New safety car rules for 2009

Sat, 11 October 2008, 12:45

Oct.10 (GMM) The current controversial safety car rules will be scrapped following next month’s final race of the 2008 season

It has been agreed to minimally revert to the old system, whereby the pitlane will stay open for refuelling even immediately after the deployment of the safety car

The recent Singapore grand prix reinvigorated the debate about the current rules, after Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg finished first and second mainly due to the way the rules can arbitrarily shake up the race order

It is expected that, to accompany the revised system for 2009, drivers will need to adhere to a minimum lap time as they drive slowly after deployment of the SC, as has been trialled several times in free practice this year

Drivers will be alerted about the deployment of the Mercedes sedan by the illumination of a yellow cockpit light, and have just five seconds to acknowledge the alarm by pressing a button

The minimum time system is possible due to the standard ECU, and GPS positioning

The new rules are an improvement but not perfect, BMW-Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder told Auto Motor und Sport

“If at the time of (race) neutralisation you were just past the pits, it will be a problem because you will have do a full lap

“But at least the new rule prevents you losing places or time against your immediate opponents,” he added

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