F1 defends Aston Martin safety car after criticism from Max Verstappen

Formula 1’s governing body on Thursday defended the Aston Martin Safety Car, reminding drivers its top speed was secondary after world champion Max Verstappen likened it to a turtle.

Aston Martin and Mercedes both offer safety and medicine cars for Grands Prix, with the championship split between the two brands and German driver Bernd Maylander.

“The FIA ​​would like to reiterate that the main function of the … Safety Car is of course not pure speed, but the safety of the drivers, marshals and officials,” it said in a statement.

Red Bull’s Verstappen had said after Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix that the Melbourne-entered Aston Martin 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 Vantage was lapping too slowly when it was used twice after crashes.

“Of course, the Mercedes safety car is faster because of the additional aerodynamics,” the Dutchman told reporters after withdrawing from the race. “The Aston Martin is really slow. It definitely needs more grip because our tires were freezing.”

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which is used in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and is new this year, produces about 730 hp compared to the Aston’s 528 hp.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, points leader and winner of two of the first three races, said he also wanted to go faster.

“I wanted to complain, but then I checked how much the safety car was sliding into the corner and I don’t think he could give anything else, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure,” he told reporters.

“With the cars we have now, it’s very difficult to keep the temperatures in the tires behind the safety car.”

Briton George Russell, who drives for Mercedes, said the German brand’s safety car was around five seconds per lap quicker than the Aston Martin.

The FIA ​​said the safety car procedures took into account several factors, including the need to pool the field and adjust the pace depending on recovery activities.

“The speed of the safety car is therefore generally dictated by race officials and not limited by the capabilities of the safety car,” the governing body added.

“The impact of the safety car’s speed on the performance of the following cars is secondary as the impact is the same for all participants who are… responsible for driving safely at all times.”

Comments are closed.