The debate over F1’s safety car rules was reopened at last Sunday ‘s Italian Grand Prix , where the race did not resume after Daniel Ricciardo retired.
Although race control followed the rules to the letter, fans were left with a bitter taste after being left without an exciting race finish.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he believed the race should have been red-flagged to ensure at least one lap of competition to avoid finishing behind the Safety Car .
But McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl revealed that plans to try to stop safety car finishes had already been discussed in the wake of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, but that the teams could not agree on a decision. Possible solution.
“After what happened last year in Abu Dhabi, there were a lot of discussions between the FIA, Formula 1 and all the teams involved to see how the rules could be changed to make sure that the races never ended with a safety car. Seidl explained after the Monza race.
“But despite the fact that the FIA and Formula 1 put pressure on all of us to find solutions, it was up to us as teams to decide. And we couldn’t agree on any changes because we couldn’t find a better solution, since in addition It is still a fair solution in terms of sporting results”.
“That’s why I think we just have to accept that, unfortunately, situations like this Sunday can happen.”
Seidl said the FIA and Formula 1 “tried very hard” to find a way to change the rules to ensure races always went green, but there were too many concerns from teams that the show was prioritized over the sporty look.
“We just want a solution that is also fair on the sporting side and doesn’t suddenly end up in danger,” Seidl said.
“And so we couldn’t agree on anything better than what we have.”
“In the end, we voted that the regulations should remain as they were. As far as I remember, all the teams voted that way. And therefore, I think we will close the issue.”
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem held a meeting with F1 race stewards and team principals on the Monday after the Italian GP race to discuss a number of sporting matters, and the rules of the F1 car. Security was one of them.
A possible option to guarantee that the races always finish with a green flag would be to include in the regulations that a red flag be imposed automatically if the safety car needs to come out X laps from the end.
Motorsport.com raised that idea with Alpine sporting director Alan Permane , who opined that it “sounds great” but that there would inevitably be some “unintended consequences”.
“But it has happened before, we did it in Baku last year, and it was good,” Permane said.
“I suppose it can be included in the regulations. It doesn’t seem crazy. Surely there will be something we don’t like, but at the end of the day, we are here to put on a show. And the end of Monza did not please anyone.”
“It’s not an ideal ending, nobody wants to finish behind the safety car. It’s a shame, really unfortunate for the fans. That way we don’t show our best, that’s for sure.”
“But maybe we don’t have to say out of hand that every time there’s a safety car less than 50km from the finish or something, it’s a red flag. Maybe we just need to make sure that the safety car procedures security are correct, and we’ve been working on trying to make them faster.
“The problem is that with the Safety Cars at the end of the race, there are a lot of cars that have been left behind. We’ve had endless discussions about how to improve that situation, and there are certainly a lot of unintended consequences of changing the procedure.
Additional information from Jonathan Noble