This issue is interesting. From what I've gathered from previous discussions, is that there are two main arguments against this current system:
I agree that it currently takes too much time and I believe it could be easily reduced.
The other argument is quite interesting. Usually people moan about the gap between the leader and the rest of the drivers being wiped out. This is sometimes accompanied by moaning about allowing the backmarkers to unlap themselves, because the leader had to lap them and the rest don't have to because they get to unlap themselves.
When they want fairness, they only think about what happens at the front and forget the rest. Thing is, the safety car is never fair. To make it fair would require a complicated system of releasing the cars in interwalls with the original gaps. And because it's too complicated, they are trying to make the safety car least unfair.
A lap takes 1 minute and 40 seconds. Driver A leads the race by 10 seconds from driver B, currently in second. Drivers C and D are 10th and 11th, seperated by 5 seconds. Driver A has lapped driver D when the safety car comes out.
If the order is retained:
- Driver A loses his gap to driver B, but driver B still has to lap driver D
- Driver D's gap to driver C increases from 5 seconds to 1 minute and 30 seconds.
If the lapped driver are allowed to unlap themselves:
- Driver A loses his gap to driver B and driver B doesn't have to lap driver D
- Driver C loses his gap to driver D
Now I believe that losing 10 seconds is less than losing 1 minute and 30 seconds. Infact, the difference is 1 minute and 20 seconds.
There are also other suggestions that would replace the safety car completely. The most radical ones are simply not using it and using the red flag and having a restart.
These have som major issues. If a driver collides with anoter driver and loses his front wing that is left on the racing line, what is going to happen? Are they just going to leave it there and hope noone hits it? Are they going to send marshalls to retrieve the wing in an active race track with nothing to protect him/her other than waved yellows? Are they going to red flag the race and have a restart?
Another one is using a code 60-ish system, which forces the drivers to drive at a certain speed. This is a lot better than the radical versions, but it still has flaws. Obviously the drivers can't slow down from 320 kph to 60 or 80 or whatever kph, so how long is the window to slow down? It also means there will be no clear period during which the marshalls can go and retrieve the wing or whatever is out on the track.
What most people don't think about when complaining about the safety car is that it allows a safe working environment for the marshalls.