Formula 1 racing is full of thrills and spills – and because of the speed at which the cars travel. And the lack of space on the track, it is rare that a race will pass without some kind of incident. Crashes can often result in blockages and debris being strewn across the track. In such instances, it is crucial that safety of the drivers comes first, and to ensure that this is the case. What is known as the safety car is often deploy – with the objective of reducing the speed of the cars on track to a safe level. The safety car is also sometimes deploy if the track becomes waterlog after heavy rain.
When the safety car is deploy. It is allow to pass all cars that are on track until the race leader is immediately behind. It will then lead the cars around the track at a speed that means the tyres do not cool down too much.
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Upon starting its final lap, the safety car will turn off its flashing orange lights. This is a sign to drivers that although they must remain in formation for that lap, at the beginning of the next one they will be officially racing again. At the end of its final lap. The safety car will head into the pits and as they cross the start-finish line the competitors can resume racing.
The safety car
Since 1996, the official Formula 1 safety car has been supplied by Mercedes-Benz. In 2018, the vehicle used was the 430 kW (585 hp) AMG GT R.
Since 2000, the driver of the safety car has been former touring-car racer Bernd Maylander.