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AUTOSPORT Weekly Poll 13/14 June: Are safety cars over-used in the wet?


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Poll: Are safety cars over-used in the wet? (265 member(s) have cast votes)

Are safety cars over-used in the wet?

  1. Yes - F1 shouldn't need safety cars at all (42 votes [15.85%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.85%

  2. Occasionally they're overdone (210 votes [79.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 79.25%

  3. No - it's always better to be safe (13 votes [4.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.91%

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#1 AUTOSPORT-Polls

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 14:56

Hi everyone

Following Sunday's soaking Canadian Grand Prix, this week's AUTOSPORT Weekly Poll is looking at at the use of safety cars in the wet in F1. Is the safety car deployed too often, or for too long? Or is there no such thing as too much caution when the conditions could be dangerous? We're aware that there could easily be a dozen potential answers to this - for example, we're not making a distinction between starts that occur behind the safety car, and safety car periods that occur once the race is underway. To keep things simple, we've distilled it down to three possible answers, but feel free to discuss it in further detail if you want to.

We'll be closing the poll at around 1030 Tuesday morning UK time, and running the results in this week's issue of AUTOSPORT magazine.

Thanks for taking part!

Mark Glendenning
AUTOSPORT

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#2 Aloisioitaly

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 14:57

Damn, they stole my poll! :rotfl:

#3 Touti

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 15:01

I don't think they send it out too often but sometimes they keep it out for too long. It's a bit ridiculous that the SC stays out for a wet track when the drivers can't wait to pit for intermediates.

Edited by Touti, 13 June 2011 - 15:01.


#4 Fastcake

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 15:04

The safety car certainly stayed out for too long, although it's usage was mainly justified. It seemed to be out too early for the second time - before the red flags.

#5 Andrew Hope

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 15:08

There's no grey area for me - if it's too wet to race, chuck the safety car out and once everyone's behind it, red flag the race. If it's too wet to start normally, DELAY THE START until it's dry enough.

The worst part of it was when Coulthard remarked that Whiting had thrown the safety car out when it hard started raining a bit heavier to preempt any major accidents, which sounds an awful lot like 'We're arresting you on the off chance you may commit a crime' to me.

Edited by andrew., 13 June 2011 - 15:08.


#6 Touti

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 15:12

There's no grey area for me - if it's too wet to race, chuck the safety car out and once everyone's behind it, red flag the race. If it's too wet to start normally, DELAY THE START until it's dry enough.


The problem with that is that it could take much longer before they can start racing. Driving behind the safety helps drying the race line and it saves time.


#7 hotstickyslick

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 15:17

I've never really liked safety cars since they break the natural progression of a race, but I understand that there are situations that call for them.

However what we saw yesterday was absurd. The way they're being deployed nowadays you wonder why Pirelli even bother to bring full wet weather tyres.

#8 Andrew Hope

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 15:19

The problem with that is that it could take much longer before they can start racing. Driving behind the safety helps drying the race line and it saves time.


Then do warm up laps that don't count as racing laps to help dry the track, don't waste half the race because of it.

#9 Skanka

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:17

Are safety cars over-used in the wet? Yes. Doesn't mean though we don't any safety cars at all.

It's like nowadays drivers can't race if it's wet. No standing starts, safety car coming on the track for no valid reasons (at that point the race wasn't falling that, the downpour came after) and then the safety car just cruising for ages while there was no standing water and it was looking evident to everyone that the conditions were good for racing, but no, we've been robbed of several laps of racing just because it seems it's not possible to have any proper wet running races anymore.

We need the safety car obviously, but the way it has been used for the past few years is a joke.

Edited by Skanka, 13 June 2011 - 16:18.


#10 Henrytheeigth

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:18

Yes I believe they are over used as well. Ha! I feel like calling F1 the Nanny series, with not the best drivers in the world racing in it, but the most protected drivers in the world racing in it. lol

#11 lanceroten

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:20

They're overdone. I wanted them to turn the drivers loose yesterday and let the chips fall where they may :smoking:

#12 smitten

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:21

There are two problems:

1. F1 wants to be entertainment rather than sport. In most sport, before it becomes a money business, the start is delayed if the weather is deemed too inclement; look at the TT putting races back by hours or to the next day. However, TV schedules demand that the 'sports' take place as planned and they must not be delayed. That's why we now have football refs waiting for the go ahead from the TV channels before startinga match, rugby and tennis stadia with retractable roofs, and races starting under safety cars.

2. As engineers design cars which are progressively less capable in the wet the authorities feel compelled to control the race on safety grounds. Because there is less wet racing, the designers feel under less obligation to construct a car which works in more than light showers. And a vicious circle ensues.

The only time a safety car should be on the circuit is for the safety of marshals and drivers when there has been an incident. If the weather is not suitable for racing then the racing should be delayed. It is worth noting that the safety car regs are still broken. The apparently humorous marshal falling over vid from Canada is a direct result of the SC crocodile taking so many laps to form. The marshal obviously wanted to help get the race restarted quickly, but it is now too many laps until a suitable window opens for the marshals to do so safely.

Nobody should complain if a safety car is deployed when a driver needs to be safely extracted from a car, but to deploy it just so TV audiences can have their entertainment start on time is farcical but entirely consistent with providing a "show" rather than "sport"

#13 Crazy Ninja

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:21

I thought yesterday was an absoloute joke. Firstly, i thought the race should not have been started behind the safety car, and even when it did they should have only kept it out for the opening lap. Secondly, the second safety car came out too soon, though only by a lap or two. The rain was incredible so although slightly premature, it was the right call. `But when they finally restarted the race, they waited way too long. Schumacher came in for Inters at the end of the safety car lap for chrissakes!

#14 MinT

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:29

yes - the start didnt need the sc and the restart certainly didnt need 9 laps - thought at one point they were waiting for the track to dry out completely in case one of the drivers broke a nail or something.

#15 Henrytheeigth

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:39

yes - the start didnt need the sc and the restart certainly didnt need 9 laps - thought at one point they were waiting for the track to dry out completely in case one of the drivers broke a nail or something.


Yep Rosberg's nail mate! :rotfl:

#16 midgrid

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:43

Voted for "occasionally they're overdone" - I did think that the cars spent too longer behind the safety car in Canada and last year in Korea, as evidenced by how quickly the drivers changed to intermediate tyres once it pulled in.

On the other hand, we still got a brilliant race yesterday - perhaps better than would have been achieved by running in wetter conditions - and it's better to be safe than sorry in dangerous conditions.

The one thing that puzzled me was that all the drivers' radio transmissions on the world feed were saying that the the conditions were fine for racing when they were behind the safety car during the restart, and yet it took several more laps for it to pull in.

#17 Sakae

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:45

Voted for elimination of the SC (in F1).

Edited by Sakae, 13 June 2011 - 16:46.


#18 Touti

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 16:56

Then do warm up laps that don't count as racing laps to help dry the track, don't waste half the race because of it.



They wouldn't have enough fuel left for a full race.

#19 ImDDAA

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:00

The poll is wrong, I want to vote 'yes' but not that they're not needed at all because that's ridiculous.

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#20 Umpire

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:05

F1 needs SCs, but only to deal with accidents, debris clearance and the like, not to dry up the track like they've been doing the last few years. I can accept it being deployed for a couple of laps if the conditions are temporarily bad, but that's about it. The current trend of it leading lap after lap is kinda ridiculous..

Spa 1998, France 1999, Spain 1996, Nurburgring 2000 are beyond imagination by today's SC standards :(

#21 Disgrace

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:14

The problem is not so much them being over-used, such as coming out more often but how long they stay out. After the start and the red flag, at least 6-10 racing laps were wasted. The drivers do not need that much time to suss out the conditions. What happened to having one formation lap?

If it's too wet, red flag. If it's fine, green flag and racing. No more middle-ground Charlie Whiting dawdling, because it was this dawdling that meant the track was ready for inters rather than full wets.

This happened to such an extent that Virgin Racing completely forgot about the full wet tyre rule behind a safety car start. They changed onto inters before it came in, which is a breach of the rules, but they were the correct tyres to be on. In effect, they got penalised for putting the right tyres on and taking more of an initiate than Charlie Whiting. Ludicrous.

But of course, there is still a role of the safety car in F1 so the poll options are bit rubbish to be honest.

Edited by Disgrace, 13 June 2011 - 17:15.


#22 phil1993

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:22

There should be a rule that the SC has max 5. laps or something

Also, on Lap 20 when it pissed down, they should have flown the red flag then, not 5 laps later. It was obvious a red was needed

#23 Sakae

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:23

F1 existed without SC for several decades. It can exist now too. SC is an American (nuisance) way how to artifically bunch cars together. F1 would be better without it.


_________

Observance and obeyance of flag signals (or signal lights along the track) is sufficient to slow down the field.

Edited by Sakae, 13 June 2011 - 17:25.


#24 joshb

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:24

I voted for 'occasionly' but for me its 'quite often' used too much.
First start should have gone 2 laps earlier, the restart after the red flag should've gone green 3 or 4 laps earlier.
It takes the biscuit when the track is 'too wet without SC' but within 2 laps guys are going onto inters.
We raced in much worse only 10 years ago or so, thing is we seem to be getting ever more cautious with every wet race hence an 'on the edge' start in the 90s would be way too unsafe in 2011
maybe the FIA should modify a couple of old F1,GP2 or maybe even F3 cars and use them to judge how bad it is (use 2 to check spray/visibility for those behind)

#25 ImDDAA

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:25

F1 existed without SC for several decades. It can exist now too. SC is an American (nuisance) way how to artifically bunch cars together. F1 would be better without it.


F1 existed without proper seat straps for several decades too.

We saw a marshal nearly get hit in Canada and that's with all the saftey measures we have in F1, no safety car for certain incidents will eventually lead to someone getting killed.

#26 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:28

Oh come on, where's the normal answer to the poll. Are safety cars overused in the wet? Yes they are.

All you needed was Yes, No and Occasionally for those who are unsure. That doesn't mean F1 shouldn't have safety cars at all. What a loaded poll.

#27 Sakae

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:29

F1 existed without proper seat straps for several decades too.

We saw a marshal nearly get hit in Canada and that's with all the saftey measures we have in F1, no safety car for certain incidents will eventually lead to someone getting killed.

Your thinking is not very strong. The marshal could have been killed despite the SC. What do you want to do? Bring in several SCs (just to be sure)? The marshal wasn't either properly trained, or has taken risk beyond what he was expected of him. The situation by the track was mismanaged, and it had nothing to do with a SC.

Edited by Sakae, 13 June 2011 - 17:31.


#28 Disgrace

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:31

We saw a marshal nearly get hit in Canada and that's with all the saftey measures we have in F1, no safety car for certain incidents will eventually lead to someone getting killed.


That was due to marshalling incompetence. The guy wasn't even in uniform and ran out just as cars were coming around the corner. Marshalls shouldn't be running on the track before the SC bunching everyone up, or the use of SC is void entirely.

#29 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:31

Take a look at MotoGP at Silverstone, they ride bikes. BIKES. Riders were FALLING OFF due to the slippery conditions. Nobody complained. Maybe they couldn't because they have no radios and nobody gives a shit as to what the paddock thinks, so they all just race. Maybe something F1 can learn from MotoGP.

I'm tired of this complete unwillingness to race in the rain, the stubbornness of not setting the car up for the wet and then complaining that you can't run in the wet so everyone should stop or get behind a safety car.

#30 ImDDAA

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:36

Your thinking is not very strong. The marshal could have been killed despite the SC. What do you want to do? Bring in several SCs (just to be sure)? The marshal wasn't either properly trained, or has taken risk beyond what he was expected of him. The situation by the track was mismanaged, and it had nothing to do with a SC.


No, the marshal broke protocol, but without safety cars you'd see that situation all the time. My thinking is fine.

#31 ImDDAA

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:38

That was due to marshalling incompetence. The guy wasn't even in uniform and ran out just as cars were coming around the corner. Marshalls shouldn't be running on the track before the SC bunching everyone up, or the use of SC is void entirely.


Of course, my point is that we'd see that situation all the time without safety cars - the marshals clearly shouldn't have been on the track at that point, but the saftey car system is designed to give them a safe window to enter and leave the track.

#32 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:39

Stupid poll is making people talk about safety cars rather than the real point, which is how it's being overused in the wet (as the question clearly states).

I might just report this thread, can't believe he decided to throw in "F1 shouldn't have safety cars" alongside the Yes option. Is he on crack?

#33 ImDDAA

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:40

Take a look at MotoGP at Silverstone, they ride bikes. BIKES. Riders were FALLING OFF due to the slippery conditions. Nobody complained. Maybe they couldn't because they have no radios and nobody gives a shit as to what the paddock thinks, so they all just race. Maybe something F1 can learn from MotoGP.

I'm tired of this complete unwillingness to race in the rain, the stubbornness of not setting the car up for the wet and then complaining that you can't run in the wet so everyone should stop or get behind a safety car.


Agreed, perhaps that's why Bernie is so keen on building tracks in the middle east.

#34 Rob

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:50

I'm tired of this complete unwillingness to race in the rain, the stubbornness of not setting the car up for the wet and then complaining that you can't run in the wet so everyone should stop or get behind a safety car.


I agree with you. We hear about the conditions being undriveable, only for them to be fine behind the safety car. So it is driveable then. You drive to the conditions, slowing down if necessary. If you really don't want to race then you can park your car. Simple.

#35 MadYarpen

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 17:52

I voted second option, but I want to stress that Canada was a farce.

#36 Jimisgod

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 18:10

Only thing that was needed was the red flag during the storm. Should have been a standing start, red, then a second standing start at the restart. Only SC periods for accidents.

If it is possible to keep a car on the road slow down as much as possible and keep driving, no one expects a pole lap.

Edited by Jimisgod, 13 June 2011 - 18:11.


#37 ryan86

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 18:19

I think they are occasionally overused.

I thought it was dry enough for a normal start, but if it's because they'd only had a few laps in Turkey on wets I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt this once. 2 laps would have been enough, so I think here they just about were within the acceptability window.

With regards to the one before the red flag, I think they got it right as well. The rain at the hairpin was torrential and too often in events like this we see carnage, though usually a slicks to deluge situation.

The restart though was the one that got my goat, two laps were all that were needed and that's just not me as a fan wanting some racing, Brundle and Coulthard, people who have driven in these conditions were saying so as well.

#38 jonnoj

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 20:43

F1 might want to claim the drivers are the best in the world, but as we have seen some of them are not. Add to that the 6 cars which are significantly slower than the front runners, and I'd say if yesterday's race had started earlier after the long red flag, there would have been more accidents.



#39 FenderJaguar

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 20:52

No they are not. They drove those extra laps behind the safetycar for a reason. I guess there are other tracks where standing water on the track and visibility issues aren't that bad as they are in Canada but on this occasion it was the right thing to do.

Edited by FenderJaguar, 13 June 2011 - 20:52.


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#40 Jomyboy

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:41

F1 might want to claim the drivers are the best in the world, but as we have seen some of them are not. Add to that the 6 cars which are significantly slower than the front runners, and I'd say if yesterday's race had started earlier after the long red flag, there would have been more accidents.



sooo true!!!!

#41 Gene and Tonic

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:19

Why is the first option ridiculously biased one way? The safety car is overused in the wet, but it is certainly not unnecessary for its purpose in F1 as a whole! This poll is forcing people to choose for the middle option. Who wrote it in such a way? Quite poor imo

#42 Youichi

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:04


I voted yes, F1 doesn't need the SC at all for rain.

I can agree with using a SC when there is an accident, but not just because of rain. The race should have started normally, they should have kept racing when the rain got harder, and they should have restarted both earlier, and without the SC.

I don't get me started on the FIA telling the drivers they aren't allowed to use inters when they are obviously the correct tyres for the condition, poor Custard.

#43 SuperSoft

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:44

I voted "yes" which is a idiotic answer, but to be fair it seemed a fitting answer to such idiotic questions.

What is the poll trying to ask?

Are safety cars over-used in the wet? or Are safety cars not needed in F1?

Make up your mind Autosport, I don't know what you are trying to achieve with this poll, but it feels like you are loading the questions on purpose.





#44 King Six

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:49

I voted "yes" which is a idiotic answer, but to be fair it seemed a fitting answer to such idiotic questions.

What is the poll trying to ask?

Are safety cars over-used in the wet? or Are safety cars not needed in F1?

Make up your mind Autosport, I don't know what you are trying to achieve with this poll, but it feels like you are loading the questions on purpose.

This is what I said, the poll answers are the dumbest things I've read on this forum. Why add all that crap after the "Yes" answer. What type of idiot.....ah I give up!

#45 Sausage

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:57

Is this like one of those easy multiple choice test questions where 2 out of 3 answers is absurd? A is dangerous nonsense and C would mean we'd better stop racing at all, so B it is!

#46 ForeverF1

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:02

I voted "yes" which is a idiotic answer, but to be fair it seemed a fitting answer to such idiotic questions.

What is the poll trying to ask?

Are safety cars over-used in the wet? or Are safety cars not needed in F1?

Make up your mind Autosport, I don't know what you are trying to achieve with this poll, but it feels like you are loading the questions on purpose.


I can't see why you are lambasting Autosport. The Poll specifically asks, "Are.safety.cars.over-used.in.the.wet?"

This is what the poll is asking. In the context of 'in.the.wet' there is no loading of the questions.

#47 Tsarwash

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:03

Agreed, perhaps that's why Bernie is so keen on building tracks in the middle east.

Wasn't it Bernie who proposed artificially wetting tracks to spice up the action ?

#48 Mekola

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:08

I also think that they're ocassionally overused. Five times were too much for last Canada round.

#49 Henrytheeigth

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:16

I also think that they're ocassionally overused. Five times were too much for last Canada round.


Hmmm maybe it was a new safety car and they took the opportunity to "run the car in" ? It's possible! :stoned:

#50 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:20

Are safety cars over-used in the wet? In the wet? No; an accident may require the safety car to create the conditions in which marshals can safely remove the car and any debris from the track. I doubt many people will have a problem with the safety car being deployed for these reasons. But is the safety car over-used because of wet-weather conditions? Perhaps.

I'm somewhat in agreement with those who commented on the Canadian Grand Prix and said they would prefer the FIA to make up its mind about whether it's either safe to race (and thus no safety-car is needed), or not safe to race, in which case the race should be red flagged (or the start postponed).

That said, it may not always be easy to judge whether or not a sudden shower during the race worsens conditions to such a degree that it is no longer safe to race, in which case it may be advisable to do one or two laps behind the safety car before the race is either resumed or stopped.

It's a complicated issue, but I think it was overdone last weekend; especially after the red flag situation. To see the drivers switching to the Intermediate tyres right after the safety car came in was bordering on the nonsensical.