After the huge accident in Imola today, many viewers have seen safety car enter the track. Although this is normal for regular racing spectators, what this means for a rookie Formula 1 fan for the first time can be complicated. What does a safety car do? In what situations does the safety car intervene? We will try to find answers to such questions in this article.
Brief History of Safety Car
The story of the safety car concept first meeting with Formula 1 dates back to the early 70s. At the Canadian Grand Prix held in 1973, it was decided to use a safety car for the first time. The Porsche 914, the first safety car used in Formula 1 history, was driven by Eppie Wietzes. However, the effects of the concept were not as desired. As a result of the wrong positioning of the vehicle in the racing area, one of the racing cars lost a lap time. As a result of this incident, the safety car concept was shelved for twenty years and became standard since 1993.
When Does the Safety Car Enter the Track?
The safety car stands ready during the race and is informed by the FIA race control team when necessary and intervenes in the fastest way possible. If there is a situation that will hinder the normal course of the race after a big accident or put the driver's safety at risk, or if unsafe track conditions occur due to heavy rain, these are situations that require the safety car to intervene in the race. The race control notifies the safety car when the problems on the track are resolved and there is no harm in continuing the race. In this direction, the safety car turns off the headlamps and gives the necessary signal to the race pilots and the next lap leaves the track. At the same time, the teams are informed about this situation. When the safety car leaves the track, the race leader sets the pace and starts the race again.
Some safety cars that have served in races up to this time;
Mercedes-Benz CLK 63
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GTS
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R
Aston Martin Vantage