After Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg endured penalties at the Grand Prix of Singapore there have been further calls for a change to the current SC rule that closes the pits and penalizes anyone for taking on fuel during the SC period until the pit lane is officially opened.This was to prevent cars racing back to the pits and potential being dangerous. This has also left many outraged at the penalties incurred by drivers who have no choice but to pit for fuel as they are running on fumes. It seems a solution is in the works however.
Singapore also saw continued testing of a new software system designed to solve this SC rule issue and looks to be deployed for 2009. It is a system that gives and audible warning to the driver if he goes over a certain speed deemed safe to return to the pit after the Safety Car is deployed. Autosport reports:
McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh said teams had already discussed the matter in Singapore and he felt the events of the race would be a catalyst to ensure change is made.
“It will happen I am sure by the start of next year,” he said. “For people to change now they have to accept they got it hopelessly wrong, and it has to change during the winter. Everyone knows it has to change and I am very confident that it will.”
The latest version of the safety car software in the cars provides drivers with an audible warning if they go above a predetermined speed through the sector where an incident has taken place.
Tests of the system are likely to continue for the remainder of the season before a full implementation at the start of 2009.