The fleet of Le Mans Safety and medical cars. Photo Courtesy of Mike Roberts

The fleet of Le Mans Safety and medical cars. Photo Courtesy of Mike Roberts

It is true of course that the Le Mans course is much longer than any Formula One circuit in current use, this is the main reason why they need multiple saftey cars. Using multiple saftey cars means all of the cars get picked up much more quickly; safety cars come up to pick up each main group so everyone gets picked up within a lap or maybe two. This means that the danger to marshalls is minimised much more quickly and the clear up of a crash can start much more quickly.

 

In Formula One at times there will be several laps while cars come round to the one safety car and during that time they go as fast as possible to catch up the back of the pack: during this time marshalls either start work and put themselves at risk or in some cases will have to wait. Le Mans use several cars: for Formula One 2 safety cars could be suficent at most tracks. This would make some differences strategy-wise though and to how drivers may be disadvantaged or advantaged by safety cars. Two saftey cars could mean that if you are picked up by the first safety car you could end up with a nice gap to drop in to after a pitstop, it also means that if you are the last car behind the first safety car this gives you a big advantage. The first car behind the second safety car is the most disadvantaged: because the safety cars would pick up the two biggest groups on the track though it would advantage or disadvantage less people as the front leading pack wouldn’t lose their advantage over a chasing pack necessarily.

 

In terms of whether you pit behind a safety car: if a stop would leave you behind the second instead of first safety car then you might stay out and wait to pit to come out into the gap that will exist between the two groups on the restart.

June 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm by admin
Category: F1 Comment
Tags: F1, Formula One, Le Mans, multiple safety cars, pitstops, safety cars