Formula 1 | F1 mulls virtual cancellation procedure for late lap
Formula 1 will consider applying a virtual procedure allowing drivers to regain their back lap in a safety car period. Currently, one-lap drivers must re-enter the track ahead of the leaders at normal speed.
In Abu Dhabi in 2021, only some of the drivers were able to get out of the line of slow cars, because the race management wanted to resume the race as quickly as possible so as not to finish it under the safety car.
In the future, F1 wants to consider an update to the rankings software, which would remove the lap delay for drivers, who would then only have to get back in their ranking order by sliding behind all the cars in the leader’s lap.
This is one of the recommendations made by the FIA in its report on the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This could be implemented as early as next year for the start of the 2023 season.
However, the evaluation of such a possibility must go through the resolution of various problems. Among these, the fact that the pilots who would be put back in the lap of the leaders would have completed one lap less on the track and would therefore have an advantage in terms of fuel. A pro-rata system could be applied to remove this round of fuel.
But a gained lap could also be interesting in the event of sudden deterioration of the tires at the end of the stint. And for that, there is no solution…
As we talked about on the show ‘Grand Prix’, the other option could ultimately be to leave the drivers one lap behind, which would negate their fuel and tire advantage against the leaders.