At the beginning of the year it was announced that from the 2021 season Aston Martin will provide the safety car in Formula 1. The British car manufacturer is replacing the traditional German group Mercedes. For more than 20 years, the safety car with the star on the bonnet led the field when things got tough. But even before that there were other manufacturers who provided the security car. We take a look at the history of the safety car in Formula 1.
Safety First! That is why there is the safety car
Nowadays, the safety car has become an integral part of Formula 1. If, for certain reasons, the racing conditions are no longer safe enough to ensure a safe race, the safety car comes out and sits in front of the field. There is during the safety car phase strict no overtaking. This limits the speed so that the track crew can, for example, clear the scene of an accident. The race management decides on the use of the vehicle and is in constant contact with the driver and co-driver of the vehicle.
Difficult start for the safety car in Canada
However, such an orderly deployment of the safety car was not always the case. Before 1973, many dangerous racing situations were only mitigated by the use of flags and warnings. The safety car was not used for the first time until the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix. Without consulting the teams, the race management sent Eppie Wietzes in Porsche 914 onto the track to slow down the field after an accident. However, the first use back then still led to some confusion among teams and drivers. The result lists had to be corrected hours after the race.
Official introduction only 20 years later
For a long time, those responsible for Formula 1 and FIA took their time to officially introduce the safety car. Whether or not a safety car would be used was up to the GP organizers. Between 1981 and 1983, for example, the safety car was the legendary Lamborghini Countach. It was not until the 1993 season that Formula 1 firmly introduced the safety car. Although no fixed manufacturer was prescribed in the first few years, those responsible stipulated that a security vehicle had to be available for every race. Vehicles from Fiat, Opel and Honda, among others, were used here.
Mercedes takes over the exclusive rights
Since the 1996 season, Mercedes Benz has taken over the exclusive rights to the Safety Car and the Medical Car. How Betway Sports Betting shows in an overview that Mercedes is one of the most successful engine manufacturers in the formula. Especially since Lewis Hamilton with the Silver Arrows, the team is working on a different level. Up until the current season, the Safety Car was accordingly the latest model from the factory tuner AMG. Compared to the road version, the Mercedes Safety Car was equipped with a larger brake system, engine tuning and a signal light system on the roof, among other things. The German Bernd Mayländer has been the safety car's regular driver since 2000. In almost 30 years of safety car history, ten races have been completed under the leadership of the safety car. This was most recently the case at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.
This season, for the first time, Aston Martin will provide the Safety Car, which has a long history in motorsport, in Formula 1. Tuning fans around the world are already looking forward to the various modifications to the Aston Martin Vantage.
Of course that had not happened yet!
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