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Saturday, April 16, 2022

F1 Drivers Find 2022 Aston Martin Safety Car "Slow As A Turtle"


If the on-track performance of its Formula 1 team isn’t bad enough, some 2022 F1 drivers are vocally complaining that the Aston Martin safety car is also too slow.

According to Motorsport.com, drivers were complaining just how slow the Aston Martin was going after the second safety car period at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

2021 F1 Champion Max Verstappen commented:
“It’s just that there’s so little grip because the safety car was driving so slowly. It was like a turtle. Unbelievable.

With that car, to drive 140km/h on the back straight where that was not a damaged car anymore, I don’t understand why we have to drive so slowly. We have to investigate.

For sure, the Mercedes safety car is faster because of the extra aero. The Aston Martin is really slow. It definitely needs more grip because our tires were stone cold.”
Max actually praising the pace of a Mercedes? Shows you just how bad the situation is.

Australian GP winner Charles Leclerc also spoke about the less-than-ideal speeds of the safety car, but also said that it was “sliding in the corner” indicating that it was already being driven absolutely at its limit by driver Bernd Maylander.

Mercedes-AMG driver and podium finisher George Russell quickly added that drivers don’t have this issue with the new Mercedes-AMG safety car noting that it was around five seconds quicker.

With Aston Martin and Mercedes both providing safety and medical cars for the races in 2022, the FIA quickly defended Aston Martin by saying:
“The FIA would like to reiterate that the primary function of the safety car is, of course, not outright speed but the safety of the drivers, marshals and officials.

The speed of the safety car is therefore generally dictated by race control, and not limited by the capabilities of the safety cars.

The impact of the speed of the safety car on the performance of the cars following is a secondary consideration, as the impact is equal amongst all competitors who ... are responsible for driving in a safe manner at all times.”
It’s important to indicate though that while both use a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine, the Mercedes-AMG sportscar is certainly the more capable of the two safety cars.

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series used at the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian races produce 730 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque. It’s also designed for on-track use and comes with a pretty aggressive aero package generating 249 kilograms of downforce at 200 km/h, and up to 400 kilograms of downforce at 250 km/h.

On the other hand, the Aston Martin Vantage safety car pumps out far less horsepower and torque (535 horsepower, 685 Nm of torque). Aside from having less horsepower, the Vantage also produces lower downforce figures just 155.6 kilograms at 200 km/h. It’s also some 30 kilograms heavier as well. All in all, these all contribute to the Vantage’s much slower overall pace to the Mercedes.

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