Honda F1 website

MAY 30, 2004

The FIA alters Safety Car rules

The FIA has decided to reinterpret the Safety Car rules following the incidents in Monte Carlo. The teams have been told that it was clear that despite the Safety Car being on the track "some cars were being driven at a pace which was clearly too fast for the prevailing conditions, simply because there is considerable incentive to do so". To remove the incentive the FIA is now adopting a different system. With immediate effect when the message "Safety Car Deployed" appears on the timing monitors the pitlane exit will be closed to all cars except those that were already in pitlane. It will remain closed until the Safety Car passes the end of the pits with all the cars in line behind it. Once the message has been displayed the leader will slow down and allow the cars to bunch up behind him, even if the Safety Car is not yet in front of him. The Safety Car will remain on to the track until all the cars are in line behind it.

There is a message also for Michael Schumacher as in future "to ensure that cars wills will be driven in a safe and consistent manner" the lights on the top of the Safety Car will not be turned off until it goes into pitlane. This means that the drivers will not know exactly when the Safety Car is coming in and so cannot indulge in warming up brakes and tyres.