Safety Car, Silverstone, 2018

Vettel’s ‘too quick’ Safety Car complaint wasn’t heeded

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: FIA race director Charlie Whiting was amused to learn Sebastian Vettel had complained the Safety Car was driving too quickly during the British Grand Prix.

What they say

Too quick? That’s unusual. I don’t listen to all the drivers all the time and I didn’t hear that message. But that’s an easy one to solve!

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Has the time come for F1 to give up on attracting new manufacturers for 2021?

The window for new entrants in 2021 has almost been reached. Any company with interest would already be expressing this, considering the scale and resources that have to be allocated to develop a power unit, this is not a decision arrived at in two to three years.

Aston Martin were never seriously considering this, they don’t have the resource, it was for PR reasons that Andy Palmer talked about it.

Keeping the same engine for another two to three seasons is unlikely to have any impact, given how long it takes to agree, resource and structure an F1 power unit development program, if anything it actually gives more time for involvement and discussion considering the absence of any new entrants.

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On this day in F1

  • 25 years ago today Alain Prost won the British Grand Prix after team mate Damon Hill retired with engine failure while leading

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Keith Collantine
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  • 37 comments on “Vettel’s ‘too quick’ Safety Car complaint wasn’t heeded”

    1. I think the CotD is right, especially at the end. Attracting new manufacturers shouldn’t be the goal of 2021 anyway. They can spend more to figure that out long term, but for 2021 fix the financial situation so the independents see F1 as viable and focus on reducing that front runner to mid-field gap.

      1. +1 to both COTD and you, @skipgamer

      2. Good point to add to that CotD @skipgamer. 2021 should be used to set the stage for how the sport can operate. If it shows a good structure, interesting racing and commercial viability, there will be more new entrants wanting to enter. IF not, it’s better to save the effort of having to buld new engines.

    2. Re. the round-up headline, was Vettel asked in any post-race interview about that specific radio message? i.e. what was his concern with the safety car going too fast? Was it the safety of trackside marshals? Wear on his brand-new tyres? Charlie’s right in that it’s only the opposite message we hear quite often behind the SC, not this one.

      1. It did look like the safety car driver was doing qualifying laps in his car, he could have spun and hit workers in crash scene. I think vettel was referring to the behaviour of the safety car, which didn’t look like it was out there for safety reasons, but rather trying to set lap records for a safety car.

      2. Obviously it was in his advantage for the safety car not to go so fast

        1. ColdFly (@)
          11th July 2018, 9:33

          maybe, just maybe, he wanted the SC to go slower so there would be ‘less laps’ stuck behind it, and more racing laps left (and they had fresh tyres; BOT/HAM worn ones).
          @phylyp, @carlosmedrano

          1. @coldfly – that is an excellent explanation, thank you.

          2. Yup thats sounds right I thought it had to do with how the Mercedes warms its tires up. Merc always complains about the sc going too slow so maybe Vettel wanted Bottas to not have tires at optimal temperature but your theory makes more sense

      3. Riccardo Adami: “Lapped cars may now overtake.”
        Sebastian Vettel: “How many are there?”
        RA: “Watch your mirrors. Two cars coming. Sirotkin behind Verstappen and Stroll behind Sirotkin.”
        RA: “Sirotkin at turn 2 now, behind Verstappen.”
        SV: “Tell the safety car to slow down then.”
        RA: “Understood.”
        RA: “Watch your mirrors, let them by. Stroll next… ok.”

        Out of this, FOM chooses to broadcast “Tell the safety car to slow down”. Okay…

        1. @avetma – ah, that statement in context is easier to understand, and in a way ties to coldfly’s comment – slow the SC down to allow lapped cars to unlap themselves quicker.

        2. @keithcollantine Do you have access to the radio log? Is this conversation @avetma posted real?

          1. F1 TV … You have the option to listen to just the engine… or Broadcast in 3 language.. or just radio, like everything they talk over the radio.. not even engine or commenters

    3. I reckon Hamilton was planning to say “it’s coming home” on the radio when he won, and was really annoyed afterwards that he didn’t get to

      1. Hamilton didn’t look really confident that he would win before the race, I think he knew the Ferrari had more pace

        1. If the race up to the first Safety Cars suggests anything, Mercedes had more pace in hand – already with Bottas on medium tyres.

    4. Someone at the Inside Line swallowed a thesaurus…

      1. Ben (@scuderia29)
        11th July 2018, 9:57

        Haha they were definitely trying too hard here, I found that passage very difficult to understand

        1. I rather liked it – seemed like a good description of hamilton’s afternoon and indeed the race in general.

    5. I find it interesting how when Hamilton played the victim after Rosberg made a mistake at Spa 2014, Rosberg came out of that altercation looking like the villain.

      Hamilton tried to play the victim when Raikkonen hits him at Silverstone 2018, and Hamilton ends up looking like the villain.

      Lewis really underestimated just how well-liked Kimi is. His usual mindgames and slander wasn’t going to work against Kimi like it did against Nico (a far less popular driver).

      1. @kingshark – that’s quite an interesting take on the reversal of stance.

        In Jolyon Palmer’s BBC column above, he writes “Raikkonen is not a dirty driver at all” – that is a reputation that is hard earned over time and every deed, which also lends credence to your viewpoint.

        In terms of popularity, I’d be hard pressed to define what it is that makes Kimi popular amongst fans (I’m one). The best I can manage is that he lives his “don’t give a damn” attitude. Others may proclaim that loudly; he doesn’t need to, because he doesn’t give a damn.

      2. Rosberg made a mistake at Spa 2014

        Oh, that word’s going to ruffle a few feathers. :-)

        1. It’s just impossible to say for sure .Rosberg knew he would destroy he’s front wing for sure and he didn’t know for sure if he would damage the other car.Doesn’t look any different than Lewis vs Verstappen at Bahrain or Kimi vs Lewis.

          1. Except merc fined him 300k, so they may know something we dont

            1. Except merc fined him 300k, so they may know something we dont

              I’m not going to cry ‘fake news’ just yet, but that’s the very first time I’ve heard this, and it doesn’t strike me as particularly plausible. Do you have a source for this?

            2. nase – back then I remember mention of the internal fine, and today I am able to find these links and , although there’s no mention of an actual Merc person confirming the fine was levied.

          2. Except Rosberg said he did it to “prove a point”.

            1. Let’s agree to disagree on this one.

            2. Imho, the only thing Nico did was stand his ground, hence the ‘prove a point’ comment. He never wanted to hit LH and couldn’t possibly have planned to cut LH’s tire but keep himself intact enough to finish the race. This was all about Nico not wanting to be pushed around by LH, but Nico was never trying to take LH out in doing so.

    6. ColdFly (@)
      11th July 2018, 9:37

      Respect for Joylon Palmer; good column/article.
      Hope he replaces Benson (even if it’s just a weekly column).

      1. @coldfly Jolyon is superb on the Radio and Chequered flag Podcast, strong addition to the BBC team. I hope he stays around for many years.

    7. I couldn’t agree more with Palmer on the consistency concerning penalties. I also agree with the COTD.

    8. Champagne Papi
      11th July 2018, 10:52

      Jolyon Palmer, better columnist than racing driver.

      1. Haha thats not saying much, he’s probably better in a lot of things then racing

    9. I think there are couple of big issues with f1 stewards. First one is the most obvious one. They have even admitted it themselves that it matters who is doing what. A championship contender causing a wreck is treated differently than a backmarker. I think the ideology here is that penalties should not have effect on championships. I disagree with that. Penalties should be 100% consistent and if they affect the championship it is the driver’s or teams fault. Not the steward’s fault. But all championships are guilty of this.

      Second problem is more of a human nature thing but also has business side reasoning. People are just less likely to penalize drivers like hamilton, vettel, alonso and verstappen when they drive for big teams, bring in lots of eyeballs to watch the race and are popular. I think it is naturaly bias also in every human being. If your favourite driver causes an accident you are more likely to want lesser penalty than it was someone you did not care about. I think the only solution to this is to make the drivers, teams and cars unidentifiable for the stewards. For example when vettel drove into the side of hamilton the stewards should just see (accurate) computer graphics version of the incident showing the two white cars and the actions inside that lap with no other cars (unless they). And not have any knowledge which cars and drivers were involved.

      But essentially that would lead to more consistent penalties because you’d remove lot of the human factor. Another positive is that you could release that footage and allow youtubers and journalist to show and review the video and generate interest towards f1. Now it is just ridiculous that f1 the dinosaur still does not allow even short clips of incidents be shown. At least with this they could show something.

      Third one is automation. Or lack of there of. While in football we we have video assisted review they are still not using technology for things like offside. There is always this objection against removing the human from the process. Even when technology could solve the issue 100% consistently compared to human who can maybe do 60-70%. F1 is the same. F1 could use the tech to police track limits for example. There is really no reason not to do it except f1 wants to not let computer do it because they want to give different penalties to the important drivers compared to backmarkers. Obviously the system needs to be more refined than a simple on/off system so it can handle situations where the driver slows down to give up time gained for example. But at the same time the system needs to be resistant to steward meddling because if the stewards can ignore the system they’ll do so 100% of the time when it is hamilton, vettel, alonso or verstappen. Only reason why the system’s penalties should be reviewed by human is if there is a clear technical flaw that is causing unintended functionality.

      In the end f1 stewards are just watching videos and trying to come up with penalties based on the rule book knowledge and gut feeling. They have personal biases and they have an official bias to not hurt the star drivers. It is no wonder the system is inconsistent.

      1. @socksolid This is one of those rare(ish) times that I fully agree with you on something.

    10. What was so inconsistent about Raikkonen’s penalty? At best you could say Vettel should have had the same penalty or a drive-through, but that was a first corner incident which tend to get penalized less harsh.

      Plus Raikkonen kept his nose stuck in on purpose in a clearly lost position. As Grosjean explained, that’s a bigger shame than crashing at turn 1.

      But yeah I do agree they need to apply the actual rules and don’t give us this “driver causing the incident didn’t see the other driver and is therefore excused” nonsense.

      Or even more ridiculous when they didn’t penalize Rosberg in Spain because Hamilton had been only alongside Rosberg for a short while. The rules clearly say to leave space if a part of the other car is alongside (on the straight). Nowhere does it say that that needs to be a “long time”.

      Although I assume they ruled like that to stay out of an intra team incident. Makes sense the stewards would rather that the teams deal with those themselves internally. Just like when they let Verstappen get away with a crystal clear case of weaving in Baku. Or when Button won in Canada after putting Hamilton in the wall. Obviously McLaren wouldn’t want their win taken away after losing the other car already so they excused Button with a “he didn’t see” card.

      Or indeed when they don’t penalize championship contenders. Like when they stopped giving points to Vettel when he was maxed out on points and under threat of a race ban for all the crashes he already caused in the 12 months before. What’s the use of these points if you do not give the offending driver the race ban he so clearly deserves? If anything, the fact that he is a WDC contender just makes it worse that he behaves so poorly.

      Back in the days it was the other way around. WDC competitors got penalized harder. Hamilton once got a drive through penalty for locking up at turn 1. While at the time almost the whole field locked up. Yet only he was penalized. Although that was done by the Ferrari consultant acting as the lone steward and many penalties that season were utterly absurd.

      So yes we have seen some ridiculously inconsistent stewarding over the years, but to pretend that that has been happening this season is just incorrect. Is a difference of 5 seconds really such an issue to pretend that there is such a big issue with consistency?

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