FIA releases statement on F1 safety car after ruckus at the Australian GP


Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc had questioned the speed of F1’s safety car after the Australian GP on Sunday

Verstappen and Leclerc hit out at F1’s safety car after the race at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne. Both the drivers felt that the Aston Martin safety car was going too slowly which impacted their ability to heat up their tyres. The FIA has now released an official statement in response to the remarks and clarified their stance on the purpose of the car.

FIA put out a copy of the official statement on Twitter. It says, “In light of recent comments regarding the pace of the FIA Formula 1 Safety Car, the FIA would like to reiterate that the primary function of the FIA Formula 1 Safety Car is, of course, not outright speed, but the safety of the drivers, marshals and officials. ALT cont: The Safety Car procedures take into account multiple objectives, depending upon the incident in question, including the requirements to ‘bunch up’ the field, negotiate an incident recovery or debris on track in a safe manner and adjust the pace depending on the recovery activities that may be ongoing in a different part of the track.

The governing body further added, “The speed of the Safety Car is therefore generally dictated by Race Control, and not limited by the capabilities of the Safety Cars, which are bespoke high-performance vehicles prepared by two of the world’s top manufacturers, equipped to deal with changeable track conditions at all times and driven by a hugely experienced and capable driver and co-driver. The impact of the speed of the Safety Car on the performance of the cars following is a secondary consideration as the impact is equal amongst all competitors who, as is always the case, are responsible for driving in a safe manner at all times according to the conditions of their car and the circuit.

What remarks did Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc make on the issue?

The detailed FIA statement comes in response to remarks of the drivers after the Australian GP. Verstappen described the green Aston Martin as a ‘turtle’ and called for the FIA to review the safety car regulations.

Leclerc raised a similar concern regarding the issue. “It’s very difficult especially when we are all on hard tyres. I had extreme problems generating temperature. I wanted to complain over the radio but then I saw how much the safety car slipped in the corners, I don’t think he could have driven any faster”, said the Australian GP champion.

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