New safety car rule pioneered

The controversial system of closing the pitlane during safety car periods could come to an end if the FIA adopts an alternative that is being trialled by the Formula 1 teams.

The system was introduced in 2007 to deter drivers from speeding back to the pits, but several have since received stop-go penalties after they were forced to refuel when the pitlane was closed. Pressure has been mounting for a change, and now the FIA’s Sporting Working Group has come up with a possible solution.

The new system uses the ECU to send a signal to drivers when the safety car comes out. They acknowledge receipt by pressing a button that switches to a safety car map. For the rest of the lap the driver is given a minimum sector time which he has to keep above. Under the system the pitlane would stay open for drivers to refuel as they wish.