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Safety Car 2010 : Pits Closed?


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#1 feynman

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 15:49

as the title says,

no refuelling, so no-one gasping and needing to pit, so no unfair penalties, so no dashboard/gps/countdown shenanigans required.

has anyone heard anything, will they revert back to the pits being closed during first few safety-car laps, till track is clear, or are they intending to keep the slightly dubious 2009 dashboard timer malarkey.

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#2 stevvy1986

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 15:54

Almost certain that the pits won't be closed, and as last year you can pit when you want under the safety car.

#3 wingwalker

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 16:13

Haven't heard anything so I take that 2009 rules apply for 2010.

Edited by wingwalker, 26 January 2010 - 16:13.


#4 Arska

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 16:26

That's going to be quite a disadvantage for the top guys, unless the system where drivers must catch the safety car train at a slowish pace is still in place.

Edited by Arska, 26 January 2010 - 16:26.


#5 stevvy1986

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 17:00

That's going to be quite a disadvantage for the top guys, unless the system where drivers must catch the safety car train at a slowish pace is still in place.


Yup, as far as I'm aware, the 'delta' laptime thing still applies this year.

#6 jhmcgregor

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 17:30

Yup, as far as I'm aware, the 'delta' laptime thing still applies this year.


Yes, the revised 2010 Sporting Regs (40.7) published in December 2009 specify that ALL cars (not just those pitting) must use the delta lap time from the FIA ECU to limit their speed when catching a newly deployed Safety Car


40.6 The safety car will join the track with its orange lights illuminated and will do so regardless of where the race leader is.
40.7 All competing cars must then reduce speed and form up in line behind the safety car no more than ten car lengths apart. In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at which the “SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED” message is shown on the timing monitors until the time that each car crosses the first safety car line for the first time, drivers must stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU.

#7 feynman

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 18:23

just seems a little unnecessary/over-complicated given the fundamentally changed 2010 regulations.

just about got away with it last year, except for the Rosberg/Suzuka snafu, but why push your luck relying on a lot of bidirectional data-comms and tricky timings.

no-one will be rushing back to the pits, there is absolutely no need anymore, you can easily close the pitlane when you throw the SC board; don't worry about the cars on track, as soon as they see SC they'll all be switching straight to economy mode and running on 4 cyclinders ... it's all about the fuel economy now.



#8 Clatter

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:36

just seems a little unnecessary/over-complicated given the fundamentally changed 2010 regulations.

just about got away with it last year, except for the Rosberg/Suzuka snafu, but why push your luck relying on a lot of bidirectional data-comms and tricky timings.

no-one will be rushing back to the pits, there is absolutely no need anymore, you can easily close the pitlane when you throw the SC board; don't worry about the cars on track, as soon as they see SC they'll all be switching straight to economy mode and running on 4 cyclinders ... it's all about the fuel economy now.


The situation under a safety car is the more or less the same now as it has always been. If they can pit and take on fresh tyres without losing places then they will do so.

#9 Jackmancer

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:39

Please keep it open all the time. If you'll close it you'll make it wierd and confusing.

#10 feynman

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:47

The situation under a safety car is the more or less the same now as it has always been. If they can pit and take on fresh tyres without losing places then they will do so.


I don't get what you mean. The safety car rules have rarely been the same, it was wild-west stuff till Alonso came screaming up and over the hill into Webber, they closed the pits to stop that, then people started getting penalties for running out of fuel, so they changed it again and added ECU software, GPS tracking, minimum sector timings, and telemetry radio channels ... well fair enough no more unfair penalties, even if it did very publicly and unfairly fall on its arse at least once.

But we've got rid of the refueller, no-one is gonna run out, so why don't we wind it back to something just a little more straightforward.

Throw the SC board, close the pitlane for a lap or two, job done. (It's my understanding that the shonky timing method only works till the first time across the finish line anyway). You can pit earlier if you pick up a puncture i s'pose, but the stewards are gonna want to see the tyre.


Anyway nevermind all that ... the main thing that amuses me is that with all the monkeyhouse antics that characterise much of the board, this is the only 1-star rated thread on the frontpage, imagine the sort of scorch-mark that gets outraged and upset over an innocent thread about Safety Car protocols, magic, ha-ha.



#11 Ruud de la Rosa

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:20

I don't get what you mean. The safety car rules have rarely been the same, it was wild-west stuff till Alonso came screaming up and over the hill into Webber, they closed the pits to stop that, then people started getting penalties for running out of fuel, so they changed it again and added ECU software, GPS tracking, minimum sector timings, and telemetry radio channels ... well fair enough no more unfair penalties, even if it did very publicly and unfairly fall on its arse at least once.

But we've got rid of the refueller, no-one is gonna run out, so why don't we wind it back to something just a little more straightforward.

Throw the SC board, close the pitlane for a lap or two, job done. (It's my understanding that the shonky timing method only works till the first time across the finish line anyway). You can pit earlier if you pick up a puncture i s'pose, but the stewards are gonna want to see the tyre.


Anyway nevermind all that ... the main thing that amuses me is that with all the monkeyhouse antics that characterise much of the board, this is the only 1-star rated thread on the frontpage, imagine the sort of scorch-mark that gets outraged and upset over an innocent thread about Safety Car protocols, magic, ha-ha.


your point is valid, but not only because of straightforwardness but also from a safety point of view. That's what the Safety Car is for. Closing the pitlane is the safest solution for the marshalls at the crash site. It completely eliminates the incentive for going fast.

#12 Clatter

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 13:09

I don't get what you mean. The safety car rules have rarely been the same, it was wild-west stuff till Alonso came screaming up and over the hill into Webber, they closed the pits to stop that, then people started getting penalties for running out of fuel, so they changed it again and added ECU software, GPS tracking, minimum sector timings, and telemetry radio channels ... well fair enough no more unfair penalties, even if it did very publicly and unfairly fall on its arse at least once.

But we've got rid of the refueller, no-one is gonna run out, so why don't we wind it back to something just a little more straightforward.

Throw the SC board, close the pitlane for a lap or two, job done. (It's my understanding that the shonky timing method only works till the first time across the finish line anyway). You can pit earlier if you pick up a puncture i s'pose, but the stewards are gonna want to see the tyre.


Anyway nevermind all that ... the main thing that amuses me is that with all the monkeyhouse antics that characterise much of the board, this is the only 1-star rated thread on the frontpage, imagine the sort of scorch-mark that gets outraged and upset over an innocent thread about Safety Car protocols, magic, ha-ha.


OK I understand your point better now. Personally I think the current situation is the best compromise. The pits should remain open just in case, otherwise we could see the stupid situation of cars having to circulate with accident damage or get a penalty. I also don't want to wait and see if there is a penalty because somone has the "wrong type of puncture".

#13 Arska

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 13:55

so they changed it again and added ECU software, GPS tracking, minimum sector timings, and telemetry radio channels ... well fair enough no more unfair penalties, even if it did very publicly and unfairly fall on its arse at least once.


When did this on-its-arse thing happen and how exactly?


#14 rookie

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 14:12

no-one will be rushing back to the pits, there is absolutely no need anymore, you can easily close the pitlane when you throw the SC board; don't worry about the cars on track, as soon as they see SC they'll all be switching straight to economy mode and running on 4 cyclinders ... it's all about the fuel economy now.


I'm happy for the delta system to stay.

I see your point about closing the pits because there are no fuel stops to worry about, but on the other hand they should be open to fix damage and so on, if a multi car incident causes the SC and there are damaged cars on the truck e.g punctures, wing damage etc, it's in no one's interest to have them trundle around being the SC and it's rather silly to punish them for needing to pit (one of my dislikes of the closed pitlane rule)

Which then leads us to if they are open, there will always be the temptation to not slow down as much as a competitor if its in your advantage to pit prior to the SC line up being formed, so i think the delta solution makes the best of the situation. I can't remember a problem last year except for Nico's low fuel warning issue at suzuka.

#15 Ruud de la Rosa

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 14:35

I'm happy for the delta system to stay.

I see your point about closing the pits because there are no fuel stops to worry about, but on the other hand they should be open to fix damage and so on, if a multi car incident causes the SC and there are damaged cars on the truck e.g punctures, wing damage etc, it's in no one's interest to have them trundle around being the SC and it's rather silly to punish them for needing to pit (one of my dislikes of the closed pitlane rule)

Which then leads us to if they are open, there will always be the temptation to not slow down as much as a competitor if its in your advantage to pit prior to the SC line up being formed, so i think the delta solution makes the best of the situation. I can't remember a problem last year except for Nico's low fuel warning issue at suzuka.


I agree the delta system is probably the best overall system, balancing safety and fairness. The system is not very transparent (completely not transparent). Where can I find how it works? (especially the formula on how the delta time is determined for each competitor)


#16 jhmcgregor

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 15:09

When did this on-its-arse thing happen and how exactly?


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#17 ermie

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 15:34

no-one will be rushing back to the pits, there is absolutely no need anymore, you can easily close the pitlane when you throw the SC board; don't worry about the cars on track, as soon as they see SC they'll all be switching straight to economy mode and running on 4 cyclinders ... it's all about the fuel economy now.


I don't think there will be the emphasis on saving fuel/fuel economy under a safety car period actually. The tank is brimmed at the start to last to the end of the race, so saving fuel during a safety car period will just mean carrying more fuel for each consecutive lap following the safety car. The driver will then finish with a bunch of spare fuel in the tank at the end...seems better to keep burning it off under the safety car to keep the car as light as possible so that you finish on fumes.

Edited by ermie, 27 January 2010 - 15:35.


#18 feynman

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 15:45

I don't think there will be the emphasis on saving fuel/fuel economy under a safety car period actually. The tank is brimmed at the start to last to the end of the race, so saving fuel during a safety car period will just mean carrying more fuel for each consecutive lap following the safety car. The driver will then finish with a bunch of spare fuel in the tank at the end...seems better to keep burning it off under the safety car to keep the car as light as possible so that you finish on fumes.


Doubt it, the teams have spent all winter sweating the fuel economy numbers (thought I heard Ferrari had submitted 30 pages of "reliability" fixes for their engine) ... squeezing every drop out the car, and cutting it as fine as you can will be the order of the day. The guys running fuel telemetry are gonna have plenty gray hairs before this season is done.

Saving every drop you can during a SC formation or the laps running up to it will be absolutely critical to the outcome ... every drop saved can be burned later when we go green and you turn up the wick and go richer on the mix. If you waste fuel (drive fast) when the SC board comes out, you're gonna be in serious trouble come race-end as everyone else comes past going full bananas.

I predict the return of the "4-cylinder wait at end of pitstop during the old q3, remember that" mode, as they circulate behind the big grumbly Merc

#19 Clatter

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 15:48

I predict the return of the "4-cylinder wait at end of pitstop during the old q3, remember that" mode, as they circulate behind the big grumbly Merc


Return? It never went away.

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#20 Snap Matt

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 15:51

I don't think there will be the emphasis on saving fuel/fuel economy under a safety car period actually. The tank is brimmed at the start to last to the end of the race, so saving fuel during a safety car period will just mean carrying more fuel for each consecutive lap following the safety car. The driver will then finish with a bunch of spare fuel in the tank at the end...seems better to keep burning it off under the safety car to keep the car as light as possible so that you finish on fumes.

Let's face it, they will rarely get the fuel level exactly right for a race, so there will always be juggling needed to run the engine richer or leaner depending on how you've been using fuel. A few laps under the safety car will probably just mean that people still save as much fuel as they can and run richer during the racing laps, rather than risking having to lean it back again at the end of the race. I'm sure that the guy who previously monitored the race for the ideal pit stop time will now be glued to a monitor recording fuel use with the aim of getting the cars home with a thimbleful of fuel as the flag falls, like you said, but there will be several approaches to that up and down the pitlane.

#21 Ruud de la Rosa

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 17:38

Let's face it, they will rarely get the fuel level exactly right for a race, so there will always be juggling needed to run the engine richer or leaner depending on how you've been using fuel. A few laps under the safety car will probably just mean that people still save as much fuel as they can and run richer during the racing laps, rather than risking having to lean it back again at the end of the race. I'm sure that the guy who previously monitored the race for the ideal pit stop time will now be glued to a monitor recording fuel use with the aim of getting the cars home with a thimbleful of fuel as the flag falls, like you said, but there will be several approaches to that up and down the pitlane.


It's all in the numbers, there is a balance between fuel consumption and power. the operating point is already chosen for optimal speed. If saving fuel would be faster they would start with more fuel on board. The only reason for saving fuel is if you are not sure you can get there while running at the optimum set-point. I think they will save enough fuel during the sc regardless of running on 4cylinders.

Edited by Ruud de la Rosa, 27 January 2010 - 17:48.


#22 Greem

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 17:50

your point is valid, but not only because of straightforwardness but also from a safety point of view. That's what the Safety Car is for. Closing the pitlane is the safest solution for the marshalls at the crash site. It completely eliminates the incentive for going fast.

If drivers took any notice of flags...
International-standard flag signals as mandated by the FIA state that yellow flags mean the driver should stop racing, slow down and be prepared to stop. Double waved yellows mean that too, only that the expectation is higher.

What most drivers do is just lift, a bit, off the throttle in an "I've seen the flag" way.

What the sanctioning authorities across the world (FIA and below that) *should* be doing is coming down like a sack of lead bricks on drivers who blatantly ignore flags, whether under the safety car or not.

Yes, I'm a marshal. I'd like to keep my life in my hands and those of my fellow marshals please, not having to rely on some jumped-up millionaire toy boy who thinks that because he's "seen the flag" he can slow down just a tiiiiiiny bit, and... oh crap, there's a bloke in an orange suit just there, I'll have to avoid him. Bang.

As for whether the pit lane is open or not, that's not relevant - if there are support workers of any type on track, the drivers should bloody well slow down whether the safety car is out or not.

Unfortunately the problem goes very deep - right down into the national and some club classes. When someone gets seriously hurt, or worse, maybe people will really take notice and throw the rule book at drivers who take no notice. But by then it will be too late.

#23 pingu666

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 17:59

hmm
if the pits are open, and the field hasnt closed up, you may aswell get some new tyres, probably wont cost you much time at all, as you would trundle past the pits anyways

#24 Hippo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 18:06

http://f1numbers.wor...fair-advantage/

Japanese GP 2009, Rosberg

To be fair, that was not a mistake of the rulebook. It was a combination of poorly tested electronics and a questionable decision by the race stewards. If applied correctly the rule is very clear and hardly exploitable.

#25 feynman

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 18:35

No-one said it was a mistake in the rulebook, we're saying that if you have a lot of things that need to happen quickly and unrehearsed, sometimes things will go wrong. It's a law of nature. The trick therefore is to minimize the surface area, mimimize the probability of any situation ending-up arse over tit. Reduce unnecessary complexity.

They fixed that particular bug with a software patch, but where's the next bug, anyone knows anything about software and testing knows it's in there, just waiting. A racetrack is a hostile electromagnetic environment, you are relying on a lot of comm operations to all happen 100% everytime ... you keep doing that long enough, you're begging for something to misfire.

A Safety Car by definition means that all of a sudden a lot of important stuff is going on all at once, race control should be managing the accident scene, not worrying about clocking cars. Close the pitlane and now you can concentrate 100% on the real-problem.

But still, imagine if that lost Japanese point had decided a WDC, ouch, that'd sting.

#26 Hippo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 19:49

A Safety Car by definition means that all of a sudden a lot of important stuff is going on all at once, race control should be managing the accident scene, not worrying about clocking cars. Close the pitlane and now you can concentrate 100% on the real-problem.

That's what I have been saying when everybody on this forums was bitching about how unfair a closed pitlane is. And I guarantee you they would be back after the first SC deployment. Because what do you think would happen? SC joins track, pitlane closes, some cars will already be on new rubber, others losing all their precious gaps, massive whining on forums.

If it was for me we'd be going safety first. Someone loses a point or win even? Well, better than dead marshals or late first aid for crashed drivers. You don't have to convince me. I was just saying what the real reason was for the dubious Suzuka situation.

#27 PayasYouRace

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 20:05

My only problem with closing the pits would be if a driver has damage or a puncture, because then they'd have to run round behind the safety car like that. Obviously I'm talking about minor damage, not like Vettel in Australia or anything like that.

Having said that closing the pits was common practise in CART/Champcar and it seemed to work fine. It would make sense to focus all the attention on the accident area. As for losing your gap or whatever. Tough, safety first.

#28 Clatter

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 20:12

My only problem with closing the pits would be if a driver has damage or a puncture, because then they'd have to run round behind the safety car like that. Obviously I'm talking about minor damage, not like Vettel in Australia or anything like that.

Having said that closing the pits was common practise in CART/Champcar and it seemed to work fine. It would make sense to focus all the attention on the accident area. As for losing your gap or whatever. Tough, safety first.


If safety first was the priority then they would not have the SC, but would red flag the race. It's a pace car not a SC, and is used to keep the race within the 2 hour limit for the sake of the TV companies.

#29 PayasYouRace

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 22:54

Yep. I think the red flag option should be used a bit more often. Especially if the track is partly blocked. Maybe keep the safety car for a large accident off track which requires a rescue vehicle on track. No aggregate times though. That's just confusing.

#30 Supersleeper

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 23:06

no-one will be rushing back to the pits, there is absolutely no need anymore, you can easily close the pitlane when you throw the SC board;

Unless you're involved and have to replace a front wing, or you drive over some debris and get a flat tyre - there are still going to be reasons for people to get back to the pits ASAP.

don't worry about the cars on track, as soon as they see SC they'll all be switching straight to economy mode and running on 4 cyclinders ... it's all about the fuel economy now.

I can't see them doing that either - if they're conserving fuel, they're conserving weight - nobody is going to carry extra fuel to the finish if it isn't required.

Unless of course fuel tactics include being 1, 2 maybe even 3 laps short of fuel and relying on a safety car and if that doesn't occur just go to an engine program to save fuel at say 1 lap per 20 laps. It was quite common last year to hear drivers say they eeked out an extra lap in the first stint when stuck behind someone.


#31 feynman

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:09

...
I can't see them doing that either - if they're conserving fuel, they're conserving weight - nobody is going to carry extra fuel to the finish if it isn't required.

Unless of course fuel tactics include being 1, 2 maybe even 3 laps short of fuel and relying on a safety car and if that doesn't occur just go to an engine program to save fuel at say 1 lap per 20 laps. It was quite common last year to hear drivers say they eeked out an extra lap in the first stint when stuck behind someone.


they're not conserving fuel to bring it back, they're conserving it so they can burn it during the race. having that "extra" fuel means extra performance, they can turn up the mix, or go more aggressive on the throttle. the fuel management is going to be terrifying for some teams at some points, plenty of cars will be crossing the line on vapours, some might not even make it if the sums or sensors are just a little bit out.

when the cars could refuel it relatively speaking wasn't quite such a big deal, splitting the race into sprints, but even then, as you say, they were running things to the very limit. (Hamilton/McLaren, Valenica, making fuel decisions right up to the last corner of the in-lap, the calculations on the pitwall were spinning go/no-go all the way through the lap, that's how tight they will want to run it)

if anyone was silly enough to burn a bundle of fuel unnecessarily chasing after the safety car, that's fuel they can't burn later. when it restarts everyone else can recalculate and turn-up the mix for the run home, he can't, cos he's now on an economy-drive.
they'll be crawling round as soon as the SC board is shown.

#32 Supersleeper

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:33

they're not conserving fuel to bring it back, they're conserving it so they can burn it during the race. having that "extra" fuel means extra performance, they can turn up the mix, or go more aggressive on the throttle.

Each Kg of fuel last year slower a car down by anywhere between 3 and 4 /100th's per lap, if they're burning 2.5 to 3 Kg per lap and they're stuck behind the safety car for 3 or 4 laps, then on the first flying lap (fuel corrected) they'll be about 0.25 to 0.3 seconds per lap slower (or thereabouts) than they would have been without a safety car (ballpark) - every lap afterwards. If a safety car turns up on lap 10 and the first stops are on lap 35 that 15 laps at 0.2 seconds.....that's about 6 seconds difference.

I'm not discussing absolute right and wrong, just suggesting that it's something they're going to have to consider....I don't think it will be surprising to hear that teams have fueled a couple of laps short, because 10Kg (or so) is a hell of a weight advantage to have on every lap until you're at the point where you have to conserve....by then everyone will probably be holding station.

...as I said earlier - I can't see anyone carrying around additional weight if they are given the opportunity not to.


#33 Hippo

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 14:37

I don't think it will be surprising to hear that teams have fueled a couple of laps short

Yes, many teams will do that probably. But not because of a potential SC. There are a couple of opportunities during a race when you can preserve some fuel, like in traffic for example or in the end, when gaps are big enough. Even the leader can and most certainly will do it. I expect it to become extreme by last quarter of the championship. And we'll probably see cars running out of fuel early similar to Massa in Barcelona 09.