Whiting defends safety car call

Published on 16 Apr 2018 10:22

Charlie Whiting defended his decision to use the safety car during the Chinese Grand Prix after heavy criticism from Sebastian Vettel. The safety car was deployed after the Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley collided. Hartley was rear-ended by Gasly in the 31st lap of the race, and afterwards he was forced to retire.

Vettel was the most vocal driver against the deployment of the safety car during the Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver finished eight after he had a contact in the final stages of the race with Max Verstappen. The German considered that the timing of the safety car deployment should have been arranged to ensure that he was not put at disadvantage.

"If we decide to use the Safety Car it’s for safety reasons and I don’t look to see who’s going to be advantaged and disadvantaged." Whiting explained. “We waited until there was a good gap in the traffic. The debris was scattered over a large area and I wanted to wait until the Safety Car had got the cars behind it before I was prepared to send any marshals out." he continued.

“If you’ve got the marshals have come a long way, they’re just exposed out there. I know they’re doing 30% of a real lap but it’s still quite fast and I’m not sure you can totally trust drivers to do the right thing.” Whiting concluded. 


Paul Athes

Replies (12)
Posts: 151
I think they should have some kind of alternative route ready, so if they must clean an area, they can re-route the traffic, like the do with real life motorway roadworks. The safety car is really not funny to watch lap after lap.
Posts: 265
why not powerful blowers . the helicopters could do the same mid size drones. not a bunch of locals with straw brooms
Posts: 328
Maybe push the tecky’s to research & modify the carbon fibre with a reinforcement that counters the brittle tendencies so it may crack but not splinter. When that stuff goes off you might as well throw a sheet of glass on the circuit - same result. I doubt Charlie Whiting would allow that so why is CF ok? Too frequently now races are compromised by super sharp shards being sprayed across the track.
DE juju_hound 16 Apr 2018 14:430
Posts: 165
I think the safety is much more important than the viewers not having fun
Posts: 151
Approx. 400 million people watching locals sweeping brooms and the safetycar for 5-6 laps, that is 10% of the race. Sure, why not.
Posts: 313
On the completely unrelated note: what's the point of these 10 second penalties? Why did they do away with the drive through penalties that were actually a "real" penalty?
US ajpennypacker 16 Apr 2018 17:110
Posts: 1402
Ridiculous for people to complain about this. Safety cars always favour some and ruin the race for others. It gave the race to Ferrari in Melbourne, it took it away in China. The safety car was out for a reasonable amount of time, it made the race so much more interesting in the end. The only problem? A Ferrari driver was harmed and apparently that's not an acceptable outcome for some.
Posts: 13
This is so simple.
Do not allow to pit on the first safetycar lap.
Problem solved. Races must be won on the track and not by someone pushing a button.
Posts: 328
Safety cars have a good use to allow safe removal of cars immobilised on or off the track after fault/collision but the enormous front toast racks are just a mobile bag of nails and cause the too much disruption and retirements. They should be more impact proof.
US ajpennypacker 16 Apr 2018 22:050
Posts: 1402
You can't eliminate all uncertainty from any sport, especially F1. I actually don't think you would like it if they did. Sebastian won in Melbourne because of a safety car. At least in China we got a very exciting race as a result of of the safety car.
SE calle.itw 16 Apr 2018 22:490
Posts: 5626
I was gonna point that out too, APJ. I find the current SC setup okay, changing the pit regulations during SC might upset that fine balance.
Posts: 151
I totally agree on that, safetycar brings something unexpected, and the race could change, but my point is, why must it be so many laps? The unexpected effect is reached as soon as it is deployed. To minimize the number of SC laps would be nice if Liberty Media could look into.

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