Safety Car, Montreal, 2011

Video guide to the F1 safety car

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Safety Car, Montreal, 2011
Safety Car, Montreal, 2011

The safety car sat on the sidelines for the first five races of 2011.

But it’s been busy since then: the Mercedes SLS AMG has led the field for 40 laps over the last two races.

What goes on in the cockpit when the safety car is out on the track?

This video featuring safety car driver Bernd Maylander plus Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg explains all:

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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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29 comments on “Video guide to the F1 safety car”

  1. I’m not really sure what the intention behind this video is. The announcer seems to treat it as an advertisement for the SLS AMG, but I’m not sure “it slows Formula 1 cars down” is the best marketing pitch for a high-end sports car …

    1. You think Mercedes-Benz will give F1 a uber-car just like that?

      Of course it’s advertisement.

      1. Well, it just seems like there’s a bid of a clash over what the video is between the announcer and the subjects. The announcer seem to think it’s an advertisement; Schumacher, Rosberg and Maylander are all acting like it’s just to inform fans of the sport what happens.

      2. Pity they didn’t have the safety car do a barrel roll through a tunnel this time around. ;)

    2. Just out of interest – do you actually enjoy criticising and disagreeing with literally everything?… Just wondering…

      1. At the very least, playing devil’s advocate is great to spark up different angles of debate, and it brings out really good points in those who might not otherwise if PM didn’t provoke thought within them in some way. It’s healthy for the purposes of this site.

        I think as committed F1 fans we all have his trait of immediate perceptive thought on anything, given our craving for accuracy and facts. Well, I know I do – probably not helped by doing a history degree :D

        1. Very well put! I do agree with you – it does irritate me from time to time though…

    3. The intention of that video is to provide more information about the safety car to people who are interested, while highlighting their product.

      Unlike traditional media like TV and Radio, the viewer of a video on the internet is not a captive audience, as they have a choice to watch the video or to close it at any time.

      A viewer would filter out the marketing message quickly if the video was simply an advert for Mercedes, so they have to package that message in a format which also entertains and informs the viewer, so they have a reward for watching the video (learning a little bit about the safety car).

      As for what the three drivers said, the people who made the advert didn’t script them, but simply asked them pertinent questions. Being racing drivers, they have concise, detailed but ultimately boring responses. However, if they scripted them, they would have sounded like a bad infomercial testimonial.

  2. Fun fact: The only driver to lead more laps than Bernd Maylander this season is Sebastian Vettel :D

    1. That is a good fact – but then – other than Seb I think we have Webber, Alonso, Button and Hamilton all on about 5 laps each! Not sure of exact figures but the two Seb hasn’t won have both been snatched with a few to go!

    2. Well, technically he was multiple laps down each time he was deployed. [/pedantic] ;)

      1. [pedantic]Not at the start of the Canadian GP. :P[/pedantic]

  3. Its almost like a brasseye video lol

  4. Go Bernd!! ..this is proudest moment

    1. I wish I could watch it! :P (I’m capped, as usual)

      1. You really got a rough deal with your ISP!

        I’m gonna watch it later when I can benefit from sound.

  5. Some nice info about the car, but blimey, I could have done without the JML style commentary. Are Mercedes trying to sell it from a stand in B&Q?

    Still, not sure it’s as bad as the Lewis Hamilton Tag Heuer advert I saw at the cinema before the showing of Senna yesterday.

    1. Still, not sure it’s as bad as the Lewis Hamilton Tag Heuer advert I saw at the cinema before the showing of Senna yesterday.

      That really was a terrible advert!

  6. Nice to know all the different buttons’/lights’ functions!

  7. Tom, Dick & Harry
    21st June 2011, 13:56

    I’d like to see FOM broadcast the performance graphics of the saftey car when it is in use. Purely to compare performance differences.
    Also, it might make saftey car periods like the one in Canada a little more informative

  8. More than 5 minutes of waffle, and still gives us no idea what the passenger actually does!

    (I’m assuming someone on here does know so fill us in ;) )

    1. Communicates with race control and operates the buttons. While it may not seem like it, Bernd is driving his hardest just to keep the car at a pace which the F1 cars can keep temperatures within range.

      If I can liken operating those lights to fiddling with the sat nav or changing a CD, you wouldn’t do those things if you’re on a racetrack or a windy country road.

      As for the radio, race control will want to be in fairly regular contact with the car to check on grip levels, visibility or to direct them to change their lights or come in. F1 drivers and teams will generally communicate on straights where the driver’s workload is significantly less. There have been examples of drivers telling their engineers to shut up, notably Kimi saying “Dont talk to me in the corner,” and Alonso saying “Don’t talk to me for the rest of the race.” Bernd is the same, there’s only a limited amount of time when he’s on the staight to exchange info, so the passenger in the safety car can deal with 90% of radio messages while knowing when a good time to talk to Bernd is, to ask him the remaining 10%.

      1. When I say “it may not seem like it” I didn’t mean to infer that Bernd isn’t a good driver (because he is a very good driver), it’s simply that the car’s limit is much lower than an F1 car. That’s why you can hear the tyres squeal and the engine roar over F1 cars well within their grip levels and pulling low revs on closed throttle.

  9. The Stig?

  10. I thought I recognised that narrative voice! That’s a clip from ‘Inside Grand Prix’, a program shown on Motors TV. One of their better features I must say.

    1. clairvoyant
      22nd June 2011, 13:02

      Yes you are right that is from Insidegrandprix
      a show that you can learn a lot of news technical facts and details of every race before every Grand prix.

      1. To be honest I watch it more for a laugh than anything else. I love the voiceover guys voice, it’s brilliant. But they do have a good circuit guide.

  11. “Little blue knob”

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