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The (Dutch) alternative for the safety car


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#1 Pingguest

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 19:38

Since last year I’m fully against the use of the Safety Car. Every time the Safety Car comes out, the race leader will lose his gap to the second placed man. That's not only unfair to the race leader; it also makes the sport to become some sort of a lottery. From that point of view the safety car is against the spirit of Formula 1 as the best driver should win instead of the luckiest.

Last Sunday the Safety Car was deployed after Glock's crash. As a consequent Kovelainen was robbed from his second place, because he still had to do his mandatory compound switch and had to wait behind the Safety Car until the pit lane was opened. I not only reject both the pit lane being closed and the mandatory compound switch, I also think it showed a negative aspect of the Safety Car: a driver gets punished because one of his colleagues went off.

After the race two Dutch drivers, Allard Kalff and Tom Coronel, discussed the about the Safety Car. They also were against the use of the Safety Car and proposed to introduce a system that’s known as 'Code 60'. The system is already being used in various Dutch cup series and has been adopted by the 24 hour race of Dubai recently. This is how it works: if a serious accident occurs, a purple flag with number 60 in it is waved. As this flag is shown all drivers are not allowed to driver faster than 60 km/h. No Safety Car will be deployed. The major advantage of this system is that the gaps between the drivers will stay more or less the same. No driver will have an unfair advantage due the race being neutralized.

The FIA should consider a same sort of system. Of course, the maximum speed that's been allowed may be increased to 80, 100 or another speed. To make the implementation easier, the FIA could give the Race Stewarts control over the pit limiters. In my opinion this system is more in the spirit of the series and will bring more or less the same safety as the Safety Car does.

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#2 Clatter

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 19:45

The problem with that is it does not really address the safety issue. With the cars bunched up it gives the track workers a clear track for just over a minute each lap, with code 60 they would have to be constantly watching for cars approaching. Sorry, but it sounds dangerous to me.

#3 Jerome

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 19:59

Originally posted by Clatter
The problem with that is it does not really address the safety issue. With the cars bunched up it gives the track workers a clear track for just over a minute each lap, with code 60 they would have to be constantly watching for cars approaching. Sorry, but it sounds dangerous to me.


Do you think the safety car only drives 60 km/per hour? Methinks not. And the drivers know by radio where the wreckage is, and on which side of the track they should be. I think it's an excellent idea!

#4 Pingguest

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:00

Well, other marshalls could wave with extra yellow flags just before the spot were other marshalls are working. But remember, the mechanics have to work under more or less the same conditions in the pit lane.

#5 Domination

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:01

i like it :up:

#6 alg7_munif

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:02

This speed limit idea has also been mentioned here but a little different:
http://forums.autosp...threadid=100091

#7 Motormedia

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:03

The same system is used in the Swedish long distance series SLC and as far as I know everyone is happy with it. I guess one advantage with a safety car could be that the field is bunched up while with the Code 60 system it can be spread out, leaving less continous time for cleaning up the track. Otherwise, it seems like a system worthy of an in depth analysis.

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#8 Group B

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:05

I remember Allard Kalff from Eurosport F1 days. Good chap :up:

#9 Jerome

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:09

I think that if you JUMPED in front of a Formula 1 driving 60 km/an hour could and the drivers slams on the brake, the car wouldn't hit you.

Furthermore, like posted above, you wave a flag at the appropriate corner, drivers are told to take the left side of the road if the carnage is right. Seems a lot safer than working with a pace car driving at 140 km/per hour, or what ever speed they use. Anyone know that?

#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:12

Yeah but not everyone will be down to 60kph at the same rate. There's no way to police how quickly everyone gets to 60kph (and the last thing we need is people randomly jumping on the brakes down the straight) and an electronic system wouldn't be reliable enough.

The purpose of the safety car is to neutralise the circuit, we're trying to prevent injuries to marshalls. At that stage it's irrelevant if someone's race gets hurt.

#11 Clatter

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:15

Originally posted by Jerome.Inen


Do you think the safety car only drives 60 km/per hour? Methinks not. And the drivers know by radio where the wreckage is, and on which side of the track they should be. I think it's an excellent idea!


I know the safety car may be travelling faster, but the track workers still have a clear track for over a minute, which they would not have under this system.

#12 Clatter

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:17

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
The purpose of the safety car is to neutralise the circuit, we're trying to prevent injuries to marshalls. At that stage it's irrelevant if someone's race gets hurt.


The purpose of the safety car is so that the race stays within its 2 hour schedule. If safety was really paramount they would stop the race like they used to.

#13 undersquare

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:21

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Yeah but not everyone will be down to 60kph at the same rate. There's no way to police how quickly everyone gets to 60kph (and the last thing we need is people randomly jumping on the brakes down the straight) and an electronic system wouldn't be reliable enough.

The purpose of the safety car is to neutralise the circuit, we're trying to prevent injuries to marshalls. At that stage it's irrelevant if someone's race gets hurt.


This is a strong argument. Maybe an argument for having it radio-controlled from race control, so they all slow down together.

But I suspect FoM like the way the safety car bunches up the field, though personally I think it is artificial, like the 2 tyre compounds rule.

#14 postajegenye

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:24

Imagine they're going very close to each other down the straight at 350 km/h. one car just behind the other. The flag comes out, they get the order on the radio to slow down. First car hits the brake, the one behind him reacts a bit later...

And every driver would want to go flat out until they can, none of them would want to lose any seconds. So the one who manages to stay on speed the longest would be called cheater.

It may work in smaller racing series but in F1 there are so many controversies and argues over much smaller issues, this would start scandals.

#15 alg7_munif

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:34

I don't think that the current safety car rule is really for safety because the safety car didn't just catch any car which is going to drive past the dangerous part of the track but it will let the car to pass through and wait for the race leader.

#16 MichaelPM

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:36

I doubt right now an F1 car could operate at 60kph nevermind go from that to green flag with engine, brakes, tyres, etc. within operational tempratures.

Marshals need the cars to go slower to clear a wreck, cars need to go faster to prevent another wreck.

#17 Fat Freddy's Cat

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:36

It seems like a workable solution to the problem of drivers being unfairly penalised, but how would they keep tyres at a safe temperature at such a low speed? Also, you have to consider that F1 is a "show" these days and the safety car has become popular as a means of prolonging the racing.

#18 postajegenye

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 20:43

I think it would be generally more dangerous, but also a bit less dangerous in the way that the Safety Car needs time to get onto the track and until then there's no speed limit for the drivers. So accidents like Alonso crashing into debris in Brazil 2003 can happen with SC, it would be safer if a computer controlled system would slow down the cars.

But the other arguments (low tyre temperatures etc.) prove that it would be more dangerous

#19 MarkWRX

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 21:13

Originally posted by Pingguest
Well, other marshalls could wave with extra yellow flags just before the spot were other marshalls are working. But remember, the mechanics have to work under more or less the same conditions in the pit lane.


Marshalls are, in most places, volunteers. Pit crew are paid members of the teams and therefor they are compensated for the risk and have insurance and other social benefits if something happens to them.

The purpose of the safety car is to neutralise the circuit, we're trying to prevent injuries to marshalls. At that stage it's irrelevant if someone's race gets hurt.



That is exactly the point of the safety car. While 60 KMH is a lot slower than the Safety Car goes, it would still leave the cars spread out, albeit spread out at slower speeds.

There are many safety considerations for the corner workers - never have your back to traffic, keep the car between yourself and traffic, etc that because of the nature of the circuits and the impact zones, you just can't follow. The Safety Car pretty much guarantees you that you have about a minute or so to go out and sweep, apply oil dry, pick up souvenirs (sometimes), restack tires or whatever. It's very difficult to do that if you are constantly looking over your shoulder.

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#20 Atreiu

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 21:19

I don't mind saftey cars at all, but I do mind the awkward pit rules.
Shit happens to everyone now and then, including the leaders.

#21 917k

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 21:43

Without the SC there was endless bitching that the racing was boring, as the fastest guy always won without major incident.

With the SC there is bitching that the race has been tampered with and isn't pure.

A typical no-win situation for F1.

#22 Clatter

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 21:58

Originally posted by 917k
Without the SC there was endless bitching that the racing was boring, as the fastest guy always won without major incident.

With the SC there is bitching that the race has been tampered with and isn't pure.

A typical no-win situation for F1.


When did the fans ever say a safety car was needed to spice up the show?

I preferred the old system where the race would be restarted, the times from the first part would be added to the second. This meant although the lead on track might be lost, the time wouldnt.

#23 stevvy1986

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 22:23

bad idea i think,what happens if an ambulance is needed on track and both sides of the track need clearing of debris,such as ralf's crash in 2004 at Indy?wouldn't work,you cant have the cars driving at say 60mph and the ambulance driving round the track and wondering where the cars are coming from,the big speed difference,plus if the ambulance is just round a corner out of sight,and a formula 1 car comes past at 60mph/kph........well,it doesnt bear thinking about-bad idea really

#24 Slowinfastout

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 22:34

You can always red flag the race...

Sounds like a good idea.. sporting-wise.. (is that a word?)

#25 Ferrim

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 23:39

Originally posted by Atreiu
I don't mind saftey cars at all, but I do mind the awkward pit rules.
Shit happens to everyone now and then, including the leaders.


Completely agree.

I accept Safety Cars. They can cost the leader all of his advantage, ok. But with the old rules, he could at least retain his track advantage (i.e., pit in and refuel as soon as the SC goes out). With the current ones that's no longer possible and you go from first to last.

#26 alg7_munif

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 23:48

Originally posted by Ferrim


Completely agree.

I accept Safety Cars. They can cost the leader all of his advantage, ok. But with the old rules, he could at least retain his track advantage (i.e., pit in and refuel as soon as the SC goes out). With the current ones that's no longer possible and you go from first to last.

+1 because safety car doesn't really ensure safety at all. I mean how many times have you seen drivers crashing behind a safety car? Even the great MS crashed at Monaco all by himself behind a safety car.

We already have a red flag rule for a really bad accident so why do we need an unfair safety car rule that would change the result of the race without giving the team nya chance to make any action can minimize the damage to them. At least before this they had the chance to change their pit strategy and etc.

#27 Henri Greuter

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:04

Originally posted by Pingguest
Since last year I’m fully against the use of the Safety Car. Every time the Safety Car comes out, the race leader will lose his gap to the second placed man. That's not only unfair to the race leader; it also makes the sport to become some sort of a lottery. From that point of view the safety car is against the spirit of Formula 1 as the best driver should win instead of the luckiest.

Last Sunday the Safety Car was deployed after Glock's crash. As a consequent Kovelainen was robbed from his second place, because he still had to do his mandatory compound switch and had to wait behind the Safety Car until the pit lane was opened. I not only reject both the pit lane being closed and the mandatory compound switch, I also think it showed a negative aspect of the Safety Car: a driver gets punished because one of his colleagues went off.

After the race two Dutch drivers, Allard Kalff and Tom Coronel, discussed the about the Safety Car. They also were against the use of the Safety Car and proposed to introduce a system that’s known as 'Code 60'. The system is already being used in various Dutch cup series and has been adopted by the 24 hour race of Dubai recently. This is how it works: if a serious accident occurs, a purple flag with number 60 in it is waved. As this flag is shown all drivers are not allowed to driver faster than 60 km/h. No Safety Car will be deployed. The major advantage of this system is that the gaps between the drivers will stay more or less the same. No driver will have an unfair advantage due the race being neutralized.

The FIA should consider a same sort of system. Of course, the maximum speed that's been allowed may be increased to 80, 100 or another speed. To make the implementation easier, the FIA could give the Race Stewarts control over the pit limiters. In my opinion this system is more in the spirit of the series and will bring more or less the same safety as the Safety Car does.




Similar kind of sytem was used at Indianapolis up intil 1978. Lights alng the track at certain locations displayed a number and a driver had to recuce speed so that each time when he saw such a sign he saw the same number. meaning his speed was OK and fine.
Rule was bend by the drivers all the time and since it didn't work they introduced the Pace car in 1979.

In other words...

What's new?????


My suggestion would be that FIA had the opportunity to send a signal to the ECU within each car which then automatcally makes the car unable to go any faster than 60 km/h. A kind of allowed pittwall to car reset procedure, controlled by the stewards of the meeting.
But I know a lot of arguments against such a move as well and why it would be dangerous too.


Henri

#28 ensign14

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:23

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Yeah but not everyone will be down to 60kph at the same rate. There's no way to police how quickly everyone gets to 60kph (and the last thing we need is people randomly jumping on the brakes down the straight) and an electronic system wouldn't be reliable enough.

With the common electronics, it should be easy enough to see who's abusing the system. Just tell the drivers to press their pit limiters within x seconds or they're black-flagged. And even if someone pinches a second or two it's a lot fairer than someone able to pinch nearly an entire lap because of someone else's eff up.

#29 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:26

The current system is the fairest. Closing the pits means no one gains from track position during the SC period.

#30 postajegenye

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 12:55

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
The current system is the fairest. Closing the pits means no one gains from track position during the SC period.


... but you can easily run out of fuel if SC comes out the wrong time

#31 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 14:19

You can pit in that case, you just have to pay a penalty. Id put them to the end of the lead-lap cars line instead of making them do a stop-and-go after the restart though.

#32 makroncommander

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 15:23

And why is a penalty fair since it's somebody else's fault to have caused a SC?

#33 JacnGille

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 15:39

Originally posted by undersquare
Maybe an argument for having it radio-controlled from race control, so they all slow down together.


Let's see. I'm at the apex of a 140MPH corner when "the button" is pushed by Race Control. I think I'll pass on this idea.