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Visibility in F1 cars (Vettel rejoining track in Monza 2019)


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#1 SophieB

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:01

There's already an ongoing thread for exploring Vettel's ontrack mistakes and what can be done about them but I thought it was worth focusing on one particular aspect of this incident from yesterday:



 
Vettel's defence/ explanation is thus:

 

"When I spun I was looking the other way, I saw there was quite a bit of a gap," Vettel said.

"Obviously then you don't start counting. I knew there would be cars coming, but originally I thought I would be much quicker rejoining. That took obviously a lot longer.

"Coming back I knew that there will be a gap, but I struggled a little bit to get out, I think I was stuck on the grass. I lost a bit of momentum there, it took a bit longer.

"So certainly not ideal, but I couldn't see anything to the left.

"It is compromised because we have the high cockpit, but I don't think it's an option to drop that."

 

 

https://www.autospor...nt-see-anything

 

In all honesty, I'm not really convinced but thought it was reasonable/ interesting to consider this point of view.



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#2 Imperial

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:05

The cars have a reverse gear.

He could have reversed back a metre or two then moved forward,turning right, and had a much safer angle to rejoin the traffic with the benefit of also being able to check his mirrors.

#3 Marklar

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:07

You can always reverse on the run off and then return off the racing line, then you are nearly certain to not hit anybody regardless of visibility, but obviously that cost time nobody is willing to sacrifice :p

#4 Fonzey

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:07

Visibility aside, he should be waiting for the team and/or marshalls to flag him back on.

 

When at an amateur trackday full of... well, amateurs we wait to be flagged back onto the circuit. When I'm strapped into my harness I can't see over my shoulder so have to rely entirely on a marshal guiding me back on.

 

I appreciate in high stakes F1 he just wanted to get back on circuit, but I'm glad the book was lobbed at him - as safety should never be compromised like that. 



#5 goldenboy

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:09

Yeah, in hindsight reverse should have been used rather than gambling on placing your car pretty much across the track against incoming traffic.

#6 SophieB

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:16

An interesting discussion between Matt Bishop, formerly of McLaren (amongst other senior motorsport related comms posts) and Mark Hughes. Worth going to look at the tweet on twitter because it includes video of the incident from many angles too
 

For Lance Stroll to do something as dangerous as this was reprehensible. For Sebastian Vettel to do it... was almost unforgivable. I actually find it rather sad. #HowTheOnceMightyIsFalling #ItalianGP

https://twitter.com/...710856486805511

 

In mitigation Matt, the halo/HANS combination makes it near-impossible to see from such an acute angle.

 



#7 JeePee

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:21

If you can't see:
 
- Ask your engineer who has GPS of everybody
- Reverse
- Wait for marshalls to signal you back
 
Do not:
 
- Just return to the track with a chance to get T-boned at 220 km/h.


#8 Rodaknee

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:39

F1 cars are not driven on the road, visibility is restricted in part for safety reasons, the driver car has much wrap around head protection as possible. If you've ever driven a van, you'll know that sideways visibility is also limited. Van drivers have to drive taking that issue into account when they come to junctions. Those who don't cause accidents. The design of racing cars should not be altered to make allowances for hot-headed idiots, whilst reducing accident impact safety. Vettel was a dick yesterday. The FIA needed to make an example of his actions. Making the old - but others did the same - excuse won't wash. Last week Vettel was upset over the death of another driver, yesterday he almost caused another one himself, but comes away with his usual "Why pick on me" whining.

#9 Christbiscuit

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:43

Whining?



#10 Anja

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:28

Not having the visibility is one thing, but all the logic and common sense suggests that if you don't see if anyone's coming, the safest way to rejoin the track would be to start turning while off the track and get on the asphalt at an angle, taking up as little space as possible. Instead he just barges in straight on and only then starts turning, taking up most of the track's width in the process. Literally the worst way he could've done it. I get that it's a stressful, high pressure situation and he wanted to get going as fast as possible. But he's a professional racing driver with over two decades of track experience, you'd think that it counts for something.



#11 Massa

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:32

Not having the visibility is one thing, but all the logic and common sense suggests that if you don't see if anyone's coming, the safest way to rejoin the track would be to start turning while off the track and get on the asphalt at an angle, taking up as little space as possible. Instead he just barges in straight on and only then starts turning, taking up most of the track's width in the process. Literally the worst way he could've done it. I get that it's a stressful, high pressure situation and he wanted to get going as fast as possible. But he's a professional racing driver with over two decades of track experience, you'd think that it counts for something.



Vettel turn full to the right straight after the spin ..

You all seems to forget that these cars are long and don't turn like your everyday car.

Look at the front wheel. The car just don't turn.

#12 SenorSjon

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:36

Stroll did a similar thing though, only he was on track, while Vettel was off it. It also doesn't help the cars are much longer now, so more of the track is taken and it becomes a large object to hit.



#13 ANF

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:41

Doesn't matter if Vettel couldn't see, you simply don't drive onto the race track like that. If anything, lack of vision makes it even more serious.

#14 Anja

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:41

Vettel turn full to the right straight after the spin ..

You all seems to forget that these cars are long and don't turn like your everyday car.

Look at the front wheel. The car just don't turn.

 

That's a fair point but I don't see any full turn to the right at first. He makes a small turn and then visibly straightens the steering as he's coming onto the track. Then makes a proper turn already on the tarmac.



#15 Jazza

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:42

He spun from the leading pack on only Lap 7!!! He just saw the Renault’s go past, so he had to know that the rest of the cars had to be coming. It would have been obvious to anyone who has done nothing more than play F1 on a PlayStation that the midfield would be coming, and he is an F1 veteran and one of the most successful of all time!

Pulling out blind across the apex of a 200kph corner a week after a driver got killed in a T-bone accident. No excuse for it!

#16 Christbiscuit

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:44

There was much discussion here after the Hubert crash about drivers not slowing down when approaching yellow flags. Does anyone have any lap time data for Ricciardo, Hulk and Gasly on that lap?



#17 JeePee

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:48

There was much discussion here after the Hubert crash about drivers not slowing down when approaching yellow flags. Does anyone have any lap time data for Ricciardo, Hulk and Gasly on that lap?

Gasly was slow because Stroll sent him through the gravel.



#18 screamingV16

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:49

As others have said, Vettel should have backed up or waited for the all-clear on the radio. Yeah this costs time, but so does driving into other cars and having to have your front wing changed and serve a 10 second stop/go  :drunk:  , and then there's the danger angle. Vettel always resorts to booting it when he makes a mistake which often compounds the error he's already made, you'd think he'd have got his head round that by now.



#19 ConsiderAndGo

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:52

He should have just stayed out, prayed no one hit him, and rejoined when the field had cleared him.

He could have come back to 6/7/8th type positions rather than 13th or whatever it was.

Edited by ConsiderAndGo, 09 September 2019 - 10:52.


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#20 Gorma

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:56

I think the problem is that the natural instinct for any driver is to get back on track as soon as possible. It is very hard for any driver to fight that instinct.



#21 ThisIsMischaW

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:57

I get that visibility is restricted, but that means all the more than he shouldn't be driving back onto the track blind.

 

Seb was saying earlier in the weekend that F1 isn't safe enough. Well, he needs to look at himself first. Yesterday was one of the most dangerous on track incidents we've seen in F1 in recent years, very scary.



#22 Atreiu

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:57

The witch hunt is reaching ridiculous proportions.

 

Visibility was a problem, he didn't want to lose time. His competitive nature took over and unfortunately he caused an accident and endangered others.

 

Comparable mistakes happen to all drivers. Heck, it happened near immediately with Stroll. There is no switch in their minds where they become boy scouts and fully surpress their competitive nature.

 

You guys are just flogging a very injured horse.


Edited by Atreiu, 09 September 2019 - 19:12.


#23 Peat

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:57

Seb using alot of words when he could have used 2. "Poor Judgement"

It's like any maniac motorist - "I can't actually see if it's clear to overtake this car/cyclist/horse around this corner/over this blind brow, but I don't want to slow down so I'll just have to hope it's clear"



#24 ANF

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:00

There was much discussion here after the Hubert crash about drivers not slowing down when approaching yellow flags. Does anyone have any lap time data for Ricciardo, Hulk and Gasly on that lap?

(Off-topic, but I believe video footage suggests that all drivers who had a reasonable chance to respond to the yellow flags coming out at the top of Eau Rouge/Raidillon managed to slow down and virtually come to a stop before they reached the scene of the accident.)

#25 absinthedude

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:05

I can certainly accept that Seb's vision (and that of Lance) would have been obstructed by the car and the halo. However, I also agree that if you can't see if it is safe to rejoin the track, you shouldn't do so.

 

Reverse gear...is there still a rule against using it during a race or has that been scrapped? Would potentially have been an idea for Seb to get a better view of the track. Lance I can be more forgiving of because he never actually left the track. 

 

Maybe F1 needs more "spotters" ?



#26 Christbiscuit

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:07

(Off-topic, but I believe video footage suggests that all drivers who had a reasonable chance to respond to the yellow flags coming out at the top of Eau Rouge/Raidillon managed to slow down and virtually come to a stop before they reached the scene of the accident.)

Yep, just curious as to what the actions of the first drivers on the scene were, how much they had slowed down when approaching, first, Vettel's stranded car and, then, Stroll. Neither Stroll nor Gasly appeared to be going slow enough to stop, no? Not defending either Vettel or Stroll at all, both indefensible, but curious given the attention given to the topic last week.

 

Hypothetically, both Stroll and then Gasly should have been in a position to stop, no?



#27 ElectricBoogie

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:08

Curious we don't have spotters in F1 despite all this GPS tech. And reversing would be the only way to get better mirror view as well as rejoin at a safer angle. Stroll was on the track, reversing not an option. Also, Vettel being there made it risky as drivers could overlook Stroll having seen a yellow and a misplaced car.



#28 Christbiscuit

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:09


Reverse gear...is there still a rule against using it during a race or has that been scrapped? Would potentially have been an idea for Seb to get a better view of the track. Lance I can be more forgiving of because he never actually left the track. 

 

Maybe F1 needs more "spotters" ?

If Vettel had reversed with a view to rejoining the track, it would have made sense if he would have reversed to point the nose at Parabolica? He would then see even less, we know the mirrors are practically useless.



#29 ElectricBoogie

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:09

I think the problem is that the natural instinct for any driver is to get back on track as soon as possible. It is very hard for any driver to fight that instinct.

Setting up guidelines and rules and protocols for this is child's play. Do it wrong, black flag and worse.



#30 Risil

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:13

Afaik the reverse gears don't always work on F1 cars. The designers make them as light and small as possible and hope the drivers won't have to use them. At least that's how it was in the nineties.

I think Vettel should've shown a lot more caution but I confess I don't know what the correct protocol is when you spin and come to a halt slightly off track.

#31 goldenboy

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:17

The witch hunt it reaching ridiculous proportions.

Visibility was a problem, he didn't want to lose time. His competitive nature took over and unfortunately he caused an accident and endangered others.

Comparable mistakes happen to all drivers. Heck, it happened near immediately with Stroll. There is no switch in their minds where they become boy scouts and fully surpress their competitive nature.

You guys are just flogging a very injued horse.

What? Nothing you say make any of what he did ok.

Injured horse lol what is this crap.

#32 CSF

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:18

We saw how well reversing works in F1 at Baku. 

 

Anyway, I wonder if they might have had to thow a VSC if Seb had sat there.



#33 screamingV16

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:19

Afaik the reverse gears don't always work on F1 cars. The designers make them as light and small as possible and hope the drivers won't have to use them. At least that's how it was in the nineties.

I think Vettel should've shown a lot more caution but I confess I don't know what the correct protocol is when you spin and come to a halt slightly off track.

 

There was a time when it could be very hard to find reverse, particularly with conventional clutch/maunal box set ups, but I thought reverse gear was much more reliable/usable these days?



#34 screamingV16

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:22

If Vettel had reversed with a view to rejoining the track, it would have made sense if he would have reversed to point the nose at Parabolica? He would then see even less, we know the mirrors are practically useless.

 

He could have at least rejoined the track more side-on and left room for cars to pass to his left, certainly safer than driving straight onto and crossing the track in a fast bend.


Edited by screamingV16, 09 September 2019 - 11:22.


#35 screamingV16

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:23

I can certainly accept that Seb's vision (and that of Lance) would have been obstructed by the car and the halo. However, I also agree that if you can't see if it is safe to rejoin the track, you shouldn't do so.

 

Reverse gear...is there still a rule against using it during a race or has that been scrapped? Would potentially have been an idea for Seb to get a better view of the track. Lance I can be more forgiving of because he never actually left the track. 

 

Maybe F1 needs more "spotters" ?

 

Was there ever such a rule? Maybe wrong, but not aware of that. There has long been a rule against reversing in the pit lane.



#36 CSF

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:23

There was a time when it could be very hard to find reverse, particularly with conventional clutch/maunal box set ups, but I thought reverse gear was much more reliable/usable these days?

https://www.youtube....h?v=01Z9RkUBctQ

 

Danny Ric's works.  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:



#37 screamingV16

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:25

https://www.youtube....h?v=01Z9RkUBctQ

 

Danny Ric's works.  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

Ha, ha I knew there was a recent example.



#38 Risil

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:28

https://www.youtube....h?v=01Z9RkUBctQ

Danny Ric's works. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Stand corrected!

#39 SophieB

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:34

I can certainly accept that Seb's vision (and that of Lance) would have been obstructed by the car and the halo. However, I also agree that if you can't see if it is safe to rejoin the track, you shouldn't do so.
 
Reverse gear...is there still a rule against using it during a race or has that been scrapped? Would potentially have been an idea for Seb to get a better view of the track. Lance I can be more forgiving of because he never actually left the track. 
 
Maybe F1 needs more "spotters" ?

 
I thought the later rule was you couldn't use reverse on the track directly, as Senna does here. 
 

 
I'm not sure now!



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#40 JdB

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:36

Why are they stil messing around with mirrors? Isn't it about time it's changed to rear- and sideview camera's? Use the halo to stash the screens, connect it to the live feed, and nobody can argue about the visibillity...

Just my thoughts...

Gr.Jeroen

#41 CSF

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:37

 
I thought the later rule was you couldn't use reverse on the track directly, as Senna does here. 
 

 
I'm not sure now!

 

 

Again at Baku there were plenty reversing onto the track from the run off, but thats pretty safe as the cars should be visible to everyone, especially with the yellowist of yellow flags waving. 



#42 redreni

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:38

Strictly speaking the requirement to rejoin safely probably meant, in that instance, that Vettel should have reversed so that he could have entered the track after the third apex.

 

There is, of course, absolutely no question of him being able to look for traffic before rejoining the track at where he did, at 90 degrees to the racing line. He was trying to rejoin immediately after a car passed, on the assumption that there would be a gap to the next car large enough to allow that car to see and avoid him. Whether that's enough to satisfy the requirement to rejoin safely is open to debate. If it had worked (i.e. if there had been no contact), I doubt anyone would have questioned it.

 

Applying the rules equally strictly to Stroll, he's at fault as well. There were double waved yellows in that sector. When Vettel pulled out, why didn't Stroll stop? If he couldn't stop, his speed under yellow must have been excessive.



#43 SophieB

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:39

Again at Baku there were plenty reversing onto the track from the run off, but thats pretty safe as the cars should be visible to everyone, especially with the yellowist of yellow flags waving. 

 

I get that, I was trying to say I thought the rule was that you couldn't throw the car into reverse while you were still actually on track.



#44 Fonzey

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:39

At some point in F1 history, having a reverse gear was not always guaranteed. I think before they froze the ratio's in for the full season the cars would only have reverse on circuits like Monaco where it was likely they would need to reverse out of a run-off zone. Nowadays they always have it, and it always works - and it's just fine, no excuse to not use it really (as long as the rules allow it)

 

 

Why are they stil messing around with mirrors? Isn't it about time it's changed to rear- and sideview camera's? Use the halo to stash the screens, connect it to the live feed, and nobody can argue about the visibillity...

Just my thoughts...

Gr.Jeroen

 

Yep, no excuse now really.



#45 pdac

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:39

Regulations:

 

27.3 Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not deliberately leave the track without a justifiable reason.
Drivers will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with it and, for the avoidance of doubt, any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.
Should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage. At the absolute discretion of the race director a driver may be given the opportunity to give back the whole of any advantage he gained by leaving the track.

 

 

If you cannot see, you cannot be sure that it is safe to re-join.

 
28.3 At no time may a car be reversed in the pit lane under its own power.

 

 

 
This is the only mention regarding using reverse gear that I can find.


#46 GrumpyYoungMan

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:44

Making excuses for his poor racing/judgements/mistakes...



#47 screamingV16

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:45

At some point in F1 history, having a reverse gear was not always guaranteed. I think before they froze the ratio's in for the full season the cars would only have reverse on circuits like Monaco where it was likely they would need to reverse out of a run-off zone. Nowadays they always have it, and it always works - and it's just fine, no excuse to not use it really (as long as the rules allow it)

 

 

 

Yep, no excuse now really.

 

Not sure if that was the case, but I'm sure I remember it being said that with old stick-shift (non-electronic?) gearboxes, reverse was physically hard to find/engage and this was further compounded by the gearbox getting very hot and metal bits expanding etc.


Edited by screamingV16, 09 September 2019 - 11:45.


#48 baddog

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:45

 

An interesting discussion between Matt Bishop, formerly of McLaren (amongst other senior motorsport related comms posts) and Mark Hughes. Worth going to look at the tweet on twitter because it includes video of the incident from many angles too
 

For Lance Stroll to do something as dangerous as this was reprehensible. For Sebastian Vettel to do it... was almost unforgivable. I actually find it rather sad. #HowTheOnceMightyIsFalling #ItalianGP

https://twitter.com/...710856486805511

 

In mitigation Matt, the halo/HANS combination makes it near-impossible to see from such an acute angle.

 

 

It was a mistake in judgement, for which he paid, but Matt Bishop is just being an ass here as so often before. I find that hashtag bit rather sad in fact.



#49 Tsarwash

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:46

Curious we don't have spotters in F1 despite all this GPS tech. And reversing would be the only way to get better mirror view as well as rejoin at a safer angle. Stroll was on the track, reversing not an option. Also, Vettel being there made it risky as drivers could overlook Stroll having seen a yellow and a misplaced car.

They do have spotters to some extent. I think it was Lewis, maybe Leclerc, who had his engineer constantly saying that somebody was immediately behind him. 



#50 Tsarwash

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:49

 
I thought the later rule was you couldn't use reverse on the track directly, as Senna does here. 
 

 
I'm not sure now!

 

Does Senna actually use reverse there, or just puts it into neutral, and lets the momentum of the car continue him in that direction ?