LONDON (Reuters) – Formula One’s governing physique defended the Aston Martin safety car on Thursday, reminding drivers that its high velocity was of secondary significance, after world champion Max Verstappen in contrast it to a turtle.
Aston Martin and Mercedes each present safety and medical vehicles for grands prix, with the championship divided between the 2 marques and Germany’s Bernd Maylander the motive force.
“The FIA want to reiterate that the first operate of the … safety car is, in fact, not outright velocity however the safety of the drivers, marshals and officers,” it stated in an announcement.
Red Bull’s Verstappen had stated after Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix that the Aston Martin 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 Vantage utilized in Melbourne lapped too slowly when twice deployed following crashes.
“For certain the Mercedes safety car is quicker due to the additional aero. The Aston Martin is admittedly sluggish. It undoubtedly wants extra grip, as a result of our tyres have been stone chilly,” the Dutchman advised reporters after retiring from the race.
The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series utilized in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and new for this 12 months, produces some 730bhp in comparison with the Aston’s 528bhp.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, the championship chief and winner of two of the primary three races, stated he had additionally wished to go quicker.
“I wished to complain, however then I checked how a lot the safety car was sliding within the nook and I do not suppose there was something extra that he may give so I did not wish to put an excessive amount of strain,” he advised reporters.
“With the vehicles that we have now now it’s totally troublesome to maintain the temperatures within the tyres behind the safety car.”
Briton George Russell, who drives for Mercedes, stated the German marque’s safety car was about 5 seconds a lap faster than the Aston Martin.
The FIA stated safety car procedures took into consideration a number of components, together with the necessity to bunch up the sector and modify the tempo relying on restoration actions.
“The velocity of the safety car is due to this fact typically dictated by race management, and never restricted by the capabilities of the safety vehicles,” added the governing physique.
“The affect of the velocity of the safety car on the efficiency of the vehicles following is a secondary consideration, because the affect is equal amongst all rivals who … are answerable for driving in a secure method always.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, modifying by Ken Ferris)