Monday, 13 June 2011

Safety Car Done It's Best To Ruin A Great Race

The Canadian Grand Prix was a classic but it seemed the safety car choices of deployment and length out kind of robbed us a bit. I'm all for safety of drivers but safety cars over involvement in the race got absolutely ridiculous.

First controversial decision: Starting the race under safety car conditions with Fernando Alonso feeling robbed as he was considering starting on intermediates.

If any driver is intending to start the race on intermediates, never mind a double world champion the track is obviously not safety car start conditions. Under wet safety car starts everyone has to be on the full wets meaning Alonso was robbed of that strategic element.

"We had our best qualifying of the year and we found ourselves starting behind the safety car, when I felt that for me, the intermediates were the best tyre," said Alonso

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle talking about doing a normal start: "These are the finest drivers on the world and I think they're capable of dealing with these conditions."

Second controversial decision: As if the safety car start wasn't enough, it is then kept out for 4 laps before peeling into pits. The start is done, why not go in after first lap?

Next time safety car is deployed is after Hamilton crash with it used for 3 laps, nothing bad there.

The next time everyone's favourite car comes out is lap 26 after it starts raining heavy. In years before in such a situation they would just leave things until some driver aquaplanes off then deploy it. The drivers have requested in such conditions for the safety car to come out before an accident happens which seems right. So in that instance can't complain as conditions were pretty bad.

Third and most infuriating decision: After the red flag and race started again under safety car conditions as it has to, The length of time that car goes round and round and round until the track reaches intermediate tyre level! Lap 26 to 34 with Jenson sticking on inters next lap followed by the rest a lap later. What was the safety car at?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt completely robbed of the chance to see the cars battling in full wet conditions. Its times like these legends are born. Senna in Donington 93, Schumacher in Spain 96, Vettel in Monza 08. Maybe some young star of the future could have made a name for himself with rain being the great leveler making car not matter so much, maybe Schumi could have shown us a trip down memory lane, but we shall never know because the safety car kept going around until the track was near bone dry(ok slight exaggeration!)

So great race even with the some what baffling safety car decisions. Lets hope this new overly cautious approach is a one off because of the new tyres or a Bernd Maylander sudden urge for TV time cause it was pretty irritating to say the least.

Update: Here is what a spectator in the crowd experienced which sums the whole thing up "Standing drenched in the first corner for over two hours people were in surprisingly good spirits. That is until the safety car emerged for lap after lap while a dryer racing line formed. The boos might not have been heard on the TV feed but they absolutely echoed around the track."

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