F1 teams have not agreed on plan to stop races ending under safety car


The debate over F1’s safety car rules was reopened at Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix after the race was not restarted following Daniel Ricciardo’s stoppage five laps from the finish and finishing behind the safety car.

Although race management followed the rules to the letter this time – unlike last year in Abu Dhabi, where the final lap restart decided the championship – fans were left with a sour taste after she was denied a race finish.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he felt the race should have been red flagged to ensure the race ended with at least one lap of the race and to avoid ending up under the safety car.

But McLaren F1 chief Seidl revealed that in the wake of Abu Dhabi last year there were plans to try and halt safety car finishes, only for teams to disagree on a solution.

“After what happened in Abu Dhabi last year, there was a lot of discussion between FIA, Formula 1 and all the teams involved to see how the rules could be adjusted to ensure that races never end under a safety car. Seidl explained after the race.

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“But despite the fact that the FIA ​​and Formula 1 are really pushing us all to find solutions, it was up to us as the teams and to pretty much all the teams that didn’t agree to any change because we couldn’t agree on a better solution still a fair solution in terms of the sporting result.

“That’s why I think we just have to accept that unfortunately situations like today can happen.”

The Safety Car Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Photo By: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Seidl said the FIA ​​and Formula 1 “tried very hard” to find a way to change the rules to ensure races always ended under a green flag, but there were too many concerns from teams that the spectacle would took precedence over the sporting side.

“We only want a solution that is also fair from a sporting point of view and is not suddenly endangered,” said Seidl.

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“And that’s why we couldn’t agree on something better than what we have.

“In the end we voted that the rules should remain as they were. As far as I remember, every team voted like that. And that’s why I think we’ll close the topic.”

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem held a summit with race officials and F1 team managers in Monza on Monday after the race to discuss a number of sporting matters, with safety car rules likely to have been called into question.

One possible option to ensure that races always end with a green flag is to write in the rules that an automatic red flag is shown if the safety car has to be within a certain distance from the end.

UKTN put the suggestion to Alpine sports chief Alan Permane, who thought it “sounds great”, but there would inevitably be some “unintended consequences”.

“But it’s happened before, we did it last year in Baku and it was good,” said Permane.

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“I think you can write that in the regs. It doesn’t sound crazy. I’m sure there’s something we don’t like, but we’re here to put on a show after all. And [the Monza finish] was clearly not acceptable.

“It’s not an ideal finish at all, nobody wants to finish under the safety car. It’s miserable, really miserable for the fans. We didn’t try our best, that’s for sure.

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“But maybe we don’t have to moan about saying that every time it’s a safety car within 50km of the end or something, you’re throwing a red flag. Maybe we just need to get those safety car procedures right, and we’ve been working on making them faster.

“The problem is with safety cars later in the race, you have those cars with a lap time. We’ve had endless discussions about how we can improve that situation, and there are certainly a lot of unintended consequences of changing that procedure.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble


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