- How much slower is the Safety Car?
"That depends on the track. Last year in Canada, the Safety Car came out at the very beginning of the race after a crash on the opening lap at Turn 3. Under the Safety Car, Lewis did lap times of over two minutes (2:02.231 on lap 2).
"Even with relatively cold tyres in his first lap after the Safety Car he did a 1:18.135, compared to 1:16.296 with warmer tyres in lap 10. So, the lap under the SC took roughly 60 percent longer.
"The speed differences between the Safety Car and a Formula One car depend on the area of the track. On a regular lap, an F1 car will take Turn 3 in Canada at roughly 125 kph; under the SC, however, they do only 45 kph.
"The difference in the hairpin (Turn 10) is roughly 15 kph (65kph vs 50kph under the SC). But it's not just the cornering speeds that are limited under the Safety Car, it's also acceleration and top speed.
"Last year, F1 cars took the speed trap before Turn 13 at over 300 kph but clocked in "only" 255 kph under the Safety Car.
"Wide Open Throttle (WOT) time is also affected by the Safety Car - on a regular lap, WOT time around Montreal accounts for over 50 percent of the lap; under the Safety Car it's only about two percent.
"The slower laps under the SC are also reflected in the gear shifts. Drivers shift through the gears roughly 80 times on a regular lap in Canada, but only 50 times under the Safety Car."