Safety Car - Implications


The use of a safety car has the side effect of pushing all the competitors together, so any time advantage of one car over another that remains on the same lap is virtually eliminated. This "drawing together" effect can make racing more competitive; conversely, it can be viewed as preventing faster drivers and cars from receiving appropriate rewards for their efforts.

It is common in many forms of racing for drivers to make pitstops during the safety car situation. This way, they can form back up behind the back after refueling and changing tires (and perhaps making more advanced adjustments which would normally cost too much time to be practical in racing conditions). Any other drivers who have to pit within the next few laps would then fall behind this car when they make their pitstop under green-flag conditions.

Cars use less fuel while running under safety car (usually approximately half as much as under racing conditions), which can allow drivers to run longer on a tank of fuel than expected, and in some cases means being able to make one fewer pitstop.

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