FIA race director Charlie Whiting says he isn’t convinced by F1 drivers’ requests to make the Safety Car faster.

The new Safety Car introduced this year is the most powerful ever used in F1. But Whiting said “it’s a continuous request from drivers to make the Safety Car faster – not just to be driven faster but to make it a faster car.”

The Mercedes AMG GT R which is being used this year produces 585bhp. “Every year we try and make it a little bit faster but how fast do you want to go?” said Whiting. “The thing’s there to slow them down.

“They all complain about cold tyres and cold brakes but it is the same for everybody and they just have to drive accordingly afterwards if they’ve got less grip then they have to drive a little slower until they get more grip.

“I know it’s probably not very pleasant for drivers to have to deal with that but it’s meant to slow them down and control the cars. [This] is why we use the Safety Car, for example, past the marshals when they were recovering Grosjean’s car. We couldn’t rely upon the drivers to go that slowly past that incident, that’s what the Safety Car’s there for.”

Whiting added he didn’t receive any complaints from drivers during Sunday’s race about the speed the Safety Car was being driven at.

The Safety Car has been used in three of the four races so far this year. Whiting responded to criticism of its deployment at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, saying it was not kept out for any longer than was necessary.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 20182018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in pictures“I don’t think there was anything wrong with the length of time the Safety Car was out, personally. It was brought in as soon as it could be brought in.

“We were un-lapping the car which is a requirement. At that point [Romain] Grosjean had his accident so we left the Safety Car out for a bit longer. It took a little while to clear the car up because it was a very difficult place to recover a car from.

“I don’t think it could have been any shorter under those circumstances. When the Safety Car restarted we were pretty confident everything was clear on the track. So I’m perfectly at ease with the decisions that were made around that Safety Car intervention.”

F1’s Safety Car

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles