to ‘improve the show’, otherwise they might as well just bring it out at any point. Leading drivers already get penalised enough, eradicating their hard earned advantage is completely unfair.

  41. God YES. Why?

    Rosberg pitting twice not loosing a single position.

    1. He lost one but Schumacher gave it back to him.

  42. It would have left Vettel under pressure from Webber when the race restarted.

  43. Today is enough technology to restore the situation it was before the safety-car, based on the last gaps before SC out.

    1. Justice or Entertainment. What do you prefer?

      1. Entertainment + Justice = close pitstop, freez current positions, one lap to keep worm tires, set cars on grid once again, restar race. Maxiumum entertainment with justice.

      2. I’m with you JonZ. I’m with you.

  44. It shouldn’t be that hard to implement (then again, ironically the FIA can make the simplest things incredibly complex especially when it comes to the SC). With a few minutes of thinking, here is what I came up with. Depending on if there is a lot of lapped cars or not so many, you simply drop back if you’re lapped and if you’re on the lead lap, overtake. Do it on the start/finish straight, lapped cars pull off the racing line, drivers on the lead lap pull ahead. Everyone knows who is directly in front of them order-wise so it shouldn’t be that difficult. When the last guy on the lead lap passes, lapped cars resume position. If teams can implement strategies on the fly, I’m sure they could achieve this.

  45. I may catch a world of scolding for this, but why does the safety car have to lap the track so quickly?

    Why not have a slower-running safety car, and then perhaps combine that with a two-lane restart, lapped cars to the inside in order of track position? Let the race leader control the pace of the start and give the lapped cars a chance on said restart to get a lap back if they beat the leader to the first corner (which admittedly likely won’t happen).

    I think part of the problem is that the blue-flag rule is too strict. Slower cars should have perhaps at least one lap to move aside (varying on the track, say, longer at Monaco, but less at Monza), rather than three waved blue flags. If F1 drivers are the best in the world (as they should be), then they should learn to deal with slower cars, rather than being gifted an open lane at the earliest opportunity.

  46. Of course, I’m much, much, much more in favor of simply doing away with the SC. Its unnecessary. These are the best drivers in the world and I’ve seen them dodge the smallest debris at high speed, I’m sure they can’t miss a wrecked/parked car. In the worst situations, wave double yellows especially around a blind corner on a street track. But otherwise, let them race. Motor racing is dangerous and unpredictable. Today, they try to sanitize it too much. Even if they were to crash, they are infinitely safer than in the past. I abhor the SC because it creates an unfair lottery. And much as I love Alonso, Singapore ’08 showed how it can be manipulated.

    1. Yes but if you did that then the cars would still be spread out around the lap, whereas behind a safety car they’re bunched together and create a nice gap with no traffic for the marshalls etc to work to remove a crashed car.

  47. i think cars should be cycled to the back of the train.

  48. Does anyone know which bright spark got rid of then rule anyway, and why?

    1. Well, scenes of the Bernd Maylander waving cars through with his arm was bording on a farce.

      We have short memories. It would take another ‘bright spark’ to bring it back.

      1. But that still happens when the SC is trying to pick up the leader….he waves the cars who arent leading through.

        1. So maybe that shouldn’t be happening either. As far as I know, it is now only done to, in combination with that SC car line at the last corner, so that if we have something like Monaco, the leader can cruise over the finish ahead of the field, for the picture it gives.

  49. yes and no. Yes- it will be more interesting (but FIA can go wrong at them moment when leaders must let lapped drivers pass) No- we wouldnt change the situation. It would be the same as it was b4 (with lower gaps of course)

  50. Using the SC to manufacture ‘entertainment’ should never be even considered.

    The guys that have lapped cars and have a cushion should keep that, even if it means myself, the F1 viewer is compromised more spectacle.

    It’s a sport – not strictly come dancing.

  51. Sheesh.

    Can’t believe I’m in a 23% minority on this.

    Look. If a race leader builds a 35s cushion over his nearest rival, and puts 3 or 4 back markers between them, he has done so by driving faster than the others, which is what racing is supposed to be about.

    In so doing, he has by definition taken bigger risks, used more fuel and taken more from his tyres, brakes and mechanicals in general, than if he had taken things easy and just maintained a small gap. And you would all say, no doubt, that you want to see F1 drivers pushing their cars in racing conditions.

    Then along comes an arbitrary event which has exactly nothing to do with him or his rival, and you lot are not only happy to take away his time cushion – a good portion of the lap – you want to remove the back markers too, so that the guy he was thrashing until now gets the chance to stick one to him, maybe with an opportunistic little dive, and make your afternoon on the sofa just a little bit more exciting than it would otherwise have been. But wouldn’t it be better to hit pause for a few minutes, go and find those photos you downloaded of Gisele Bündchen, and come back to the race when you’re good and ready?

    As someone pointed out, in the absence of the SC, which is supposed to be there for reasons of keeping people safe while a hazardous situation is dealt with, there would be no such opportunities anyway. The only conclusion left to me is that 71% of you think that the actual, steady-state business of racing, you know, lap 38, green flag conditions, everyone out there driving fast, is too boring for your tastes, and you need something to artificially spice things up.

    Presumably you’d welcome phantom debris cautions too, for the same reason. Or perhaps weight penalties in the form of ballast for people who go too quickly. Or drawing grid positions at random. These things mix up the form book, too, and make the “racing” (such as it is) closer. And we can all hide behind my personal least-favourite argument, which is “well, it’s the same for everyone”. (Other than slippery slope arguments, this is the lowest form).

    This is nothing but the continued dumbing down of a sport to lowest common denominator ents. I have made concessions to ‘spice’ from time to time, for example I thought divergent tyre compounds, within reason, a lesser-of-the-available-evils wild card element which will lead to performance disparities in a sport in which engineering excellence has been systematically removing sources of performance variability. But safety car interventions are just the pits to begin with, without amplifying their effect. I might occasionally be glad if the guy I’m rooting for is the beneficiary, but I’m honest enough to recognize that I’m only cheating myself in the long run.

    1. dyslexicbunny
      9th November 2010, 20:52

      But wouldn’t it be better to hit pause for a few minutes, go and find those photos you downloaded of Gisele Bündchen, and come back to the race when you’re good and ready?

      Hahahaha. I’d take Larissa Riquelme but to each their own.

      I’m in that boat too. Tough deal for the drivers. If you don’t like the back markers in their way, push for the stewards to more heavily enforce blue flags.

    2. Okay, but it’s swings and roundabouts; one week a driver could be disadvantaged by the SC while another week that same driver could benefit.

    3. Thanks Sean for restoring some sanity to what I’ve been reading.

  52. Put them to the back. On a restart they will be blue flagged anyway, but not before the leader jets away unhindered.

    If the leader had a significant advantage before the SC, he should be able to defend his lead and rebuild it again.

  53. The restart of the race, after a safety car period should reflect the positions of the drivers at the end of the last period of racing, just as the safety car boards came out.
    Track position has no bearing on restart position, in my opinion. I fail to see why randomly placed lapped cars should be a hindrance to any drivers, no matter where they are placed at the restart after the safety car period.
    The old rule which allowed lapped cars to not interfere with the advantage at restart, meant it sometimes took a while for the lapped cars to catch up the train, whilst boring waiting, there was a proper restart to the RACE. The really daft thing is, the lapped drivers cannot actually race each other for lap after lap, constantly having to go offline to let leading cars past- why the hell don’t all the teams just refuse to drive until the FIA change the rule, its a farce.

  54. HounslowBusGarage
    9th November 2010, 21:49

    I think MAS is entirely right on this subject – as are most of the voters here on F1 Fanatics.
    For me, the clue is in the title. It’s a “Restart”, so the fastest blokes should be at the front and the slowest at the back, just like after qualifying.
    They don’t qualify like mad and then line up in semi-random order on the grid. So why should they ‘Restart’ like that in the race?
    I will accept that it makes the job of the Safety Car and the Stewards that much more difficult. But hey, if Indy Car could do it once, then F1 can do it now.
    Let’s re-design the Safety Car with the race director in a rear-facing position in the bootwell of the vehicle from where he can view the following train of cars and accurately direct those who have been lapped as eligible to pass. He can be in radio contact with the SC driver and race administration so that no mistakes should be made.

    1. You’re turning the SC into a ‘race enhancer’ to improve the show. That’s not what it is and should be for.

  55. I’ve got idea! After SC is deployed – freez current positions, and let the drivers once again start race from the grid. It would be more than interesting – it would be awsome entertainment.

    1. “it would be awsome entertainment”

      Go and watch X-Factor with Flavio. Jeez.

  56. The problem here is the Safety Car itself and what’s better for the show maybe is not fair for the driver leading who has earned his advantage over the others.

    So why dont we remove the Safety Car?

    I was thinkng in something similar to the pitlane limit. So, when we’ve an accident nobody can pass certain speed. That way everyone keeps their relative positions.

  57. Did Vettel brake the ten car length rule once again in Brazil during the “safety car”? It seemed to me so,..

    1. Once the SC IN message is displayed, the car at the head of the line controls the pace and no longer has to maintain 10 car lengths.

      From the FIA Sporting Regs:

      40.11 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.
      At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, fall more than ten car lengths behind it.

  58. I say absolutely get them out of the way. Who cares if they don’t have time to get fully around and back into line. Just get them out of the way of the leaders so there can be a real battle on the restart.

    How much better would Brazil have been with vettel webber alonso and hamilton all right on each other’s gearbox for that final restart?

    1. Especially with Hamilton (and Button) having just taken on a fresh set of option tyres…!!

    2. It doesn’t matter how much better the race would have been. The SC is not a tool to enhance the entertainment in the race.

      Why not put an oil slick down at turn 10 or something – that would also enhance the ‘show.’

      1. I see your point and agree, the SC shouldn’t be used to enhance the entertainment…

        …but, it also shouldn’t allow the leader to be able to build a much bigger gap than he had before the safety car thanks to having lapped cars between him and the driver in 2nd.

        On Sunday Webber was closing down Vettel little by little before the SC came out. When it did there were lapped cars between the 2 RBR drivers and at the restart these lapped cars weren’t as quick to react to Vettel bolting as one would expect Webber to be, so while Vettel had a clear track to put in some fast laps, Webber was disadvantaged behind the lapped cars allowing Vettel to build a larger gap than he had before the SC.

        So either way you look at it the current SC rules ruined that race…the SC coming out halted Webber’s charge to catch Vettel (I fully expect that he would have and that we would have had a right ding-dong between the 2 drivers for the lead) and once the SC was out and there were lapped cars between Webber and Vettel then Webber was straight away put at a disadvantage.

        I agree that it isn’t fair for a driver who has built a large lead to see it taken away thanks to a safety car situation, but neither is it fair for a chasing driver closing down the leader to see the advantage handed back to the leader just because the SC picks up the leader regardless of lapped cars so the leader automatically has a clear track for the restart whereas the chasing car may have a train of lapped cars between him and the leader costing him precious time at the restart.

        And yes, the faster car should easily be able to overtake the lapped cars, but when he is not allowed to do so until the 1st SC line it allows the leader to built a gap before the 2nd place man is even allowed to overtake.

  59. I liked the rule at first but im starting to think it interferes with the racing and at times has nearly caused more accidents; as the faster cars trip over the slower ones, who are locked in their own battles.

    i think it should be changed, how about:

    once the pack is backed up, the lapped cars must all pit and stop (in order) at the lights at the end of the pit lane. when the snake of cars on the lead lap has pass the end of the pit lane let them go again to join the back of the pack.

  60. I say get them to the back, but do so in the main straight of the track and let them unlap themselves by letting the leaders overtake them.

    That way this can happen in a few seconds without the need for them to do a full lap.

    If there are any cars that are not in the right order once this is done, then race control can just inform them to let the guy behind through and so on.

    Sounds simple enough.

  61. Yes I agree otherwise the race will be processional & boring.

    1. So we must use the SC to enhance the show otherwise the race will be processsional & boring.

      What is wrong with the world… Arrgghhh!!

      1. It’s true, i totally agree, Brazil started to get boring but when the safety car came out i was jumping out of my seat :)

        But i got excited for nothing after i realised the leaders were all separated by backmarkers…

        Talk about an emotional rollercoaster

  62. I hate to think of the uproar if lapped cars had been allowed to unlap themselves in Brazil and then Alonso manages to pass both Webber and Vettel on the restart.
    The lapped cars prevented any undue advantage to Alonso.

    If the rule is to be reinstated, I see no reason why the safety should have to wait for them to rejoin the pack. If the track is clear of the danger that brought out the safety car, then there is no reason for it to stay on track, especially not to let unlapped cars rejoin the pack.

  63. Yes they need to be but they too can’t take too much time to do that. Secondly this may also have an effect in the next race in the title decider.

  64. Why not do away with the safety car altogether. It’s sole purpose to limit the speed of the race cars while there is a hazard on the circuit. I’ve been to public go-kart hire places where if you’re naughty the track attendants can remotely reduce the maximum number of revs available to you, and hence reduce your speed. Given that F1 cars use the standard MCU surely it would be technically possible that as soon as a full course yellow comes into effect that a signal is sent out to all cars, and their speed is limited to a safe speed that allows marshalls to work on the circuit / retrive crash cars etc. Kind of like a remote control pit lane speed limiter. The benefits being that no one gains or loses from a full course yellow, because all cars maintain the same gap they had when the circuit was green.

    1. I gave that solution but nobody answered! -.-

      1. @squid, sorry I missed your comment.

  65. I choose yes. Rosberg getting it too easy in Brazil…

  66. Jonesracing82
    10th November 2010, 6:17

    last i heard, this was the rule, i wasnt aware of it being changed back…

  67. It should not difficult for the lapped cars to move aside so the positions will be in order
    for the leaders and others on the same lap.

    If one does not follow live timing it can get confusing when the restart begins. Obviously the lapped cars were holding back the leaders, for this we missed close racing in Brazil.

    On the other hand if the driver you support is not in the leading pack then it’s a no no.
    What if Hamilton gets lapped?

  68. The cars need not unlap themselves, the lapped cars just have to have a drive through the pits, stop at the end if required and rejoin after the lead pack goes through.

  69. Once they are past the safety car it is up to them to catch up with the pack in time for the restart. If they don’t then they have still got back on the lead lap which helps them whilst we still have a close battle at the restart.

    In sportscars letting cars by is more significant because the races are much longer and strategy comes into play. In F1 of course it should be all about improving the show.

  70. I think they should leave the rules as they are for this, and abolish blue flags.

    1. Agreed!

      (Your comment was a bit too short. Please go back and try again.)

  71. The bottom line is that the safety car should not be deployed unless necessary, because it always messes up someone’s race and usually gives an unfair boost to someone else. But these days is it ever necessary?

    When the SC was introduced years ago it was probably the most sensible solution, but it is very old technology. Now all the cars have variable speed limiters, interactive telemetry, lights on the steering wheel and trackside, direct radio contact with race control etc, etc. Surely a better solution could be used which is safe and which doesn’t mess up the result, be that full lap or partial lap speed limits, or maintaining distances between the cars, or whatever.

    After all with the current system many cars have gone past the scene of the accident two or three times before the full train is formed behind the SC, as the whole purpose of the SC is to shepherd cars safely past the accident, clearly it isn’t fit for purpose, but these days there are lots of alternatives which could be.

  72. If the backmarkers are allowed to delap themself the frontrunners would have the space to race before they encounter the backmarkers again. This is a good thing.

    The bad thing with safety cars is your lead is reduced to almost zero and you have to start again but that is a other discusion to keep the difference between the cars on that lap after the safety car.

  73. I think the SC rule can not be erased from the rules. I read some comments about reducing speeds/revs with the help of the standard CMU. Well could work fine on kartings but here we’re talking about 330 km/h cars!! Can you imagine behind the wheel at such a high speed and be braked by Charlie? Even worst, what can happend if your standard MCU fail or have a tenth of a second delay form the car just in front of you?

    Good effort by I think set more problems than solutions(IMO).

    Marshalls or doctors have to work in a safe way, specialist the laters whose decisions can save lifes!!! Try to imagine Kubica accident at Canada, can you think properly under the pressure of seeing car arriving at the hairpin at high speeds? NO, when we’re talking about this situations, please let aside pure racing and think in all the people involved.

    So, for me SC is mandatory, affects at the racing status even with no lapping cars. When the SC is deployed the leader losts all the advantage he has gained.

    And here comes the problem, what have they do when there is lapped cars? Well I love pure racing, but with the SC on the track forget pure racing so why don’t bring some emotion? (I’m trying to avoid the “good for the show”)

    The rule will be the same for all so it’s fair, ‘pure racing’ is broken due the SC, so let’s go for the show!! (AHHGGG I did it!!)

    1. Charlie doesn’t have to have control. The drivers can push the limiter themselves. Go past 2 FCSL boards without slowing and you get a 10 second stop-go. Continue to ignore the boards and a bigger penalty applies. Easy.

      People work beside roads every day. They simply erect barricades and make sure the cars go by at a safe speed. The same solution can be implemented here.

      1. This option is even worst!! If drivers can push it themselves… imagine two cars in the middle of the Monza straight (300 km/h or higher) the driver who is in the streamline of other car push the boton tenths of a second before the car just in front of him….THE CRASH IS UNAVOIDABLE!!!

        You can’t compare this situation with the pit lane entrance where all the drivers know when and where will the other driver put the limiter. An accident is full aleatory.

        I repeat think in all people involved.

    2. Not a good idea with the amount of downforce these cars have. Sure you could limit them to a certain speed but they could carry that speed round the corners much better than a kart ever could.

    3. It’s no worse than the other option, which is clearing lapped traffic, and let them circulate around the circuit at full speed to try and jump on the back of the train. That’s not a very safe option for marshalls on the circuit. Additionally it doesn’t provide any gap for marshalls to work.

      Just because the cars can travel 330km/h does not mean it would not work. I imagine such a system would display some warning to the driver, maybe a countdown of 5 seconds or something, and then after the count down the computer decelerates the car at an acceptable rate to a safe speed, such 100km/h. Furthermore in the sector where the marshalls are on the track, the computer could kick in again and decelerate the cars to an even slower speed, say 40km/h. I imagine that would be plenty safe for the track marshalls (remembering that pit lane speed limit is 100km/h, and that is deemed safe enough to allow people to walk across the pit lane from the garage to the pit wall, whilst cars are travelling in pit lane).

  74. Bring it back, but also implement a double-file restart like in NASCAR, would make for some really exciting Turn 1 incidents.

  75. Safety Car should not be for anything other than safety.

  76. Off course they should be allowed!

    Vettel lapped Kubica and Hulkenberg before SC was deployed. Schumi and Rosberg were lucky, but when SC came out Rosberg pitted TWICE and with the first pit stop being really long Rosberg still managed to come out in front of Hilkenberg!
    This is ridiculous!!

  77. The biggest problem is that sometimes they do allow lapped cars to unlap themselves and sometimes they don’t.

  78. I voted yes and also the lapped cars should not pulled aside so the front runners could paas them easily, there was a lot a racing spoiled in Brasil because of that situation, they have the same rights as the others.
    For me the blue flag should be only and allways a warning and not a warning and after 2 or 3 turns an imposed measure.

  79. The point of the safety car is to ensure that the marshals have a 2-3 minute gap during which they know that the track will be clear. Letting cars shoot round defeats this.

    1. This point has been made by a few people earlier in the comments but the way the rule was worded and enforced I don’t think this ever happened when the rule was in place in F1.

  80. The safety car is there for safety reasons, not to spice up the race.

    Without a safety car the front runners must pass lapped cars as well, so I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t with a safety car. They (the number one excluded) already have the advantage of having the car in front in sight.

  81. It’s a really tough call on this one. If you think back to Singapore, on the restart Webber was held up by a lapped car (I think it was a Virgin, but don’t quote me), allowing Hamilton to close the gap. They collided, and, it resulted in a DNF for Hamilton, which is unfortunate for him, and could have had a big influence on the championship standings going into the season finale. So while the race may have been made a little more exciting for that instant, the implications can change the outcome of the race, and (in this case) the championship.

  82. Bring back the old rule.

    However, if you want release the SC to the guys at the front if the last of the “lapped cars” pass the first sector line, as the leader usually has to take up SC duty and control the pack untill the SC line at the pits. This will mean a quicker restart in my opinion.

    However, this is only if a car is a single lap down. If they are 2L or more down, they should let all other cars lap them behind the SC.

  83. Alonso also wants a slower driver out of his way!!!! kjäh kjäh

  84. As stated earlier by ossmossis (sic) I think… the solution is a brilliantly workable and simple one.

    1. The Safety Car picks up the leader
    2. Everyone else forms up behind as per position on the road
    3. Once the train is formed…
    3a…cars not on the lead lap, as a train, go down the pit lane.
    3b…the lead lap cars continue down the straight.

    In a heartbeat the formation is perfect, let racing commence.

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