Safety car unlapping requirement "embarrassing" - Vettel

Sebastian Vettel says it's "embarrassing" that lapped Formula 1 drivers have to unlap themselves under the safety car – but the FIA says there's a reason why the procedure is necessary.

Safety car unlapping requirement "embarrassing" - Vettel
Listen to this article

As per normal procedures, several lapped drivers were waved past by the safety car so they could unlap themselves and join the back of the queue during the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola.

Those drivers came across marshals who were still clearing the track following an earlier incident, kick-starting a debate about the procedure and the potential safety issues in such circumstances.

Read Also:

GPDA director Vettel said that the problem is that the software in the timing system – which is operated by Formula 1 on behalf of the FIA – does not have the capacity to "re-set" and credit lapped drivers with an extra lap that they have not actually completed.

"I think we should probably focus more on the solution," said Vettel. "And I think the reason why we are physically unlapping ourselves is because we can't work out a software that actually just re-sets us.

"So we have to do the extra lap, which sounds quite embarrassing, but that's what I believe is the truth.

"So I guess going forward, we would just probably put some effort into the software that the lapped cars are not forced to actually physically unlap themselves, but you can just re-set the lap on the screen, and put them in the place that they are. So I think that would be the solution.

"Obviously, as a consequence you had in the past people trying to catch the field, also in other other categories crashing. And that can't be safe under full-course yellow to go out and crash.

"Plus as you've seen or witnessed in Imola people working on the track, trying to do a favour for us, recovering the car that was stranded there, cleaning the track.

"I think they work in the contrary, these two things, and we should just focus on the solution, which I believe is purely software related. And given that is 2020, I think it should be possible."

An FIA spokesman confirmed to Motorsport.com that the timing system doesn't have the ability to credit a driver with a lap he hasn't run, but pointed out that such a requirement has never been asked for.

The physical unlapping is actually more a question of minimising a possible sporting advantage.

It requires those drivers to use up both fuel and tyre life by completing the free extra lap, which by definition is usually done at close to race speed as they catch the pack.

If the lap was credited automatically they would potentially have an advantage over drivers ahead of them in the queue.

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton opens up on new Mercedes contract delay
Previous article

Hamilton opens up on new Mercedes contract delay

Next article

Ricciardo: Portimao lessons will help Renault in Turkey

Ricciardo: Portimao lessons will help Renault in Turkey
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022