F1 Safety Car vs Virtual Safety Car : Key Differences explained

F1 Safety Car vs Virtual Safety Car: Here's all you need to know about the key differences between a Formula One safety car and a virtual safety car.

F1 Safety Car vs Virtual Safety Car
F1 Safety Car vs Virtual Safety Car

The F1 safety car has played a pivotal role in maintaining any Formula One race’s safety and providing the marshalls opportunity to clean any wreckage or stuck vehicles from the racetrack since its debut at the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix.

The automobile itself is available in two models. The Aston Martin Vantage and the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Black Series are two examples. Since 2000, Bernd Mayländer has been in charge of the F1 safety car. He  is a German racing driver who previously competed for Mercedes in the DTM Series. Richard Darker is his present co-driver.

What is an F1 Safety Car? How does it work?

If one were to define an F1 safety car, they could define it as the physical vehicle that guides the cars around the course while problems are resolved, prompting them to crowd around it. The safety car is involved in a variety of strategy formulation made by a team during a race in numerous instances.

Cars slow down and no passing is permitted during a safety car deployment. Because all of the cars are moving slowly, teams could stand a gamble and perform pit stops with much less wastage. Teams might, on the other hand, forgo pit stops and obtain places over a pitted car.

Also Read: “The pace of Mercedes at the end of the race was very strong” : Christian Horner wary of Mercedes threat at Silverstone

What is a Virtual Safety Car? When does it come into effect?

Virtual Safety Car(VSC)
Virtual Safety Car(VSC)

Following Jules Bianchi’s tragic accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix at the legendary Suzuka racetrack, a method of slowing cars without deploying a physical car onto the track was required. The FIA came up with the Virtual Safety Car, or VSC, as a byproduct of this. To define a virtual safety car, one could define it as not a real vehicle on the circuit. Instead, it’s utilised to essentially neutralise the race by requiring all of the cars to slow down by around 30%. Virtual safety cars are deployed in less serious events and do not often last as prolonged as a complete safety car.

The cars are compelled to slow down by a virtual safety car in order to meet a certain lap time. Fundamentally, rather of being forced to drop their speed to a set level, the drivers decrease their pace to keep up with the shortest time disparities between some places on the circuit. These tiny sectors are all done in real time to make sure that drivers stick to the posted limit.

F1 Safety Car vs Virtual Safety Car : Find out the Key Differences

A virtual safety car sets out minimum durations for drivers to finish specific sectors of the circuit, whereas an F1 safety car allows drivers to change the pace at which cars move around the course.  When a virtual safety car is present on the track, speeds are normally decreased by roughly 30%, rather than the occasionally 60% drop seen when an F1 safety car is present. This means that behind a virtual safety car, the cars’ tyres and brakes aren’t as influenced.

The period of time drivers could save by pitting under a safety car differs from the duration of time they may save by pitting under a virtual safety car. Both sorts of safety cars, on the other hand, permits the driver to make a ‘cheap’ pit stop. When a driver pits under racing circumstances, it might take up to 25 seconds or more to approach the pits, change tyres, and return to the race, depending on the layout.

Also Read: “Quite upsetting” : Mick Schumacher puts forward disappointment after early retirement in Montreal

Also Read: “Is that really fair? No” : Guenther Steiner agrees with Red Bull in regards to the FIA’s intervention in reducing porpoising