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MSF Safety Car Survey: Commentary

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June 30, 2015
MSF Safety Car Survey: Commentary

Following a number of recent incidents involving safety vehicles, the Motorsport Safety Foundation launched a widespread survey on safety car deployment. "I think the survey, as part of a community, allows us to generate information in compelling ways," said MSF COO Scot Elkins. "I see us doing this quite a bit more on a number of different topics. There are areas that come up all the time about motorsport safety and I think this will be a good way for us to help generate information back to the decision makers in the industry."

Take a look at the list of comments made by 450+ survey respondents below. What is your takeaway from these remarks? Do you disagree with any of the opinions? Please feel free to write your own comment in this thread, whether about the survey or the responses you find here.
 

  • Related to the two IMSA accidents, the positioning of the safety trucks needs to be reviewed and changed.  Safety vehicles need to be positioned in a manner that protects the workers and the disabled vehicles.  Look at how fire trucks position on the roadway at the scene of an accident. This is how safety vehicles in motor sports should be positioned too.
     
  • Hope all types of safety vehicle accidents end. From Bianchi in japan to Detroit to Montoya hitting the jet dryer in Daytona no one likes to see these things happen!!
     
  • There are so many nuances involved in these decisions. The real question is how to improve the communication that a rescue vehicle is on course, where exactly it is and to make sure drivers slow down before they arrive.
     
  • The Marshals and Safety Crews are heroes.
     
  • I feel that I'm qualified to answer these questions as I have been driving the pace car at Mid-Ohio for the last 25 years for both professional and SCC\A racing. Safety cars are deployed to control the field to ensure safe working conditions for workers in a cleanup. A cleanup situation goes quicker when workers aren't constantly looking over their shoulders.
     
  • Pace car of safety car for parade or pre race pace lap only. Require the leader of the race to set the pace and allow the field to close up. Only use safety car if full course yellow for major incident. Too many safety cars in every venue.
     
  • Under waving yellow conditions, corner before should be steady for forewarning, the after should be green. Cars must drop to minimum 50% race speed from yellow to green flag. Better yet pit lane speed with speed limiter.
     
  • Full course yellow + closed pits -> no incentive for the drivers to go fast.
     
  • Current F1 SC and VSC procedures require drivers to focus on delta times instead of slowing down and observing what is going on around them.
     
  • Question 3. If the clean up warrants more than 1 lap to sort out. I would like to see a red flag thrown. This allows the race to finish under green, cheating neither the fans nor drivers.
     
  • As a safety worker we have to look out for our own safety. WE COME FIRST the driver is in a cage and is protected from harm’s way. Every situation on the track is different - do you have fire oil debris - this will set the tone on how we will respond. Also are we going to red flag the race so we can go to work safely? In our truck we know what person is going to handle fire suppression, who is going to the driver or clean up. Everyone needs to be on the same page. We all want to go home at the end of the day. We need to watch each other’s backs. Our safety is also in our own hands - keep your head on a swivel and never turn your back on a race car unless someone is covering your back 100%. BE SAFE. Thank you.
     
  • VSC is probably too expensive to implement at regional or smaller venues particularly in Canada where tracks are marginal at best.  A speed reduction to no more than 50% of race speed effective immediately upon display of lights or a special flag displayed at all stations would eliminate this issue. Speed limits under local yellows with a pre-warning yellow at the previous station as was the norm in past years would also be more effective. Penalties for drivers exceeding these limits should be sufficient to be a deterrent! I personally have had 2 occasions to run from a second vehicle crashing at an incident while under a local yellow when there has been no pre-warning flag and drivers who ignore waved yellows.
     
  • While we all want a good show, safety should always come first, especially with the speed capabilities of modern race cars.  While I don't disagree completely with the concept of the VSC, I believe that the system will be (at least attempted to be) gamed as it is now; plus it will prove more confusing to fans.  At least they know what a Safety Car is and why it's deployed. A VSC experience for a fan at a race will be more analogous to a TV time-out at a football game.
     
  • Virtual safety cars and "slow zones" (such as used at Le Mans and other endurance racing) is a good combination of keeping it safe and keeping the race running.
     
  • When safety cars are used, they should be removed as soon as the incident has been resolved. If possible, having a minimum number of safety car laps, waiting for the field to close, waiting to open the pits and so on, should be avoided in order to make the safety car period as short as possible.
     
  • I didn't answer the first three questions, because it depends on the track and the conditions. Le Mans does a great job with SLOW ZONES, heavy flagging, and lots if marshals, but they keep live racing everywhere else. This was new last year and greatly improved this year.
     
  • The VSC is more dangerous than a safety car since the drivers don't slow down enough making it safe.
     
  • Partial course yellows put the responsibility on the drivers to adjust appropriately to dangerous track conditions. These stories seem to say that they are not responding appropriately & with safety in mind.
     
  • On top of Jules Bianchi's accident, there was another dangerous practice in the German GP 2014 where Adrian Sutil spun. There were marshals on track rolling the car out of the way on a hot track. That was extremely dangerous and I think the powers that be in Formula One were more concerned about the show instead of safety due to the well-documented declining TV figures and crowd attendance. In Australia there would never be a service vehicle on track without a safety car. Local yellows would only be used if the stationery car was far enough off track and the driver was out of the car safely.
     
  • It is crazy to keep racing when an incident occurs or leave a damaged car in a dangerous place like Trans Am did at turn 10A at Road Atlanta!
     
  • More tracks and racing bodies should also implement the action of a back-up yellow if the event/crash is such that the cars need to be slowed down prior/coming into the scene rather than having the whole track be full course yellow/caution. With a back-up yellow (stationary) before a waiving yellow (depending on the racing body's flagging system), drivers are more likely to already have decreased speed going into the waiving yellow and are potentially more alert to the fact of what a waiving yellow means.
     
  • As a former safety marshal, I find myself somewhat uncomfortable answering some of the questions...the immediate safety of the competitors and track workers should ALWAYS be the criteria for what to do. If a local yellow is deployed and some or any drivers do not follow it, they should be black flagged ASAP with NO exceptions! By the same token throwing a yellow must be considered a serious matter and use of them to gain any competitive advantage should never be tolerated. I think the problem with safety cars is that a) they create logistical problems as someone still has to decide when and where they're deployed and where each competitor is lined up behind it and b) oftentimes they are just too slow by race car standards. I think this may have much to do with the F1 VSC which, to be honest, I don't know much about! Safety & $$ are most often not compatible in the real time "Fog" of the race!
     
  • When there is a wreck with less than 5 laps to go, red flag the race till the wreck is cleaned up. Then restart. IMO.
     
  • At the end of the race, if the disabled car is in a safe place and driver signals that he/she is okay, run with the local caution and finish the race to the checkered flag. If any safety, tow, cleanup, etc. are dispatched onto the racing surface there should be a full course caution. The VSC sounds like it has good potential in certain circumstances and I am interested to see how the use of it progresses.
     
  • To question 3, I think that if the car that the caution is for is out of the way or in an unlikely contact area it would be safe but if car is stopped right off of a high-speed corner or beside track then it needs to be moved.
     
  • I believe that when it makes sense to do so and the cleanup can be done well away from the line, doing so under local yellow conditions is fine unless cars are not slowing down properly. But as soon as there is mitigating circumstances that require cars be put under more control for the safety of the workers, the driver off course, and the drivers still racing, then safety needs to be put before the show and a FCY should be called.
     
  • No laps should be counted under a full course yellow, which must be deployed whenever a non-race car is admitted to the racecourse.
     
  • There is an increasing lack of respect for yellow flags. Until there are major penalties handed down for these infractions, this practice is likely to continue. Also too many drivers want to manage the recovery of their wrecked vehicles and interfere with the recovery / safety team personnel trying to mitigate the situation as quickly as possible. It’s one thing when it’s just a flat tow, but we've had drivers trying to direct the recovery of their cars with significant damage, missing tow points, etc. At that point, the safety crew owns the scene, not the driver. Driver interference only prolongs the recovery, adds additional exposure time for all involved in the incident, and often ties up someone from the safety team who has to manage the driver, who might be better served helping to recover the damaged vehicle and clear the track.
     
  • Safety should always be before Show.
     
  • Regarding the last 5 laps Q, I don't believe it's just for the show. What about a teammate causing a caution to secure a win? When I Clerk a club race, if a caution near the end warrants a FC caution, I can white flag or checker it early as we've passed the point of it being an official race.
     
  • Questions 4 and 5 all depend on the severity of the incident which requires the communicator to quickly determine and communicate to control that information so that either the e truck should be dispatched or safety car to pick up the leader comes out. The e truck would cover the wreckers etc. The actions should protect the safety personnel and the drivers.
     
  • VSC might work for pro, FIA governed races. Trying to govern it for tens of thousands racers and officials who can't even agree on how/when to display the flags is a BAD idea.
     
  • Some of these accidents recently seem to stem from inexperience of drivers and/or safety workers at the scene.
     
  • Regarding Question 6. The adoption of VSC should be in concert WITH deploying a safety car, not an alternative. Racers will be racers and will still go around at above "caution speeds" whether there is a safety car or the VSC flashing in their face.
     
  • Safety should be the number one concern of any motor-sports vehicle venue. The drivers need to be more in control of their vehicles during cautions. Last year, our safety vehicle was almost broadsided twice by cars running a red flag and the wrecker was also put at risk several times by drives going too fast under a caution.
     
  • Let’s all remember and not forget MOTORSPORT IS DANGEROUS 24/7.
     
  • Driver and worker safety should always come first.
     
  • I didn't answer the first two survey questions, but I don't think that either choice is the correct answer. A crash response team (Holmatro Safety Team for example) could be covered by local yellow if the car is just stalled. If a driver needs to exit a vehicle, there should be yellow flags at the corner stations before and after the incident. If wreckers or heavy machinery is needed, the race should be under FCY, as long as the track conditions are 100% dry. If it's not dry, red flag it. There have been too many issues with drivers not using their heads. As for the last five laps... it depends on the situation. Obviously if it's just a stalled car, add a couple of extra yellow corners, and let's see what happens. If there's debris and major work needed, end it under yellow or red flag it to give the fans a final showdown. Beaux Barfield's red flag at Indy last year was the right choice for that race.
     
  • In last 5 laps of a race, I like the Red Flag, and restart the race for at least a green, white, checker finish. No equipment on a Green Race track. Drivers can only race safely in the first place because the other cars are predictable.... Safety workers etc. are not predictable, so no racing while they are on track.
     
  • There is no absolute answer to this issue but I believe that Race Control (stewards, comp dir., etc.) need to start listening to their marshals and taking their advice into consideration before making the call. If the sanctioning body does not want to end the race under yellow, there is always the red flag option. 
     
  • Every circumstance is different depending on the race track and the kind of cars involved. So a procedure that would be employed for every situation is not necessarily the best solution.
     
  • FIA should institute proper - professional training for every marshal who volunteers or gets hired to work an event, no exceptions.
     
  • If a bad enough incident on track happens, we shouldn’t be so timid to red flag a race. It may be hell for the teams, but it adds to the "show" it creates excitement and uncertainty. Safety should be paramount. Race control has a personal obligation to ensure the safety of ALL TRACK WORKERS. No race is worth someone’s health.
     
  • Safety is paramount. If you can do VSC, why not have speed limiters that lock in the car's position and gap to the car in front. That would be the fairest move of all.
     
  • Trust the people on the turn. They know the car lines and sight lines and the extent of blockage and damage.
     
  • Safety should be the first consideration. Never compromise safety for the show! These are real lives that are affected. These mishaps, accidents will happen but the response should always be safety first.
     
  • If a race is near its end throw a Full-Course Caution and when the accident area is cleaned and the track is ready, extend the race by the number of laps run under that caution.
     
  • In Question Two: Throw a Full Course Caution but extend the race by the laps needed to clean up; giving the fans, drivers and teams safety while maintaining the ability for a good race. In DIRT Track racing in New England they have a bright light on each dashboard, which lights with a Caution. Use the same light whenever a Safety Truck/Car is on the track.
     
  • I suggest if a full course yellow is warranted in the final 5 laps, the race should be red flagged until the course has been cleared. Let them race to the finish not parade around under a yellow.
     
  • The problem is not the safety teams; it is dispatching safety teams without enough time and backup to ensure race traffic being under control. The Bianchi incident was tragic but the problem was driver control and not the under local yellow condition. Safety team dispatch should include yellow TWO stations previous.
     
  • My son races karts and we've had to hound our local track to put barriers around their utility vehicles that are stationed around the track during races. They have finally started doing it, but it just amazes me that it’s even something they have to think about. 
     
  • As frustrating as safety cars can be, race control's first priority needs to be to protect the fans and assist drivers who may need help, regardless of how that might effect the race outcome or the fan’s enjoyment.
     
  • Put detachable safe barrier onto the safety vehicle. A huge bumper for safer impact and to prevent race car from going underneath the safety vehicle. Great advertising space for a sponsor.
     
  • Biggest problem is to get ALL drivers to slow down.  I would use multiple pace cars (one per mile of track) stationed around track to quickly bring all cars down to slow speed. Once everyone is "behaving". Slowly join the groups behind one pace car before restart. If laps/time run out, too bad. We are supposed to be professional drivers and should manage our cars to stay on track and/or not run into to each other to cause the problem to start with.
     
  • For the safety of all, when a major incident occurs that requires safety vehicles/safety workers/corner marshals' to respond, the full field should be neutralized with a full course caution. The neutralized field would slow to a set speed limit for the entire course, NO PASSING, and the leader would be picked up by the safety, also the field would be frozen in order according to Timing and Scoring.  Drivers who fail to slow to set speed limit would be highly penalized. The speed limit could be a second pit stop like speed limiter. 
     
  • There is no good answer to questions 1 and 2. All safety car periods should be considered on a case-by-case basis. A stranded car that is clearly out of harms way is much different than one stranded on the racing line or in a run-off area. I think that sanctioning bodies need to do a better job of assessing situations and coming up with better procedures for shorter yellow periods (such as keeping pits closed and having single laps under yellow for simple debris pick-ups).
     
  • There is simply no excuse for a race car to hit a safety vehicle. As has been proven extensively in the last year, this will happen when safety vehicles are allowed onto hot tracks. The only way to prevent this, in my opinion, is to only allow safety workers and vehicles on the track in a full course yellow situation. As a fan I despise full course yellows, but not as much as I hate seeing preventable injuries or worse, deaths.
     
  • Red flags should be used so races can finish under green.
     
  • The VSC is a good idea as an instantaneous supplement to a real safety car to slow the drivers down. But to believe that driver’s distance times are going to remain constant during the VSC is incomprehensible, so a "very clear" solution should be arrived at that would penalize drivers who are too immature to control their emotions (Lewis Hamilton for example who at Monaco 2015 ran over his 3rd place sign almost knocking it into the official simply because he was upset, and whoever it was that drove backwards on the track blindly at a curve at the Canadian Grand Prix 2015 after getting spun out) and therefore, track speed during such a caution. It should be made safe but fair.
     
  • Regarding the use of the VSC, I am in favor of using it, if drivers respect that is has been deployed. If the VSC is used so a piece of debris on the track can quickly be removed without deploying a safety car, that's great. But if drivers don't heed the VSC and safety workers are put in danger, then I would rather it not be used.
     
  • As a driver and a current BMWCCA instructor, it's our job as drivers to make sure we all get to go home at the end of the day. All these crashes are because of drivers not respecting the rules. Under local yellow these guys should not be racing, but should be slowing down and giving safety crews room to work. You never know what's happening; its all 100% the drivers fault. Make stiffer penalties for drivers that don't slow down and don't give the safety crew room.
     
  • With all honesty, the issue lies with the drivers.  We constantly push the limits of the cars, and while we are aware of an accident, nobody wants to "give up time." But there is also the need for proper deployment of safety vehicles. What happened in Detroit was avoidable. You had drivers racing to a chequered flag for the end of the race. It is a race track with little to no run off. The safety truck could have waited an extra 30 seconds for all competitors to have taken the chequered flag. It is very sad to what happened to Jules.  My sister suffered a similar injury and died in a 35kph car accident. The brain is a fragile thing. However, marshals had double waived yellows and debris flags, and he didn't slow down. You cannot blame the officials or the safety crew workers for the drivers not responding to flags. I can tell you what I don't enjoy seeing: safety cars being deployed because someone spins on track, and the series is too stupid to install starter motors (IndyCar) or a beer car or small piece of debris.
     
  • A local virtual safety car should be implemented for localized temporary incidents. VSC should be able to implement an electronically monitored speed limit (similar to the pit lane speed limit) in the affected sector. This would leave the rest of the track open to racing and ensure competitive fairness through the sector under caution.
     
  • For question two it really depends on why the workers need to go out. If there is a piece of broken wing then I wouldn't want a safety car if someone could simply pick it up. However if it's pouring with rain and a car has spun then the situation is a lot more dangerous so I would want a full course safety car so no workers are injured. It's just a very open question, which depends on the situation and danger of it all.
     
  • Q2: No to safety vehicles during local cautions, especially during periods where driver visibility & traction is compromised! Locals should only be for safety crews to assist the driver of disabled cars to safety, if the disabled car is reasonably out of harm’s way. Similar to NASCAR's new (Kevin Ward) rules (may he rest in peace), if cockpit integrity & safety has not been compromised by an accidental impact, the driver should remain in the car & strapped in with all other safety gear in place until safety personnel arrive at the car & direct him to exit. If safety crews cannot reach a driver of a disabled car that is reasonably out of harm’s way in a reasonable time frame, or without crossing the track, it should necessitate a full course yellow. With disabled race cars in harm’s way (on the track or near the entrance, apex or exit of turns) that are not on fire, drivers should do the same (remain in the car with all safety devices in place until safety crews arrive door-side), but safety crews should remain in protected positions until the caution car has passed their position with the majority of the field behind it. Or until racing cars have reasonably slowed due to the implementation of VSC's. Also then & only then should removal or safety vehicles be deployed to accident sites. Q3: In the closing laps, where normally a full course caution would be used...IMO, red flags could/should be more frequently implemented. Also GWC's (green, white, checkered 2 lap race extensions to avoid yellow finishes) seem like another viable option that has worked very, very well for NASCAR. By all means yes to VSC, but as an addition, not an alternative. This in essence is like the flashing yellow lights we see at all NASCAR ovals & IMO, VSC in the form of several flashing dash lights (& perhaps an audio alert system) would be a great addition to all sports car & road racing series. These alert drivers immediately without them having to pass by a flagger. It also defeats inclement weather & other poor visibility scenarios. GPS chips (again, similar to NASCAR) could also be used to lock the field into their positions. But these new safety systems should not be in lieu of an actual safety car, but in conjunction with. Additionally, a growing trend that I would like to see ended is winning pit crew teams jumping off of the pit wall & celebrating in the pits while the majority of the field is still under green & have not taken the checkered flag yet. Again, as for NASCAR, they have strictly enforced rules about when, why & how many crewmembers can be in the pit box during the race pit stops. And have rules about how many crewmembers can assist with the car in the pits after the race. But there seems to be exploitation of a loophole while the checkered flag is in the air. This loophole should not exist anywhere, anytime. Thank you for your concern. :D
     
  • Today's emphasis on win at all costs is fueling these incidents - common sense says you do not put dangerous obstacles on the track until you have complete control. Use the red flag more and quit this lunacy. No one goes racing expecting to get seriously injured or killed - not the driver, worker or spectator.
     
  • The safety vehicles should only be deployed after the safety car has been released and the field is under control.
     
  • In good conditions it MAY be possible to do recovery under local yellow - but it also depends on the category. Competitors in some categories show more caution than others. A wet track or poor visibility is a different thing though. Deployment of SC is not without its own risks either...
     
  • Unless the VSC is electronically controlled in each car by Race Control, more accidents will happen. Test should figure how much notice should be given to a driver before his power is reduced.
     
  • I was at Detroit in turn one 50 feet from the incident. There was no reason to deploy the safety truck on a hot track. The 1st Porsche who was up against the barriers on the start of the last lap gave a thumbs up to the safety workers on the safe side of the debris fence. No reason to attend to the car until the track was safe. It then started to rain much harder. Everyone was on slicks. Last lap, people naturally pushing harder for position. This sets the scene. Unbelievably they put out the safety truck! On the prior lap with less rain they did not all get through the corner. Everyone in my section saw this coming and was talking about it. We knew Davidson was on it, making up ground on the GT leader. The rain was coming down steady at the checkered flag. This clearly called for a full course caution or at least no equipment deployed on the track. Never mind the exciting finish, anyone with experience saw it coming before it happened. The cars started sliding into the concrete barrier 100 yards up the track and funneled helpless into turn 1. All I can say is IMSA race control is not up to the task.  By contrast the IndyCar Holmatro crews and race control was more professional and in control of the whole safety aspect even if it did affect the pure racing product.
     
  • I witnessed, first hand, the accidents on Belle Isle May 30, 2015 as follows: I'm glad that the Safety Worker is recovering and wish him the best! I saw this happen right in front of my seating area on the first row of Grandstand 2. Not enough effort to warn the drivers of the wet conditions developing in Corner One and of the presence of Safety Vehicles on track. Instead, it seemed that the cars were encouraged to race to the line, though there was not enough time and space to slow the cars down in those conditions! As a result, car after car just kept sliding into one another, with course workers on the track and in harm's way! This chaos was totally misjudged and mishandled by IMSA Race Control and we're all lucky no one was killed! One more thing needs to be clarified. Contrary to what the announcer says in the video above, the Safety Worker didn't "pop out to have a look a bit to soon!" The firefighter who was injured was off the track and on the middle of the tire barriers, trying to spray his fire extinguisher at the second car that went into the barrier, which was on fire! When that Aston-Martin slid into the mess, the tires in the tire wall flexed sprung and bounced him up in the air, like those air-filled bouncy castles, flipping him up and back down, hard onto the top of the tires! That's how he was injured. It was not one bit of his fault. The cars should have been slowed down before the Start/Finish line, period! I've been involved in motorsport for much of my adult life. First as a spectator of Can-Am, Trans-Am & Formula 5000. Then as a Formula Ford driver at the Jim Russell School in England, also watching various races there including Formula 1, 2 & 3 etc. Then competing in Canada and USA in FF, also working as a mechanic and crewmember in FF & Formula Atlantic in Canada, USA and Venezuela.  I've also competed in sport scar rallies and auto-slaloms. Now spectating in a wheelchair. Therefore, I have a lot of experience in this sport, which I'm passionate about!
     
  • Regarding Question 5: depending on the severity of the accident, I feel that IndyCar's recent strategy of red-flagging the race to complete the track cleanup is the best solution; it allows the track sufficient time to be cleaned and also allows the fans to enjoy the last few laps under green conditions. IndyCar did this last year at Toronto and Indianapolis, and this year at Detroit; Formula One also did so at Monaco in 2011. All three decisions were in the best interests of both the track workers and the fans, I felt. Regarding Question 6: rather than a virtual safety car, I think something similar to the 'Code 60' system used at Le Mans--in which certain sectors of the track go double-yellow and impose a 60 km/h speed limit--would be preferable, because it doesn't force green areas of the track to be yellow but still forces drivers to slow substantially and refrain from overtaking in any sector containing track marshals on the racing surface. A safety car could still be deployed for larger incidents, and racing doesn't have to stop everywhere else in the event track marshals have to access the racing surface to tend to a 'moderate' problem (such as debris recovery) that could be covered with Code 60. Of course, the ideal solution would be to enforce severely harsh penalties for speeding under yellows, so that a driver's natural instinct is to respect the safety of track marshals and we don't have to deploy a safety car for even mild incidents... but drivers will be drivers.
     
  • I made a decision to leave a car in a bad location under local yellows as a full course yellow would not make him any safer for 2 laps. It all depends on how skilled the workers are, how many workers you can use for signaling, and MANY other factors. And the stewards need to listen to what the workers need, not just do something for the "show."
     
  • Severe penalties need to be given to drivers who overdrive yellow flags. Race cars have become so safe over time that drivers today do not worry about the consequences of an accident, but safety vehicles-ironically-are not as safe as race cars. SCCA used to be the best about this, but in the recent Trans-am race at Road Atlanta they left a car in the impact area at turn 10 for multiple laps under local yellow! Turn 10!
     
  • I think your biggest challenge will be getting drivers to follow the rules. Just look at Vettel passing under red flag conditions at Montreal. The driver's quest for track position overrides common sense and safety.
     
  • The VSC is a good idea- it preserves the leads that have been established, and lowers the speeds of cars on track to "behind the safety car" levels. As long as it's 100% enforceable and speed limit breaking is heavily punished, it could be very good. At grassroots levels, however, I'm not sure how it would be enforced. As to question number 3- I don't think anything, the show, the competition, or anything else, should come before safety- if a race needs to be ended under yellow, so be it. Any fans who are dissatisfied with a finish under yellow for safety are misguided.  Good survey!!!  I hope something comes of it.
     
  • Red flags should be deployed more often with late race cautions to prevent races from ending under yellow. Also, I really like that you ask for the fan's input in the matter!
     
  • Race Control and the Operating Steward need to be able to sleep well the nights after any major incident. God bless them all!!
     
  • If the VSC system was in use during the Zanardi or Hinchcliffe incidents then both of them likely would have "bled out" in the extra 5 lap delay. Enough said. BAD idea for IndyCar.
     
  • Use the new system from DTM.
     
  • Safety vehicles need to sit lower to the ground to prevent cars going under them. Cart had special rear bumpers installed after Mario Andretti rear-ended a truck on a street circuit.
     
  • Full course caution or racers will try to make up time on leaders, if a full course caution is required with 5 to go, drop the red, allow for a shootout, the fans in the stands deserve a green finish or at least one attempt at one.
     
  • Safety - especially of non-drivers (who assume the risk) should be priority.
     
  • VSC is the way to go.
     
  • I'm ok with local yellows but the drivers must slow down. I'm not in favor of the VSC. If you are going to use a VSC then you can have the safety car.
     
  • Waving Yellow at scene, standing yellow AND waving white 1 station prior. Race should continue.
     
  • Drivers see a yellow flag as a way to gain time on front car. Drivers need to be safer. Situation will vary and rules apply depending on what’s going on.
     
  • Question 2 does not give the best answer - full course yellow followed immediately by red and a restart. Fans want a green finish. Nothing worse than investing time in attending an event to have a deflated ending.  We also race karts and have been doing so for years so while we are fans we are also a bit knowledgeable about safety but not to this degree.
     
  • I feel the biggest issue with safety crews taking care of a problem is the race car’s inability to slow to an appropriate speed. Whether this is done through a virtual safety car in specific sections or a physical safety car I care not. As long as race vehicles are slowed adequately for workers to perform their job safely.
     
  • Safety vehicles responding under local yellows should be driven by experienced drivers with race vehicles. Safety vehicles while stationed close by should be protected by barriers with quick exit. Safety workers should be trained to do their jobs under race conditions using vehicles and workers as blockers and lookouts. There should be direct communication between marshals, safety workers on the ground and in their vehicles.
     
  • There should be more local yellows and fewer full course yellows.
     
  • Local yellows should be used only for stalls, spins or metal to metal race car incidents where the vehicles involved can proceed under power. White flags should be used to indicate that a slow vehicle (safety or race car) is ahead, on the track. And full course cautions should be used only when safety vehicles are needed and are stopped on or near the track. A red flag should be thrown to halt the race if the track is blocked and if an incident cleanup will cause the race to finish under caution.
     
  • VSC should only be used for "quick cleanups"... I still think the safety car is an important aspect and strategy used in racing... Get well Joel
     
  • Most race courses don't have displays like F1 courses. The drivers should pay more attention to what goes on off track, not just lights on steering wheel. Simplify the driver’s duties!! Drive the car and pay attention to flag stations! ! Too many bells and whistles controlled by the drivers.
     
  • No worker should be on the hot side of the safety fencing during anything but a full course caution. Drivers who come into contact with safety personal or equipment should face a minimum of a 4 race suspension. There is no excuse for that to happen ever. Races near the end should either be red flagged or go to a green white check and should never end the need caution. That is a relic of the past that should be done away with. Full course cautions are a part of racing.
     
  • It is my opinion that wet track conditions should always elevate the priority to call for a FCY if not just mandate it. Both for the safety of any workers and the drivers.
     
  • Consider red flagging races with less than 5 laps in order to finish under green.
     
  • In my opinion, recent incidents have been the result of poor judgment by race control/EMS personnel, usually combined with weather factors beyond their control (e.g. Davison at Detroit). I do not believe there is a systemic problem requiring sweeping policy changes. I think individual education of race support personnel and drivers as to the ability of the "other group" to react to their actions would go a long way towards improving the decisions made in difficult circumstances.
     
  • I think that if the operating stewards and flaggers believe it will be safe, local yellows should be able to cover a situation. If not, there should be full course yellow, even if it means a race finishes under yellow. That is the breaks in racing. Safety should be most important. I also believe drivers should be displaying better decision making when a yellow is displayed. Possibly, the rules could be changed to require a slow down of a certain amount for the different yellow (standing vs. waving). At least in SCCA, currently, there is not real rule that you must slow down, only that you can't pass.
     
  • You should also consider the safety of the crew of the race cars. I've been a crew member since 1974 in SCCA, TransAM, IndyCar and Vintage.
     
  • In a local yellow situation, the yellow should be displayed in an additional marshal's section BEFORE the incident, allowing drivers additional time and distance to slow down. A maximum speed should be enforced based on conditions (ie: rain = 25 MPH, dry = 40 MPH) and strictly enforced.
     
  • Talk to NASCAR they do it where everybody remains safe and the racing is still the highlight of the event.
     
  • I am a former course marshal, and these sorts of incidents are not new. The Virtual Safety Car idea is ridiculous, but it relies on the drivers to "self-police" themselves. And the problem in these situations is the drivers. They are programmed to eke out every last bit of speed, regardless of the conditions. Add that to the fact that a typical race day schedule has little "slush" or extra time in it, and you're going to have safety equipment and workers on track at the same time as cars, even on cool-down laps. Drivers have a long standing habit of blowing off local yellows and being too focused on making up time to properly pay attention to yellows, local or otherwise. You're always going to have the odd incident; that's just the nature of racing. But perhaps it's time the governing bodies start laying down *major* penalties for safety infractions--not just fines, but points and even competition bans for repeat offenders. Unless you change the way drivers regard any yellow-flag condition, local or full course, incidents will continue to happen.
     
  • I think this is great but there is a larger picture that is not being focused on. All of the attention goes to pro races because the mistakes get caught on TV. There is a larger amount of amateur and Club racing events out there in multiple numbers on every weekend that will not have resources tot his technology for a virtual safety car. The problem of hot pulls under local yellow is great at the club racing level and unfortunately that data is not logged, shared or reported. At VIR we have adopted the Code 60 and made into a Code 35 for our purposes and have had success with it. The greatest push back we get is how to enforce the 35mph speed limit with limited resources and technology. Also every club has their own set of procedures, rules and flags that can make things very confusing. It is time for people to look at standardizing safety procedures and protocols. Thanks for all you guys do to bring these issues to the forefront.
     
  • While the incidents are few and far between, the results are often very serious in magnitude. I am willing to forgo "the show" and track time to ensure safety for competitors, fans, and workers (especially the volunteers).
     
  • It is my opinion that the two American based incidents are the responsibility of the race director and the decisions taken from that position. A safety team would have made zero difference.
     
  • White flags should also be deployed whenever a safety vehicle is out.
     
  • The only trouble with some of these local yellows is if other drivers haven’t seen the incident they still do not know where on the track it is in that section and don’t always expect to come around a corner and see a truck on track. In Australia we would go double yellow at least in that section if hot recovery was being made.
     
  • Some of the questions require "black" or "white" answers, but in reality, the level of incident response depends upon the circumstances.  Referring to the Bianchi incident, it is clear that marshals are in severe danger if competitors do not obey the flag signals on approach to an incident. A waved yellow flag means, "slow down considerably and be prepared to stop." Whilst no one wants to see drivers badly injured, Bianchi failed to obey the flag signals and could easily have killed a marshal.
     
  • When safety officials are on track, local yellow is okay. However I believe they should enforce a temporary speed limit for the zone the accident is in to mitigate risk.
     
  • Motorsports has invested tremendous amounts of talent, effort and money to improve circuit safety.  However when "safety" vehicles are dispatched without pace cars or red flags, circuit safety is put in jeopardy.
     
  • There should be a distinction between Safety Car (Pace Car) and Safety Car (track recovery/emergency vehicle). The deployment of any track recovery/rescue vehicle should only happen once the field is neutralized by full-course yellow or indication of a Safety Car (Pace Car) deployment. The moment the field is informed of a Safety Car neutralization, which can be done in seconds, other vehicles can be deployed. The competitors know that the race is now under a controlled pace and therefore can adjust their own pace knowing that the whole field is running to the same conditions. It does not matter if it takes a lap to then deploy the Safety Car (Pace) as the field is effectively controlled. This also makes it easier for the Race Director to thread the Safety Car out in front of the leaders. Once the Safety Car has the field, it remains at the front until the incident is cleared at which point the process to end the Safety Car period can commence. Safety Car pits and the race is once again green. I don't feel VSC has a place in professional motorsport. The moment the SC flags/boards are displayed you effectively have a VSC situation. It is important the field knows it will always consistently result in a pace car controlling the pack for the following reasons; 1, if the field thinks there is not going to be a pace car they will continue at racing speed until they reach the incident and 2, you need the process to have a definitive end to restart the race. My observations are as a former race car driver and now Safety Car Driver. A key element for the successful use of a Safety Car as a pace car is consistency within the series - regular permanent Race Director, regular permanent Safety Car Driver and consistent application of the process. This way the competing field will soon have respect for the process and adhere to the rules and the spirit. 
     
  • Code 60 would be nice to adopt. It would be good for the fans, workers, and leaders. It is what they use everywhere else.
     
  • Safety Car Driver is the most overlooked skill in racing.
     
  • I replied 'No' to the VSC, as at the amateur level, it is too expensive. For Pros, I think there is great value in such a system. I also work as Clerk of the Course, and I would look to using VSC when available.
     
  • Local yellows rarely work unless all drivers have already been through the zone and discovered the track itself is partially blocked or in a state they perceive as dangerous to themselves. Full course yellows, even with the safety car already leading some of the field around safely, are frequently inadequate when pit stops are allowed during the yellow and cars permitted to return to the track without going a lap down, i.e. before the safety "procession" has passed the pit exit. This is especially the case on longer circuits and those with natural vegetation and elevation changing terrain, such as Mt Panorama (Bathurst) in Australia, where the procession itself creates a hazard when drivers rejoining at speed suddenly arrive with nowhere to go. It is not sufficient to rely on teams' own comms to monitor and police this. Circuits such as this should strive to have electronic marshal panels with the local hazards monitored locally and locally controlled, because the report to race control - decision-making - communication process chain will in many scenarios take too long. I have introduced issues other than the survey topic, but each circuit has its own hazards that will affect the local use of safety vehicles. Final Race regulations, especially with regard to safety, need to be tailored to individual circuits and event types. To cope with changes such as rain, especially if a VSC system is in place, reduced speed needs to be enforced as locally and quickly as possible with significant penalties imposed. Injury is not a spectacle.
     
  • A red flag should be displayed when there is a high impact incident. The safety crew should go out first, then wrecker or cleanup vehicles after all drivers have stopped or only under pace car control.  Hard hits may need immediate medical attention and should be attended to quickly.
     
  • I also hold an FIA Clerk of Course license. I would never, ever allow any type of course vehicle near the track without a Safety Car intervention.
     
  • Local yellow + slow vehicle flags should be shown together. The workers are our eyes to things we cannot see.
     
  • For the sake of the show? NO. For the sake of the race? Yes.
     
  • Thank you for giving fans an opportunity to voice their opinion on this.
     
  • The safety of the fans, the drivers, the crews, and all the course workers should be the number one priority at all times. Race safe. Save a life!
     
  • While your questions on this subject are limited, the safety of the mostly volunteers on the track staff needs to be revisited. The drivers need to show better judgment when the checker is waived, caution speeds need to be observed, and even more in wet conditions, common sense must prevail.
     
  • Currently involved in the design of a new track and facility in Australia. Keen to integrate any lessons learned.
     
  • There should never be caution laps under the safety car. When there is a need for safety workers on track the entire field should immediately report to the pits under red flag conditions where the crews may perform stationary pit stops at their leisure and racing may resume without loss of laps as soon as ALL safety workers have completed their task and are back at their stations. No yellow flag laps. Green first time by. This doesn't eliminate the fans need for pit "Action" because there would still be high speed pit stops under green conditions as needed but it WOULD eliminate yellow flag pit stops in a crowded pit lane thus dramatically reducing injuries to pit crews and pit road safety people/inspectors.
     
  • Biggest concern is deploying whilst the "train" is still forming and the back markers still travelling at competition speeds.
     
  • Local weather conditions and/or severity of the accident should play a roll in the decision for FCY or not.
     
  • Stronger penalties, particularly at the pro level, will deter violations at all levels.
     
  • In reference to question number 3. I think racing should only continue if vehicles involved are out of the way. If not, move them and do a green white checkered. Nothing is more disappointing than watching a race for hours and have it finish under yellow.
     
  • See too many times cars go too fast under caution, trying to catch up. They don’t watch the flags. We are taught to wave if an accident is at our turn, when there are many blind spots, and they might see our flag before the turn or accident. Flags change in different series. Should all be the same. Also turns should put out green that it’s past accident when drivers might see before actually passing accident. Should look at more what-ifs then. We want to give them that extra 1 min or two of racing. 
     
  • Another option could be to issue an electronic command to the computer in all cars that automatically limits their speed in a local yellow area. However in hazardous driving conditions, i.e. very wet, maybe an all stop should be called.
     
  • Part of the problem is drivers ignoring yellow flags. They should be made aware that they need to slow down for them. A fellow marshal told me of a time when a driver asked him "How many tenths do we have to slow down by under yellows" and I think this perfectly highlights the issue.
     
  • Safety must always be first and foremost in mind.
     
  • All incidents are different and depend on conditions and location of the incident.  At the very end of a race generally it is better to hold safety until after the checker and flag local conditions, if you cannot help but send safety then end under double yellow. The big thing is get the flags up and the call made.
     
  • This questionnaire does not really reflect UK practice, so my answers would, in practice, require very different consideration. FCY seems of little point where cars don't have speed limiters.
     
  • Sanctioning bodies need to be more aggressive enforcing yellow flag rule. They also need rule to be able to go green quicker after full course yellow to keep the spectators engaged.
     
  • A very important issue, that should be obvious, but too many people are missing, is the bumper design on safety vehicles. They're often using trucks that sit too high even for street traffic, let alone race cars. It's especially a concerning with open cockpit cars. Any vehicle that goes on track should have some type of low-riding energy absorbing bumpers, to prevent cars from submarining under the safety vehicles.
     
  • Sanctioning bodies need to be more aggressive in enforcement of yellow flag rules. Also when having a full course a procedure needs to be used to get green quicker.
     
  • These surveys are a great way to gain information and continue the safety dialogue, keep up the good work.
     
  • Wet conditions should change the response level. Full course caution if a safety vehicle is needed.
     
  • I am also a HUGE fan and have worked Safety and F&C. A large part of the problem that is being ignored is the concept of "catching the field" and "wave-arounds," which are fairly new to Road Racing. This means there are often cars EVEN UNDER YELLOW CONDITIONS driving at 10/10ths. Not really safe for anyone.
     
  • In question 3, 'best for the show' would be to red flag the race, clear the incident and then resume the race.
     
  • All teams should monitor race control, and slow down when told to do so. If drivers ignore those orders then the drivers should be penalized heavy until they learn. This is what we do in Trans-Am racing.
     
  • Safety car to be dispatched at the discretion of race control & the post chief (marshal) of that sector.
     
  • I am a driver and motorsport industry consultant and former Race Director for NASA and the issue comes back to driver training and how our officials have blundered various track conditions over time to the point that as a driver I don't know if I can or should trust the flag the corner workers are showing me. The rule of thumb HAS to be: Standing Yellow, car off course, no safety personnel on the ground, car is not in a dangerous position (i.e. impact area). Waving Yellow: Car on course, car in target area, safety personnel on the ground. Those two simple "rules" solve most of our problems. Right now Race Control (stewards/race directors, etc.) and drivers are not on the same page. Fix that and 99% of our problems go away.
     
  • Read "Witnessing Death on Pikes Peak." My son and I were the two this writer came up on. I've been involved with racing for 40 years and a family of three generations of racing. The safety aspect has to be stepped up to reach all levels of racing.
     
  • Maybe having more specific speed rules in yellow zones and extending the yellow zone by an initial corner to give cars an opportunity to slow down. 
     
  • I think the virtual safety car is the best idea I've heard. It's the perfect middle ground between a local yellow and a full course caution but it generally prevents drivers from losing/gaining all the ground they would on a full course.
     
  • I think more research needs to be done on the virtual safety car idea. There's more to it than just a yes/no question.
     
  • I was watching this video of the PWC race in St Petersburg from 2014 before doing this survey and on the back straight towards the end of the race at approximately 13:45 there is a car parked on the side of the course somewhat in the racing line with a local course yellow. You can tell neither of these leaders slow at all and begin to run closer and closer to the stranded car. https://youtu.be/r4JoY-mFju8
     
  • Drivers exiting a pit stop, during a FCY, drive at high rates of speed to catch up to the rest of the pack. This, too, is dangerous!
     
  • I believe that in all three accidents it was more the fault of the drivers not slowing down when the yellow was waved. There needs to be clear rules around the yellow flag as to speed etc. Seems that drivers don't obey as they used to. Stiffer fines need to be put into place, not monetary but driver/team penalties.
     
  • Even when there is a Safety Car on track, drivers coming out of the pits are still going at high rates of speed to catch up to the ret of the pack. This is dangerous!
     
  • The local yellow at the DGP would have been okay if the rain hadn't created RED flag conditions. Completely preposterous that the race was green in those conditions with a local yellow at the accident scene in turn 1. 
     
  • Flag Marshals should be allowed to do what they are trained to do. Perhaps, more cars would slow down in such conditions. We are made to stand down, helpless, when we could be instrumental and effective in preventing the accidents.
     
  • In regards to question number 3 on whether or not to end under a caution or keep a local yellow for the sake of the show, I believe that in the car got it right with race 2 in Detroit. Sometimes it may be necessary to deploy a red flag in order to finish under green, I would much rather see that then finishing under yellow, but would also rather everyone be safe than anything else. I believe that a red flag situation should be taken into consideration. I also believe that whoever dispatched that safety truck onto a wet track like that made a poor judgment call. If I were that safety worker, I would have never pulled onto a wet track in the middle of a corner. I think you guys are doing a great job so far, now if we could only talk about not going to a spec p2 car as it will ruin the series for sure.
     
  • Question 6. VSC. In SCCA the leader is supposed to do this under FCY without the dispatch of a SC. Another light/flag I think would be too much.
     
  • If we are to take the safety of drivers, officials and spectators seriously, then only the most stringent safety measures should apply. There are enough examples over the years where the use of yellow flags proved inadequate. If a circumstance dictates it, the race should be red flagged. And what about the safety of crews working in the pit lane?
     
  • I think this is certainly a case by case topic. I do think that the FCY is too popular here in the States - it utterly ruins races by creating artificial level ground for cars that were struggling. It also produces a need for urgency per the old adage "cautions breed cautions." Yes, I think a safety vehicle should be able to go on track, but that's only if the local yellow procedure is robust enough. I've talked to a number of track/flag marshals that will, over and over again, cite the fact that drivers don't respect the flags - PWC at CTMP being the prime example. But who would blame O'Connell for not slowing down into the yellow? If he did, he certainly, without doubt, would have lost the lead. And what would race control have done? Waited until after the race to assess a 20 driver point deduction and a $5000 fine? Problem is, racing series have not done their share of penalizing drivers in meaningful ways. (Beretta still hasn't cleaned up his racing craft in PWC.) As for late race yellows, nothing should change. Half the issues stem from the fact that no one seems to have a standard yellow procedure; it always depends on where the race is. I think a sanctioning body should have a robust set of yellow flag procedures that are standard. It helps everyone involved. I don't mind the fact that IndyCar is not afraid to use the red flag for the sake of ending a race under green. That makes sense and has helped ensure exciting finishes for the series. Good on them! Lastly, the VSC is a no brainer. We have telemetry data from all cars these days. Why can't you issue a track-wide slightly-higher-than-pit lane-speed-limit?! The issue here would be that they would have to be very stringent with penalties. I can imagine a world where the VSC is called and the cars don't slow down enough and the series doesn't do anything until after the race. It must be done in race! We also need to mention Johnny O’Connell’s ATS-V burning down at Barber Motorsports Park. I wasn’t able to see the incident in person, but listening to the track radio at that time was heartbreaking. O’Connell was able to get out of the car, go back in the car to release the fire suppressant, and run to the safety truck and back as the safety team was getting there. This is all of course without mentioning the fact that any time you have a racing series with doors - multiple types and styles of doors. It is imperative to have a safety team that is practiced and familiar with all the different door mechanisms. I think ALMS might have had it right with this one with their traveling safety team.
     
  • Safety has to be the paramount concern of sanctioning bodies right behind actually putting on the race. While no one at the front of the race group likes yellow flags, full course yellows are much preferable to injured or dead course workers, marshals, or drivers. It is obvious that local yellows work in some situations, but in the instances mentioned in the beginning of this survey and in many others they are simply not enough to control the field and maintain a safe racing atmosphere on the track.  
     
  • Question 5:  red flag, clean up, end show under green is another option.
     
  • Safety cars are an outdated mode of putting a race under caution. Have a look at the WEC 'full course yellow'/slow zone regulations, at Creventic Racing Code 60 and at the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
     
  • Drivers should be banned for a few races when NOT heeding flags. It is always the same culprits. If flags cannot be 'seen' by all, then it has to be addressed and the Flagpoint(s) moved.
     
  • The biggest issue I have seen is that when trying to clear things up under local yellows is that the drivers WILL slow down - by about 5 - 10 mph. There should be more driver education carried out, along with proper penalties that will affect them in such a way that they listen and learn. The current situation of fines for them and points on their license is not good enough. Actions that are dangerous to personnel be it paid, paying, or voluntary workers due to a lack of respect and discipline by drivers to those who are not inside a steel or carbon fibre safety cage should be dealt with to stop it from happening, not the safety workers being given more restrictions making it harder to deal with incidents in a manner that can get the racing going in a timely manner.
     
  • I think the FCY procedure introduced in WEC last season is a great idea. It neutralizes the race faster than a safety car deployment, and disrupts the race less.
     
  • Personally, I think Code 60/VSC for most heavy cleanup, a real safety car where you explicitly want to bunch up the field, HARSH driver punishment for breaking speed limits through local yellows / endangering corner workers (like, DQ for 2 races). Safety first, then go racing.
     
  • As a fan, it is hard to want anything less than the spectators received in the 70's when death was an acceptable consequence for a mistake in motorsports; however, I do believe, for the most part, we are past that, and now we must do everything in our power to limit disaster on a systematic level.
     
  • I work for a major engine manufacturer. Safety needs to prevail over the "show". Throwing red flags to create a last dash to the finish is turning racing into pro wrestling. If there needs to be a yellow for a crash or other safety reason near the end of a race that makes the race finish under a yellow flag, so be it. That is just how some races end and is the natural way the laps fall. How many laps are left in the race should not change the way safety crews handle situations.
     
  • The safety of the track workers should be the priority.
     
  • Better to be safe than sorry.
     
  • There is no 1 right answer for any of these situations. Here is one thing that a lot of these have in common though, poor surface conditions on the track. 2 out of the 3 major instances were a result of the drivers outdriving the conditions. There should be much more caution taken under poor track surface conditions. We do plenty of hot extractions every week in club racing with just local yellows. The big thing is we take more caution if the track surface is in bad shape. (Oil, water, etc.) The final thing is more standardized training for safety workers. I work all of the pro series that come to Texas each year including NASCAR and F1. The quality of training provided rages from significant for NASCAR to almost non existent for some of the FIA events. Even with the SCCA, most of the training is tribal knowledge and not a structured program with fire and extraction training. So what happens is you get a high degree of difference in skill levels. Finally, its tough to get consistent talent because at many events there is no pay for the corner workers at all of the pro events at least in Texas, the flag marshals and some of the fire and rescue are strictly volunteer. Almost all of the club and SCCA events at least give you some money to cover your expenses.
     
  • If drivers respected yellows we would all be safer.
     
  • I am a PR rep for a TUSC team, I think it would be fair to point out that the additional two get cars that pulled up in the turn 1 accident had continued to race for a full lap after the checkered flag prior to plowing into the already bad accident.
     
  • I believe the way the WEC uses the VSC system is very effective and allows safety workers to get to an accident scene even safer and faster than a true safety car.  I think if sanctioning bodies will adopt a system where the pits are closed to all competitors during a VSC making this practice fair to all vehicles.  As a race fan, there are few moments of a race more exciting than a traditional restart, but there is nothing more annoying than the 20-30 minute caution periods like we have seen in IMSA. Fast EMT response is paramount in an emergency situation like an accident. That's why I believe a full track VSC can not only help the safety crew respond quickly and safer but if done correctly, could actually lead to a lot more green flag racing. The VSC speed could be the same as the pit road speed so the same limiter could be used. Drivers could be given a 5-10 second window to comply to the VSC speed once the order is displayed. With technology being so advanced, the sanctioning body can place a yellow "VSC" light on the dash and then the on board computer can relay to race control how long after the light comes on that the driver presses and holds the VSC speed limiter. I do not believe that a local VSC like they tried to do in Monaco will be safe or functional. Yes, a true VSC will eliminate things like waive arounds, lucky dogs, etc. but these things are only gimmicks to try to keep as many cars on the lead lap as possible. A debris caution should not take 15 minutes to pick up a piece of body work because it takes one lap to pick up the debris and five laps to get everyone waived around and pitted.
     
  • Remember that during pro races, F&C workers are not permitted on track without explicit permission from race control.
     
  • I am both a safety worker and a driver. Most times unless there is a full course caution, drivers ignore a local yellow. In the last 5 laps if there is an accident and the driver is ok then don't throw a full course caution. I guess if there is debris all over the track then you have no choice.
     
  • Safety is and must be paramount!
     
  • Please no more races in street circuits!
     
  • My only comment here is that as a Safety Car Driver, my job is to get the field under control before any Truck or haulage vehicle is sent out. The Doctor's Car gets to go out on track as deemed necessary at the time. I don't like the Virtual SC mainly because I think it’s necessary to have human intervention. Although I don't stop the Safety Car unless the race has been red flagged. Then we bring the field up to the start line in readiness for Safety Car restart. Also here in New Zealand if the race has 75% run we call for the Chequered Flag and the Safety Car takes the Chequered Flag and whoever is first car behind it is deemed the winner provided we take the "Last Lap" board. In other words whoever was leading one full lap before the Incident.
     
  • I truly don't give a damn about the RACE. I care about, first MY safety and second the driver’s! Otherwise why are we there?
     
  • They need to go back to the single standing yellow one station before the waving yellow. Plus there should be penalties to drivers for disregarding the flags.
     
  • It really depends on the track, weather conditions, position and location of the car on track, etc. Some incidents can easily be done under local yellow but as you increase the risks, like with the Bianchi crash, a safety car, and sometimes a red flag, is necessary. I like the green, white, checker that NASCAR uses. Never ever should extra risk be taken for the sake of the show.
     
  • I think it should be mandatory for all pro racing series to have their own dedicated Safety Team, similar to the Holmatro Safety Crew currently in IndyCar.
     
  • For VSC to be effective, you have to train drivers to think and follow the rules. A lot of driver IQs drop as soon as they put on a helmet, and the adrenalin of being on track can create a fog, as well. Last, but not least, your stewards and/or race control have got to ask for, and listen to, track conditions from flaggers. And here's one last thought, make EVERYBODY do a school and get a license and keep a log book, worker, driver, crew -- for safety's sake.
     
  • Here's a solution is to employ sections (called sectors - term used for timing gates for Formula 1 or whatever) of the track (divide the track into sectors 3 or 4 will do it for racetracks not bigger than 2 miles but not smaller than a mile. Excluding Oval racing of course). No passing or just slow down in that Zone currently under the local yellow until the situation is resolved. When you're out of the sector where the local yellow occurred, continue racing in the unaffected sector. This will give drivers advanced warning when arriving or just in that section to hold your position and be alert. The only downside is any racers (call them A) battling for position who are ahead of the accident scene but in the same sectors but the accident happened behind them, they can continue as normal but not for the racers (call them B) behind who are approaching the accident scene may have to give way to yellow flags.
     
  • I think the tracks should be split into more sectors with a minimum time for when a local caution is thrown. If a driver goes through the sector too quick, they get a black flag, given a full lap penalty and put on probation. 2nd offence, disqualified from the race and one race suspension. Harsh penalties should be used as this is the safety of unprotected men and women that are on the line.
     
  • I have been an SCCA, Cal Club flagger since 1976. Race control is to do just that, control the race. Racing, by definition, is dangerous. That is why there are course workers to respond immediately. Still, errors are made, and they should be reviewed. BUT it is racing. That is the primary reason I go to the track. Yes, my primary concern is safety. First mine, then the driver’s, and then their car. I would like to see the log for the incident.
     
  • All major racing series should have a dedicated safety team such as Holmatro in IndyCar or the Safety Safari in the NHRA.
     
  • I think that the local yellow shall be used only for cars that can return to the track immediately.
     
  • Is it possible for the sanctioning body to electronically limit speeds of the cars in a local area such as in the vicinity of safety workers?
     
  • An accident where a driver may be injured requires an immediate full course yellow and safety car to facilitate safety workers getting to the drivers aid ASAP.
     
  • Drivers MUST OBEY the VSC or local yellow under penalty of immediate disqualification and probation for the next 3 races. Question 3: Safety first. Red flag and restart after the danger is removed.
     
  • Stronger sanctions should be applied to drivers disregarding flag conditions, yellow, black and red. A yellow flag is not an invitation to backmarker to catch up with the field. Restarts after full course yellows are dangerous (see NASCAR). Full course yellow is used way to often. Drivers have a responsibility to heed flags or lights on the track. Passing under yellow is rampant. Restarts are dangerous and now are made more so by trying to group classes, the slow cars are back there for a reason, they should be left there.
     
  • Drivers MUST learn to SLOW DOWN when a yellow, local or full course, is displayed. The incidents shown at the start of this survey would ALL have been avoided if drivers had slowed appropriately.
     
  • I think it is a mistake to tie the hands of race control by having a strict policy of when and how a safety car is deployed.
     
  • Stronger sanctions must be applied to drivers disregarding flags. This is a situation that has increased exponentially in recent years. Yellow means racing is over at the point of display. It is not an excuse for back markers to catch up with the field; they are back there for a reason. The last car in GT1 should not be put ahead of all the GT2 that have passed him for example. Drivers should not be going at race speeds thru yellow zones. A little common sense goes a long way.
     
  • I like the WEC system most where all cars slow down. Gets back to racing quicker and preserves gaps between cars.
     
  • Local yellow should be displayed at least one station upstream from the incident. Drivers should be penalized DURING the race for ignoring the local yellows by an extended stop and go. Marshals need better guidelines from the sanctioning bodies. Please -- a universal set of guidelines between race series.
     
  • I think that there should be some discretion exercised, especially as regards question 3. For instance, if a car could be left where it is for the last few laps, where normally it would be retrieved under a safety car, then perhaps leave it for those few laps.
     
  • #3. Red flag the event, clean it up, and then continue on.
     
  • I have tried to answer thee questions as both a driver and a Operating Steward in Race Control. There is no "One size fits all" answer as how to deal with on track incidents. Race Control relies on accurate reports from the turn marshals who should try and paint a picture of the situation. Sometimes a simple cleanup turns into one that is more involved and time consuming. 
     
  • Every situation is different and may require similar response. So many people assume without facts. I've officiated and spectated events and they have different views. I've worked races where people tried to respond before I felt it was safe. Other times the yellow went much longer than cleanup required in our eyes. Do what is safe for the drivers and workers. As fans we don't have the details to make that determination.
     
  • 1) The safety crew/team/personnel should NEVER be called "workers". Most of them volunteered for this job, so they become nothing for their efforts, therefore it's rather a hobby for them. And not to forget, the term "worker" primarily refers to a simple, physical job, without the need of actual mental activity. Most of them are (highly) trained and skilled people, specialized for their role, which is very complex in it's every aspect. 2) The 9th question is very troubling, since the experience of a fan should not be considered "professional", since they mostly don't even know the regulations. I have 4 years of active DAILY experience and routine in marshaling and extrication, which I think is far more professional and worthy, than a fan's "outsider" opinion. 3) As I mentioned before, I have my experience in motorsport safety, and my opinion is not listed above. The FIA Sporting Regulations' Appendix "H" describes the definition of waved double yellow flags', "Danger ahead, reduce your speed and >>BE PREPARED TO STOP<< if necessary. And this is the most important part, since in a fast corner, on totally wet track, and "reduced visibility," as stated after the accident, the speed of 213kmph is FAR MORE than safely, and could not even stop from this speed in dry conditions, so the accident should be clearly considered as driver's fault, since he broke the regulations. Everything there was done as written in the codex. And this irresponsible behavior of the drivers - ignoring the yellow flags. I have to say, that Jules' accident was lucky, because none of the extrication crew was injured, because of the driver's bad behavior. But in most cases, the rescue teams are mostly endangered by these guys' irresponsibility, since we are not protected with a chassis, roll cage, we could even die out there, when doing or job and voluntarily helping the drivers. After these incidents no further actions or regulation modifications are necessary, just to make sure drivers apply the regulations. (This applies to the situations #1 & #3, #2 was clearly a Race Control or rescue fault; the intervention vehicle's behavior was dangerous.)
     
  • SEE CODE 60 FIA WEC.
     
  • I feel safety needs to be dispatched as soon as possible. One incident that comes to mind was at the Glen a couple of years ago where a driver hit the wall and safety wasn't dispatched until the field was under full control of the pace car. Fortunately, the driver was able to get out of the burning car under his own power since the workers within 100 feet of him did nothing, or weren't allowed to respond to the incident. Thus the reason I never raced or worked there. Plus I feel that question above about going green to the end of the race "for the sake of the show" is badly worded. I feel that if a car goes off track, the driver exits and is in a safe place, the corner station is yellow for a lap and the car becomes "part of the track." Pace cars are sent out and safety dispatched far too many times for cars that can be left in place or quickly moved to safe locations.
     
  • A lot of this is relative to the situation at hand. If there's a car in a very bad spot and there's 5 laps left, then it should probably be moved for the safety of everyone. If it's in a fairly safe location then leave it. The workers can usually provide valuable feedback to race control on if the car is in a safe spot or not. Same goes for sending any emergency vehicle on track. It depends on the location and conditions.
     
  • I am a crew member for a Tudor series team. I witnessed the Detroit incident from our pit box.
     
  • Drivers should be held more accountable for slowing down under local yellow conditions.  Also, the amount of race left should have no bearing on local or full course yellow conditions. If the situation warrants a full course yellow, it should be a full course yellow regardless of how many laps are left.
     
  • Thank you for the efforts to improve safety.
     
  • The virtual safety car system has worked really well in sports cars, it neutralises the race faster than a safety car, makes the track safer for marshals as cars slow down straight away, and then the race starts up again much faster. It seems a very sensible way forward and should be adopted in all top levels of Motorsport.
     
  • #5: You could use a local yellow and cover 1 or 2 stations before with standing yellow then waving at that station PLUS increase driver penalties for disregarding the flags.
     
  • I was a Safety Worker for 9 years and racer for 11 and fan for 40 plus years. Local yellow recovery can be done safely as long as Race Control is in charge of the track and safety vehicles. People assuming they can enter the track cannot do it without race control permission or events like Detroit and CTMP happen. Bianchi's accident was a totally different circumstance.
     
  • Use red flags so all races can finish under green flag conditions.
     
  • Deployment of a safety car is a complicated decision and many factors are involved. Visibility, track conditions, seriousness of an incident, potential impact zone, and many more. The judgment of those in race control is dependent on available information and they should err on the side of caution when it comes to safety workers who are on track. Teams need to communicate to drivers where and when safety workers are on track. Drivers involved in and incident after safety workers are deployed should be required to work on track for a period of time to gain perspective on the risks involved with the job.
     
  • I blame drivers of this sport for the lack of attention to corner flags! If they don’t start watching us we will stop coming to the track to allow them to run their races!!! If we aren’t there, they aren’t there!!!
     
  • I am a former ALMS/IMSA crew member since the World Sportscar days until the 50th running of the Rolex24 at Daytona, and I will say that Race Control without fail made intelligent calls concerning safety of their crews and the drivers involved in incidents. I will also say that crews in harm's way need to be protected 1st and foremost.
     
  • The biggest risk to everyone on track at the moment is cars not slowing for waved yellows. A simple worldwide system from F1 to club racing needs to be implemented to make sure that cars slow for waved yellows and can be monitored from race control live during a race. The rules clearly state drivers should slow and prepare to stop for waved yellows, yet none slow at all. A simple GPS / GSM (cell phone) type system should be developed for all series to use.
     
  • In Q5, it should proceed under local yellows, provided the drivers are obeying the caution and cease racing in the yellow flag zone.
     
  • Can't trust race control to protect us while on a hot track or make good decisions. Should be full course yellow, every time. No waiting in consideration of "the show".
     
  • Safety is paramount. Entertainment of the racing should always come a distant second when lives are at stake.
     
  • I don't think any vehicles should be allowed on the track (other than the race cars) unless there is a full course caution and the chief knows the cars have slowed down. That includes pace cars.
     
  • It really comes down to how bad the crash is and if there is damage to the tire wall or barriers. Otherwise local yellow with only a few laps would work well to keep the fans happy.
     
  • Q3 - need full course yellow but no need for race to end under it - quicker cleanup / move to position of safety + local double yellows can work too. Q4 - look at European 'Code 60' process, widely used at many levels but Bernie likes to be different. Code 60 works very well indeed.
     
  • It's a matter of common sense. Safety vehicles should be deployed, just not at stupid times or under the wrong circumstances, i.e. the Detroit Tudor race.
     
  • If drivers respected the yellows more, then probably you could do more with local yellows.
     
  • Local yellows work, but drivers need to slow down! I've seen instances and been involved where there are safety vehicles and workers on the track and the cars are not slowing, or barely slow. I've even been around drivers after a race where they say things like "When that yellow came out, I put my hand in the air (to indicate slowing to the car behind) and buried my right foot." Obviously meaning they didn't slow. Having been in the situation where I was outside my car with the corner workers hooking it up and cars coming by at speed, I can say it's a bit unnerving!! As drivers, we all like to think we are in control, but stuff happens and if the car is on the edge near an incident BAD stuff can happen!
     
  • All cars should have a restrictor fitted (like pit lane limiter) so if there’s an accident, race control can use the limited car’s speed. This would take the driver / team speed control away until the danger has been cleared.
     
  • The rise of NASCAR and their buyouts of race series that runs on road courses has had a negative impact on NA racing as far as this 27 year corner worker is concerned. They seem to have a fetish of getting involved in the action by driving 5000lb + vehicles out onto race courses and inserting themselves into the races despite the risks that this involves to their workers or the racers. Having been a worker at Vancouver and Toronto IndyCar races back in the 90's where workers were killed, I'm seeing history beginning to be repeated whereby we have people who have a 'hero' complex who have far less trackside experience than some of my peers jumping out of trucks and placing themselves in dangerous situations. Detroit was a perfect example of a firefighter and their (no fear attitude) placing themselves between race vehicles and a wall on a wet track under race conditions. A long time marshal such as myself with 600 days trackside would NEVER agree to do this. But the rise of the use of 'firefighters' (thank you NASCAR) as safety workers (some with as little as 60 actual days trackside) jump out as commanded from race control with little thought to the consequences. Of course in their day job this mindset is mandatory in order to save lives but they bring this attitude to the race track where by and large this attitude can cause more issues than the original incident warranted. Race cars crashing into race cars isn't as traumatic as a race car crashing into a tow truck. We seem to have this 'emergency' hit the gas attitude instead of using our heads. CTMP was another example of race control having this 'we have to do something - anything' attitude where they decided to roll a massively oversized tow truck after the standing start and this tank like truck slowly makes its way down to corner one to sit drivers left while race control take their time deciding what to do. As a worker at CTMP I can tell you that a pull off at drivers right for corner one is ALWAYS a full course at our region events. We've learned that you can't tie a vehicle anywhere here safely without one. But the visiting American based series officials know better! It took the local flatbed crew that showed up after the tow truck to tell them to go full course as they refused to get out onto the track. That's called experience and common sense. We absolutely require the WEC like Code 60 zones instead of this madness that has affected road course racing these last few years. A lot of this can be blamed on race series not wanting a repeat of Long Beach 2015 where race fans complained about all the full course yellows. However, safety should never take a backseat here and I believe the 'show' seems more important. Thank you.
     
  • The bigger problem is getting drivers to adhere properly to double waved yellow or 'local yellow' situations, not just slowing down 1kph.
     
  • Bring back IMSA's dedicated safety teams and I assure you these problems will not occur.
     
  • It is especially important for driver confidence in multi class racing that the safety crew knows where all the switches and belts and safety equipment is in every car and crisis situations should be practiced with the teams periodically. This provides the best training for the safety crew and full confidence of the team and driver. Also under no circumstance should there be a non-racing vehicle on track unless under a safety car.
     
  • Yellow means slow down. The drivers did not. 
     
  • Accidents happen. You can mitigate and put precautions in place but accidents will still happen. Motorsport is dangerous.
     
  • I don't believe that lower series can adopt the VSC due to no real time telemetry. I believe that we should continue as it was before the NASCAR "show" was brought into sportscar racing.
     
  • Some of these answers would be predicated on the severity of an individual accident. No safety workers should be deployed until the field is under absolute full control of the course in whole.
     
  • Drivers of contract safety vehicles such as tow trucks and ambos need to be trained on driving and the course. Most accidents would be stopped with proper training. Installing caution indicators in cars for even local yellows would help drivers realize the upcoming situation because seeing flags can be hard at times.
     
  • There is no 'silver-bullet' when it comes to safety, but I believe there needs to be more responsibility from the drivers to actually slow under a local yellow, especially when there are safety workers on a hot track.
     
  • As any real fan, I hope to see consistency in race calls for safety. In addition, I wish to see more proactive sanctioning body level decisions for safety standards as so many preventable situations have occurred (dedicated safety teams for the series, allowing 'hot fueling', allowing drivers to leave their pit stall without their safety belts tight).
     
  • I think corner workers/marshals should be allowed to do their work of getting race cars off the track or at least out of the way so we can go back to green. Full course yellows are being called too often. If race control feels a driver has overdriven a local yellow then warn or black flag him.
     
  • With all the electronic communications with the driver it seems they no longer pay attention to the flags unless their crew tells them to.  This is the real problem. Making the flags totally electronic only exacerbates this issue. And without letting safety crews get to the cars safely only puts the drivers at more risk. Is that what is wanted, drivers at more risk because we need to wait till a session or race is stopped/slowed until a safety crew can go out on track?
     
  • Question three should also list an option of a red flag so the race can continue under green once the yellow flag issue is resolved.
     
  • I think that, for the sake of the track safety workers, fans and drivers, an FCY should be deployed at every accident that involves a marshal having to rush to a stranded vehicle. Also the use of a so called ''VSC'' is not that necessary, in F1 it's used now to slow the cars down immediately, but also to keep the gaps as they are. I think it would be better to deploy the actual Safety Car, but also introduce a speed limit, so cars can not rush to the end of the Safety Car queue, but can slowly drive towards it. Again, it would be better for the sake of all the people on and around the track.
     
  • In Question 3, clear procedures should be put in place to avoid EITHER OF THE ALTERNATIVES PRESENTED. Possibly a red flag or "green/white/checker" situation could be adopted. Under all circumstances, the safety of corner workers should be considered. There have been too many accidents in the past, which should have never happened.
     
  • SCCA Fire/Rescue at Laguna Seca, Summit Point, Rockingham, Charlotte and finally Road Atlanta. We always used our discretion to respond even though Race Control requested us to. We don't do anyone any good by placing ourselves in harm's way.
     
  • It feels as though a lot of young drivers cannot comprehend the inherent risk in motorsport. It is plain scary to race with lots of the young guys. As I have raced with younger and younger guys I have noticed that many of them do not give a wide berth to safety vehicles on the track. The problem in inherent with young guys with a lack of life experience. Most also have not experienced serious injury on track as well and thus have blatant disregard for the safety of the track workers.
     
  • Sanctioning bodies should severely punish drivers and teams when local yellow flag protocols are not followed. The example given where the Pirelli WC drivers did not slow down is the primary example; those drivers (leading) should have been parked for the race to establish a precedent. Under no circumstances should any driver continue at race pace in a yellow area, not only for their safety, but the safety of the driver(s) in the incident and the safety crews.
     
  • Bring back the IMSA safety team! A dedicated set of marshals who are trained to deal specifically with these cars and these drivers are crucial to the safety of all during the race weekend.
     
  • All racing should cease. A full course yellow should be in force before safety workers are released to go on circuit. Safety is paramount.
     
  • Safety workers need protection while they are on track or pits. They need to be able to believe the drivers have control of their cars. Drivers need to be severely punished, maybe even ejected from the race, if they disregard safety conditions. That driver did not have control of his car. Even in rainy conditions, drivers need to have car control.
     
  • I have experience as both a driver and safety director/responder on the asphalt oval level. I understand from a show perspective wanting to use a local yellow so as not to affect the outcome of the race. However, from a safety standpoint, the risk of loss of life isn't worth it. Not to mention the money lost on vehicle damage, or even medical expenses should an accident with a safety vehicle occur.
     
  • In regards to the question of an accident in the last 5 laps of a race, there are other alternatives. Sanctioning bodies could mandate a "last # of laps must be green" and/or stop the race to affect a cleanup of the accident then resume the race.
     
  • I have concerns that if drivers are concerned about hitting snatch vehicles during yellow flags (e.g. aquaplaning) they should also be concerned about hitting marshals who are assisting at the incident.
     
  • I just want to add to question #3. I feel that if the incident is not too severe and the drivers involved are ok to wait for the safety team until after the race, the race should end with local yellows. But if the crash looks severe and it looks like the drivers involved may need immediate medical attention, that takes priority over the race and a full course yellow should be thrown.
     
  • Let safety workers assess penalties to the drivers for safety violations. When drivers don't slow down for local yellows, why would they slow down for a VSC sign?
     
  • Regarding heavy machinery under local yellow: on long tracks (7+ km) I think it makes sense to allow working under local yellow (assuming that the yellow zone starts and appropriate number of posts before the actual work zone). For short tracks, I think a full course caution is necessary - and safety car deployment if the cars need to be guided through the affected area. Thank you for taking safety seriously!
     
  • Instead of the VSC system, there is a racing series that runs a "Code 60". I personally find this a lot easier to understand, rather than having to rely on delta times etc.
     
  • Safety should be THE primary concern of any sanctioning body. I think local yellows are probably appropriate in some circumstances, however more discretion should be exercised.
     
  • I feel this is about driver restraint in most cases, not about further rule implementation and longer or more full course yellows. Obviously some restraint and better judgment can be used by workers and race control as well. In the end, if you overdrive a yellow flag incident, you are immediately disqualified and possibly penalized beyond that. And don't put a 2 ton truck and/or bodies on a wet track a few hundred yards past a checkered flag with its ass facing traffic.
     
  • When safety workers are busy on circuit there should be no racing: full course yellow. Safety is paramount!
     
  • The IndyCar response trucks with their brake-activated door openers (it seems like) and the European GP Corner Workers are the worst. SCCA in general and CalClub in particular have the best corner/emergency workers in the world.
     
  • I have nothing but kudos for all track personnel involved in racing events. Not only do we have to protect the drivers, but also make it safe for those assisting drivers, workers and fans.
     
  • It would seem to me due to weather, track condition and it being cool off lap the first incident had a premature entry on to the track, given the location of the incident.
     
  • VSC - or Code 60 - has been a good idea for years and I have experienced it while driving at the 24 hours of Dubai. It works and it prevents the unfair re-starts we are seeing. No "go kart" style starts; everyone resumes racing where they are on track. 
     
  • #5: Clear the wreck ASAP and resume racing – IF possible. I was Post Chief Race Control at Kyalami for 19 years.
     
  • Why not use the VSC in the TUDOR championship to reduce the ridiculous length of the caution periods we currently have and only bring out the real safety car when there is a legitimately nasty accident.
     
  • The Flag system of communication is the fastest way to inform the drivers, BUT race control does not enforce the penalties for breaking the rules when a driver does not respect the flags.
     
  • Safety of the drivers, course workers, and fans trumps racing. If there is an accident it should take priority over the race itself and a caution should be thrown. Never should heavy equipment be placed on the track for cleanup unless the cars are under control of the safety car. Emergency vehicles should always receive the right of way if an accident occurs because you never know how serious an injury can be. Drivers who don't heed a caution flag properly should be fined immediately without question. Formula 1 needs to get over its higher than mighty attitude towards safety. A heavy lift crane should never be on track with cars unless they are following behind a safety car. If the cars can't drive around at low speeds then they aren't that good at being cars and the rules should be adjusted so they can. Race car drivers are like toddlers at times and will try and gain an advantage while the parents aren't looking. Safety trumps race results every time. If NASCAR has gotten anything right it's the "Green, White, Checker" rule. It puts safety first and still gives the fans and teams a chance to win and put on a show.
     
  • Course workers need to have more freedom to control the situation in their areas of responsibility. Safety teams and on-course workers need to develop a better, stronger, and more trusting relationship. Responsibilities are EQUAL and respect and cooperation must be at the forefront.
     
  • It's possible to dispatch safety vehicles to respond under a local flagging, but it takes a couple ticks of the clock to make sure that it is necessary (flags signaling drivers are up). When mobile response is confirmed, then half of the field may already be aware of the incident. When the Response vehicle(s) arrive on scene, most of the field should have seen the situation and will be more aware of flags and such, as they come through again. Timing is what the "Control" of the situation requires. Let the traffic settle itself with the help of signals and don't get too crazy putting stuff on the track for a 'simple' off and stall, or a thump into the tire wall. If it is considered necessary to bring medical, or the track has a large percent of blockage, or a great big gargantuan lifting machine will be necessary to recover a car, then the VSC>SC needs to be out there to control the whole field and so the marshals can do their work without having to watch their behinds... as much. It's a terracing response to an incident. Sometime the SC is needed right away, sometime, maybe not at all. The turns have to describe the situation correctly, because you CANNOT see everything in proper perspective on all those TV monitors in control. There's no time for that.
     
  • It's the driver's RESPONSIBILITY to observe flags and drive accordingly.
     
  • Question 4 is a bit ambiguous, a safety truck or rapid response vehicle, with TRAINED & EXPERIENCED crew members can respond under local yellow conditions while a wrecker and/or heavy machinery may have to wait for a full course caution.
     
  • Obviously these can’t be solved with simple yes/no, black/white answers. Track configuration and each incident require different responses. The incident at Detroit may have had a completely different outcome if it occurred at a different spot on the circuit. Race Control should be capable of making such calls, placing priority on safety of all drivers and workers.
     
  • Drivers need to observe the flags, any driver not doing so should be given a heavy penalty as he's putting lives a risk.
     
  • In car flashing light system should be looked at very seriously. Giving drivers as much advance warning of an accident scene as possible is critical to the safety of everyone involved and the current system is just too short a notice at the speeds vehicles are racing at today.
     
  • There is no reason to deploy a safety car and close the gaps. Using a virtual safety car or Code 60 as some series use allows the integrity of the race to be maintained, and allows safety workers the opportunity to attend to the incident quickly. Penalties for drivers who do not respect the speed limits should be punitive.
     
  • Race control dispatcher needs to be an experienced driver and in charge. Non racers have no idea of what a hot track is like.
     
  • We all know that the show is important, but it can never have priority over the life of a safety worker or driver. We have seen several warnings in different classes and should all learn from these incidents.
     
  • I firmly believe that safety vehicles and personnel MUST be able to be dispatched under local yellow in order for medical response to be administered as quickly as possible. Holding safety vehicles and medical personnel hostage until a safety car is deployed would come with severe consequences in driver and marshal life-saving endeavors, should the situation arise. VSC conditions, provided they are properly administered and followed, should be an adequate and immensely quick way of slowing the race cars within seconds of safety vehicle deployment to ensure the safety of track personnel. If we, the racing community, lose sight of IMMEDIATE safety/medical crew deployment, accidents like James Hinchcliffe's and Alex Zanardi's would have much more tragic consequences.
     
  • Race Control needs to be able to judge what is the right solution. VSC is not always a solution; under SC you get gaps in the traffic, which allows marshals to go trackside. SC should not be used to manage a race; it is a safety measure. Letting cars unlap, managing who can put when, etc. should not be the main consideration. Best example is FIA WEC where FCY (VSC) and SC are both used sparingly and racing resumes quickly.
     
  • I believe I am already subscribed to the newsletter. As for safety car deployment, I think there also needs to be some consideration for the experience level of the teams working on the course. 1-race-a-year events like Detroit have a higher chance of incident compared to a regular team from a permanent course.
     
  • IMSA should have used a FCY on the last lap at Detroit - it was safe enough until the rain came down and the safety truck needed to attend to the fire on the #58. Each car has a yellow light so would have been alerted to the FCY. However, IMSA needs to implement Code 60 as soon as possible. At least that way you get the cars slowed down straight away, and can always upgrade to an SC if needed. It also preserves gaps and does not require the wave bys that extend a small incident into a 15-20 minute caution period.
     
  • Under VSC drivers would not adhere to the conditions.
     
  • There was a time when drivers had respect for a local yellow, and serious penalties for those who did not. This allowed corner workers to deal with most emergencies in a timely and efficient manner. Today, corner workers are little more than spectators with great seats. All control has been taken from them; all decisions come from race control who rely on TV monitors. Monitors do not tell the story. Sadly, training for workers has lagged, training for drivers has lagged and because workers and (at least at the pro level) do not mix as we once did, drivers have less understanding of what goes on in the trenches. I worked the Long Beach GP when it was both F1 and Indy and the level of respect we gained from drivers made everyone's job easier and safer. Same was true at Riverside. I do have to say, I'm not surprised that several of these incidents involve IMSA drivers. As far back as I can remember, there were too many IMSA drivers who should not be racing Showroom Stock, let alone at that level. Another sore point with me is that pro racing still relies largely on unpaid volunteers. With all the money in racing, it's amazing that no one seems to find a sponsor or the teams themselves able to kick in the meager sum necessary to provide professional, well trained, and consistent services at the races.
     
  • Instead of being unsafe when a FCY is needed have a red flag for safety but a good race to the finish.
     
  • The situation in Detroit, as Mosport with IMSA last year and with PWC this year, is not related to Jules’ crash, where yellows were out and he hit a stationary car. The quality of corner workers made available to the series in North America is poor, and the decisions made by control in the aforementioned issues were equally detrimental. The Detroit fiasco almost killed a corner worker, cost Park Place a tub and possibly more teams. Race series need to do a far better job of understanding the perspective of the race driver, racing team and fan. IMSA, as shown by the terrible field size at Detroit (a horrible venue), the two years at Kansas, the dropping of Mid Ohio (likely the best attended race outside of Daytona, Sebring and Petit) shows how out of touch the organizers are. Same issue with the late adoption of GT3 homologation. The leadership didn't see what the teams, their true customers, wanted. Hence PWC blew up with huge car counts, and IMSA saw a major decline. Better series leadership, one that listens to its teams (owners and drivers), fans, as well as far better stewardship, are needed. Without your teams and fans, our series go away. Lastly, all the series need to do a far better job per TV broadcasts.
     
  • Maybe instead of a yellow ended race have a red flag so it can be safe but end under green.
     
  • I think if a yellow is necessary during the last 5 laps of a race, red flag it for clean up, then when the track is clear give the fans a race to the finish. NASCAR's green-white-checkers is also a viable option for everyone. It gives the fans a green flag finish and brings fuel strategy into the mix.
     
  • I think local yellows are a very good tool, but there needs to be a standard to slow the drivers. Perhaps a local Code 60 type of situation. The VSC is better than nothing and often better than a FCY.
     
  • I have been a race commentator for 20 years and seen numerous good and bad safety car deployments. You need a really simple single process. VSC is open to driver error. Full safety car is best. Safety is more important than show.
     
  • Code 60 and/or the Virtual Safety Car need to be implemented. Drivers also need to respect the local yellows. Neutralizing the on-track battles is a necessity of racing for many reasons. However, it is not always necessary to neutralize the entire track when a competitor is stopped in relatively safe location from which they can be recovered to behind a barrier. I would highly recommend that the procedures used this year by the WEC be evaluated. A better method to deal with dangerous debris needs to be determined. It should take into consideration the track type. Road courses do not have to have the same considerations as street courses.
     
  • I do not like full course caution flags on a real road course, like Elkhart Lake, etc. Most situations can usually be cleaned up in a reasonable time. NASCAR used to be the worse for extended yellow flags. They would and still good a lap or 2 after the situation is cleaned up.
     
  • I flagged my first race 2 weeks ago where Bimmerworld drivers where racing. During an incident where I had to send my other worker and a safety vehicle was on course at my station with another worker, the BW cars refused to slow for the yellow. This was during an ICSCC race, which made me disgusted at their actions. If they're willing to do this at a club race then something at the pro level must change to protect the workers, fans and drivers from themselves.
     
  • Having worked with IMSA a few times we found that the main problem is that many of the workers are hero types, which doesn't always lead to the best decisions. They also have a lack of communication in their control room. However most race car vs. safety car accidents are due to overzealous dispatchers and speed. The best way to solve the problem is to look at Lime Rock Park’s safety team.
     
  • If the accident comes in the last 5 laps, they should expand the race with one final green flag lap. The VSC can be adopted for endurance races, not for spring races.
     
  • Safety crews have no business on a hot track, and a local yellow is a hot track. Had the safety crew waited until the race was actually over in Detroit (all cars have slowed) you would not have had this problem. Instead, someone thought, "Oh, checker means it is over, go on out there buddy."  And this is what you get. No truck, and Davison would have slammed into the tire barrier and perhaps nudged the Porsche a bit...that's it. Every fan I have ever told this story to who missed the race or doesn't watch sportscar racing asked, "Well what the hell was the safety truck doing on the track?" VSC's are stupid. The point of a yellow is to slow the cars and keep them out of the cleanup area for a while (the pack passes by and then it is quiet for several minutes). A VSC will keep them slow, but might mean you have a constant stream of cars.
     
  • Glad this survey is out and people can say what they want about these situations.
     
  • I am a photographer, a fan, and I manage a high performance indoor electric go-kart track. Safety is the largest umbrella we operate under and that should go for all racing series as well. I do not believe stoppages or races finishing under yellow, in the name of safety, will cause casual or hardcore fans to walk away from the sport. The impetus should be put on the drivers to prevent cautions. Tracks need to maximize the inherent safety of their tracks as well. There has to be a better way to inspect and maintain street courses (I know that is a complicated endeavor). I could keep going but I'd be impressed if anyone read this far!
     
  • The IMSA pit stop procedure needs to be changed to allow the drivers the time to make sure their belts are tight and over the HANS device before they leave the pits. Driver safety should never be a "personal responsibility" option during a race. The drivers will always take the fastest option to gain an edge and the factory drivers could fear for their job and income if they lose the race because they weren’t "man enough" to leave the pits with loose belts.
     
  • Safety should always be top priority. Especially if the show has to suffer because of it. Too many associations claim to have safety first but put safety to the side because there’s 5 laps left. I'm sorry but that’s a contradiction and clearly a conflict of interest.
     
  • Yes, if the yellow comes out with 5 to go or less, we need to adopt the green white checkered rule from NASCAR. That way we don't jeopardize the end of the race and we are being fully safe by bringing out the full course yellow.
     
  • Just thanks for caring about the safety of corner workers and everyone else needed to put on an event.
     
  • Thank you for your survey, which helps to get the opinion of workers, fans, and drivers. However, "short term fans" (fans newer to the sport or only with an eye for show) might not see it in the matter of safety but in in terms of the show.
     
  • Circumstances are key. At Belle Isle for example, you had not only a wet track but also a track layout where your braking point for turn 1 was basically the start/finish line. Racing to the line on the last lap required later braking than normal, add in the wet track, that is what contributed to that situation. Proper judgment should have kept the safety vehicle off track until every car had crossed the finish line and negotiated turn 1, or deployed the safety car. Had the same situation occurred at Road Atlanta for example, they could have deployed the safety vehicle earlier since there is so much more room and time for cars to safely slow down after crossing the line.
     
  • Speed limit during VSC should be checked strictly. The penalty for going over the speed limit should be hard – go more than 5 miles over, exclusion from the race. More than 10 miles over, you’re not allowed to start in the next race. That way you make sure pilots will stick with the speed limit.
     
  • There seems to be a lack of communication to the drivers or drivers are ignoring the warnings and if that is the case they should be penalized.
     
  • Retrieval vehicles should only be used under full yellow. If there is an incident towards the end of the race, leave stranded vehicle until race completion before retrieving. A safety vehicle poses more danger than a stranded race car.
     
  • Safety should be the most important aspect.
     
  • I believe all accidents or vehicle stoppages should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Putting drivers and safety workers in danger is the last thing we want. There are tracks where staying under local yellow and allowing safety workers to enter the track would be okay, and others where the confines are much tighter and a full course caution would be warranted. In the Belle Isle case, the driver was not in danger, the vehicle had not moved in a number of laps, so there was no immediate need for the safety workers to rush out when he flag flew, especially in wet conditions.
     
  • Hi, as an engineer with experience in ALMS, IMSA, WEC I agree with your proposal of introducing a VSC. Most of these unfortunate accidents happen because of information being relayed incorrectly or not as fast as it should to drivers and/or safety workers and even teams. An electronic system that automatically taps into the cars' ECUs and engages the pit limiter (or some other strategy) at specific position on track can take the human out of the equation and avoid their sometimes serious mistakes. It would also eliminate the possibility of drivers gaining advantage from not respecting local yellows. Properly trained and experienced marshals could have direct control over this system at their posts so as to further reduce the delay between the time when an accident happens and when preventive actions are implemented. Keep up the good work you are doing!
     
  • Heavy machinery should NEVER be on a 'hot' racetrack. The lack of FCY in the Aston Martin, TUSC incident was correct, the problem was that the flags were wrong at S/F line. AND the truck should NOT have been out there until every car passed S/F line. The call not to go full yellow was correct, the execution of the safety measures was wrong. The safety measures being used in World Challenge have been questionable ALL year. The truck at Mosport was a public incident; however there have been many, many more incidents all year that scare me as a fan. World Challenge needs to seriously get their act together on safety. I hope you can drill that home to them.
     
  • My answer for Question 3 is really situation dependent. If at all possible it is best to leave it to the drivers still racing to respect yellow flags in the area of the incident, but if the incident is in an especially dangerous position, medical needs to get to the scene, or there is a major downpour with the field on slicks, discretion is best strategy.
     
  • I was involved in the incident at CTMP as senior at corner 10 (corner before the incident) and was displaying steady yellow and white as forewarning for the incident in corner 1. The drivers did NOT heed our warnings. Driver education is KEY to safety of deployed rescue staff/vehicles.
     
  • Regarding Q2 - safety vehicles should be allowed out under local yellow if the incident is in a safe enough area (i.e. somewhere another car is not likely to end up if it has a problem). There is more chance of this if drivers better respect yellow flags and slow down more. Maybe a speed limit past incidents like Le Mans slow zones is needed, though it could be difficult applying this on a shorter circuit.
     
  • For Question 3 I don't see why a red flag can't be an option and park the cars on the start finish straight until the track is clear then run the final few laps under green.
     
  • When the incident occurs far enough of line there is no need for a FCY.
     
  • In my opinion, the deployment of safety cars is not the issue in a vast majority of cases. Instead it is the length of the cautions. The TUSCC series is a perfect example. If a safety car comes out for even a minor incident, you know it's going to take a good 10 minutes or more before green, by the time they take multiple laps so the various classes can do pit stops, then do wave arounds and such.  Sometimes we see attempts at "hurry up" yellows but the results vary. There's no reason why, especially near the end of races, full course cautions need to last a second longer than it takes dealing with the incident. For instance, in IndyCar we often see full course cautions so the safety team can simply deploy to restart a car(s) that have stalled and are able to drive away. This can be done within the first lap of caution, and yet we often see cautions lasting 5 or 6 laps. If they wish to sweep the track once or twice a race, ok I can understand that. But by and large a lot of the cautions should be literally a couple of laps and back to green. If the incident requires more than a couple of laps of caution to deal with than obviously a full course caution was necessary to begin with. Again, it's not the frequency of full course cautions that is a bother to me; it's the length of most cautions. There's no need to be under caution for 10-15 minutes when the incident was cleaned up in 3 minutes. Thanks!
     
  • Questions 2, 3 & 4 are difficult to answer due to the number of possible scenarios requiring safety cars. With the sophisticated electronics available today, it seems to me that a system of forced speed restrictions is achievable through electronic signals to the cars onboard computers.
     
  • A simple rule of thumb: you CANNOT have workers and/or safety vehicles on a hot track. It's that simple.
     
  • Yes with regard to the question about on track safety equipment late in the race. Why not use the red flag or black flag? Clean it up then restart the race. We can always find 20min in a schedule.
     
  • The problem lies with overdriving the yellow.  Address the primary issue with strict enforcement for infractions.
     
  • While it has been limited in use so far in Formula 1, the Virtual Safety Car seems to produce the best balance of neutralizing the race to ensure safety while not taking near the length of time of the actual safety car. VSC is needed in all major motorsports series.
     
  • There should be professional training offered to all marshals participating at all pro events. There should be an effort to recruit new marshals so the events are not constantly understaffed. Event organizers, sanctioning bodies, motorsport clubs, drivers and fans should have driver safety in their best interest and therefore fund proper training for the marshals.
     
  • My answer to question #5 was the best choice but often there are too many variables that come into play when making the decision to go on a Safety Car or to retain the local yellow.
     
  • We cover are corners, white waving when safety track along with waving yellow full course yellow is double yellow. Waving white for pace till fed is collected. Waving white and yellow for corner with lead station standing flags.
     
  • Yellow flags are for everyone's safety. If a lane for the pace car cannot safely navigate vehicles around an incident the red flag is flown.
     
  • Great survey. My response to question 2 does come with a caveat that it has to be safe for all.
     
  • VSC sounds like typical over complication of a simple instruction. For me safety first, the show comes second. Flashing yellow lights are easy to see and understand. Racers being racers there should be no safety vehicle on track until track is full yellow. Bianchi's crash was totally preventable, I hold F1 100% responsible. The local dirt track has better safety policies than F1.
     
  • If there is significant track blockage, especially in wet conditions, there should be more than a local yellow to alert the drivers. Also, the emergency workers need to be smart about their actions as well when pulling out or while traveling on a hot track. They need to remember that unless there is a full course yellow the race cars are moving at a much faster rate of speed, so the emergency vehicles should move in predictable ways.
     
  • No matter what precautions are taken, we all know unforeseen incidents can occur. However, while we all like seeing a green finish, safety should be the top priority even if it means FCY-checkered or even leaving one disabled car out there & getting the driver out instead of sending out the Calvary adding more people to an already unsafe condition.
     
  • Driver and support staff safety have got to be the first consideration always. However much we love motorsports, it's never worth someone's life.
     
  • Great initiative.
     
  • I am a firefighter and no safety worker should be ever hurt. We are there to help, not cause more of a problem.
     
  • Race control could send an electronic signal to the ECU on all cars to slow the cars to full course caution speed. This is basically used in rental karting.
     
  • These questions are not an either/or as it is more of a situational application. Minimal control should be applied, but sometimes that is not sufficient enough. The Detroit incident was one of those (im)perfect storms that led to an unforeseeable situation with a bad outcome.
     
  • Mandatory use of pit lane speed limit button during full course caution. Better training and control of emergency and recovery personnel. More direct, exacting control of the actions of recovery crews by race control. These decisions should not be made on a local (corner) basis not when full course coverage by television cameras is available.
     
  • In answering #3 I am assuming that the condition that would otherwise bring the double yellow is a condition that endangers the car that caused the yellow, it driver or the cars currently under green. If it is simply a clean up issue and not a safety issue then the race should continue to the checkered flag, but I saw a car in the gravel at the end of the back Straight at RA that was allowed to remain in the gravel pit for approximately 10-15 minutes while the track stayed green to the checker. A dangerous and foolish decision by race control IMHO.
     
  • As a professional driver, my number one concern is safety. Nothing trumps safety. I'd rather lose a race than be injured, or worse, cause an injury. In the case of Jules, I don't think he was being unsafe, rather caught off guard. Rain makes for difficult driving.
     
  • I am a safety car driver. We are dispatched by race control exclusively. They are dependent on information from the corner workers and at some events cameras. The operating steward gives the go signal when he/she determines it is safe and timely to do so. That is the person who needs to be informed and well trained. 
     
  • Answer 5 omitted a glaring option. The race director (which I have been at many pro events) should be allowed to make a decision on when to deploy safety vehicles. There is no such thing as a "catch all, end all" answer that works for every situation.
     
  • "Live snatch" is an unnecessarily dangerous procedure in an already dangerous sport, for all concerned. One aspect of this that was not highlighted is the death of the Marshal at the 13 Canadian GP. The live snatch situation caused everything to be unnecessarily rushed, resulting in the Marshal’s death. Add to this the other two situations of cars at speed, with safety vehicles and personnel on track, and any objective person would say it is a risk too far for the sake of "the show." Imagine how much worse Detroit could have been if it were an open prototype or open wheel car. Drivers need to be punished for not observing yellow and no vehicles need to be on track until caution speeds are achieved throughout the field.
     
  • I think there are more options to end of race for the fans...the remaining laps could easily be added to race after course goes green. Red Flag till course is safely cleared.
     
  • Sanctioning bodies have done a poor job of keeping yellow flags under control. In every rule book you read one of the rules for yellow flag is usually "slow down" or "be under complete control." As a flag marshal (Including working as a intervention marshal this weekend in Montréal) I see it time and time again where drivers do not follow this rule and are full throttle. I don't blame drivers anymore either.  Why lose a couple of seconds a lap when you know you’re not going to get any penalties. The Safety Car procedure absolutely can ruin races and change the landscape of races too much. Accidents happen frequently so changing the race because a back marker had a problem should not penalize the whole field. The VSC/FCY/Code 60 procedure is honestly the best way to keep races running smooth. And I am 100% for it.
     
  • Safety of the safety workers and drivers trumps all.
     
  • It's so unfortunate to see what happened in Detroit. That would have been such a simple call. If the driver in the car that initially crashed is ok and somewhat out of the way they should have just said put up the local and let the race finish. Best of luck to the safety workers with injuries and a big thanks to all the people that risk there lives to help us drivers when we need it!
     
  • I think series are too quick to dispatch safety vehicles, especially when corner marshals can easily deal with the situation. Only a few years ago us flaggers would be sent out to deal with the situation and even use a gehl. It was effective and the crew that did it knew exactly what we were doing. Putting a safety vehicle on track adds another layer of risk that at times isn't needed and takes additional time. I have not liked the fact that here in the States us flaggers hands have been almost completely tied from dealing with any incident no matter how minor. As a result we are losing flaggers who hate being treated like children, also the few of us who have response skills they are going to waste and if the need arises become less effective. Also due to this mentality it is hard to convince new marshals to join, thus impacting the sport as a whole. You will barely find anyone who marshals anymore under the age of 25. If we are not able to recruit new marshals the sport is going to have some serious issues in the future. I work both for a Safety Team and do flagging and I can tell you that giving yourself to choose all options instead of jumping the gun every time to send a truck is starting to become a problem.  A truck is not needed to push a vehicle that is off course into a safer position, let the marshals do it! 
     
  • Do like a NASCAR does and attempt a Green, White, Checker.
     
  • The race ending yellow question still should be a case by case. The Tudor incident had too many things happen in less than two minutes that created a bad situation. The PWC incident was poor judgment somewhere. That corner is blind. The yellow should have been one station prior if a truck was on track. A white flag at that local station for a safety vehicle is too late for drivers to react properly. VSC works well in Formula One because of the car count. However in the bigger fields seen in these other series, more time will be spent in race control watching if all vehicles cooperate and might prolong cautions. Too many drivers to police in that situation.
     
  • VSC won't work because drivers want to catch the leader/pack. Any time the track deviates from race conditions due to obstructions, worker(s), emergency vehicles, the track has to go to full course yellow. A local yellow should only be used if the situation will be resolved without any change to the track configuration.
     
  • The difference between a professional, dedicated travelling safety team and using local personnel may not be so apparent to many, even many involved in racing, but it is a very significant difference. A real or virtual safety car will control the pack but there's always a risk caused by the single car coming out of the pits or being restarted on the track who then races around at full speed to catch the pack.  This presents a significant risk at times as the on course workers, if not properly informed, may not be expected the car and the car may not recognize the situation (including on track debris) until too late.  At Detroit, was there a point person on the track? Was there another response truck parked "up-track" from the incident? As to #5 - red flag, clean up, and then finish the race.
     
  • Accidents happen, but information prevents them better than anything else.
     
  • Race Control should listen to the track workers and consider their evaluation of the incident prior to making a decision on how to respond to incidents. As a Crew Chief I have no problem responding to an incident with a local yellow, I will always position my truck to protect my crew, if a race car hits my vehicle and deflects the collision away from my crew I have done my job. We do need to learn from these incidents not to affix blame but to minimize the risks to the drivers and the workers. 
     
  • Dispatching safety equipment under local yellow is dangerous, as you don't know what to expect until you have arrived on the scene. Also you feel you must try not to slow down in yellow areas to not lose time to others who might not slow the same amount.
     
  • Not a fan but a series/event participant. Questions/answers are too black and white. What if it's a large track and safety can get the incident out of the way by the time the field comes back around? Then yes, let them do a local yellow. What happened at Detroit was lunacy, especially on a wet track with everyone on slicks, and location of the safety truck in comparison to the finish line.
     
  • For safety crew guidelines look to Holmatro/IndyCar. Tudor and PWC have had inexcusable events occur with safety car / crew mishaps. We are lucky nobody has been killed. If this continues I won't be able to stay that much longer.
     
  • Questions 2 and 3 are not black and white. The severity of the accident should control deployment, which includes contact with the driver via radio.
     
  • As a driver and sometimes as safety worker, slow the cars down before sending safety crew out on the track.
     
  • The safety of track workers and or marshals needs to be number one. Without them we as drivers are more at risk via response time for an incident. Thank you to all track workers. They love the sport and put their safety on the line for us. Why shouldn't we!!!! For them.
     
  • I am the Pace Car/Safety Car Chief for the North Carolina Region of the SCCA. We have been asked to consider something similar to the Virtual Safety Car; this applies more to Pro Racing than club racing. In my opinion corner marshals have been taking risks that are too great, therefore double yellow flags should be displayed and an actual safety car sent out ASAP after an incident that warrants it.
     
  • Having been on all sides of motorsport as a fan, driver and marshal/official, I have built up empathetic views from all angles. In regards to vehicle movement under local yellow, as a Fire Marshal in Australia, we use this to our advantage, however this involves safely moving around either infield or outfield of the track and remaining in areas of moderate safety. This being said, any incident that requires safety workers to be scrambled to an incident requires full course cautions, a safety car or even a red flag. For the Final 5 lap cautions it is once again ambiguous, there are incidents where say a vehicle is in an unsafe spot that would warrant a full course caution, now I know in the US they enforced the no exiting a vehicle whilst racing, in this instance yes the caution should be put out to protect all drivers, however if the vehicle is in a safe spot then let the race run. A virtual safety car is a hard rule to enforce especially at club level events, however in the case of a double yellow sector or a full course caution, all vehicles should not be travelling at race pace and should be behaving in a controlled manor, this includes emergency vehicles, because they are there to attend accidents not become one.
     
  • Code 60!
     
  • There needs to be a discretion when to deploy safety vehicles under local yellow. There's no black/white line, it's shades of gray.
     
  • I am a MSF member as is my son who currently races SCCA. I have been an active marshal for almost 3 yrs. for the Central Fla, Region SCCA. I have worked both regional and pro races in Fla. and seen incidents that leave me wondering sometimes. In my opinion that Race Control has to take a stance of SAFETY FIRST! I know full well that the Race Group whether it's Tudor, PWC, IndyCar or SCCA wants a good show for the fans BUT SAFETY NEEDS to come FIRST, whether it's for the fans, drivers, fire/rescue, wrecker drivers or marshals. We love racing or we wouldn't be doing this. We ALL need to leave the racetrack alive and well.
     
  • The only thing is perhaps if it's under say 10 laps to go, red flag the race, get it cleaned up and then a green flag finish.
     
  • Questions 4 and 5 are case by case at the discretion of race control. Safety units should be dispatched under local yellow. If wreckers or other heavy equip are needed then FCY. In the last 5 laps, the severity of the incident should be noted in the decision. Minor crash with cars off racing line, local yellow, heavy impact, track blockage etc. FCY. Bill Trowsdal, SCCA worker, 1993 Martin Tanner Award winner, Moroso Motorsports Park Safety team, Road America Safety team, NASCAR, Champ Car crew member.
     
  • Drivers need to heed the local yellows or be penalized & fined. They don't slow down enough.
     
  • In most cases the drivers do not slow for yellow flags.
     
  • Never assume that you are safe and never turn your back to the track. ALWAYS have a lookout.
     
  • Seems like safety measures are made for drivers, not the track safety workers.
     
  • What you have not addressed is the following: 1) Should safety workers be allowed on track without the protection of a blocker truck/safety vehicle? 2) Should marshals even be allowed to enter the track or just hold their spot to protect the safety crews on track? i.e. flag for the incident 3) Should any agency (TUDOR, IMSA, INDY, etc.)  be allowed to "take over" control" of a track that knows what it’s doing and make decisions that put us in danger by sending us out on track in these types of situations?
     
  • In some cases a "hot pull" is acceptable depending on the car location. In all cases drivers do not slow under local yellow. A hot pull candidate might be a pull off outside an impact zone that safety vehicles can reach without endangering other cars.
     
  • The local safety truck should be dispatched under local yellow. They should assess what needs to be done and that information should be relayed to race control. Then the appropriate call should be made from RC.
     
  • You guys are doing excellent work.
     
  • At the end of the race with few laps to go, the rave should be full course yellow to slow them down and then red flagged until situation is clear.
     
  • Keep up the good work!
     
  • Each situation is different. If the safety needs to cross the track, greater caution is needed than if the truck is already on the correct side for the incident. Most importantly is that drivers MUST be taken to task for ignoring local yellows. Speed reduction has worked well for Netherlanders (who were the first to try the rule). We should consider it seriously.
     
  • Monday morning quarterbacking incidents are helpful in my opinion for future on track response.
     
  • I would prefer a VSC for one or two laps to deploy Safety Personnel/Equipment, followed by local yellows two stations before incident. Stationary Yellow at 1st station, waving before incident.
     
  • If the event is scheduled for a set time, the time should be time under green, if the event is x number of laps - that should be laps under green. Don't hesitate with "full course yellows." Don't risk either driver or worker safety.
     
  • I would possibly have voted "yes" for the VSC, had it not been for the ridiculous circumstances surrounding its use at the recent F1 race.
     
  • Need bigger penalties for failure to honor yellow flags. Too many variables from track to track & sanction to sanction not to leave decisions to stewards. Make the pros do the right thing and the amateurs tend to follow.
     
  • Safety first, show second!
     
  • Q6 needs more options than simply yes or no. VSC may be OK for _short_ cleanups, _sometimes_. Personally, I think anything that could be handled under VSC could equally be handled by drivers acting like they ought under local yellow conditions, and control/stewards cleaning the clock of violators so that they do act like they ought under local yellow conditions.
     
  • No race should ever end under full course yellow. The race should be extended for 5 laps, to complete the race.
     
  • Numbers 4 and 5 have different variables. For fire or severity of crash a safety team should be sent right away. Always should be 2 vehicles, one to block and one to work. Under wet conditions or fluid on track, double yellows for sure. We do hot pulls all the time with race groups. Even though may do it right. The cars and drivers can't be trusted.
     
  • If there is anything I have learned as a safety worker, it's that all on track situations are fluid and unique. There is no one fix all that will solve all the problems. There is no substitute for having experienced well trained people, especially working incidents under a local.
     
  • Excellent initiative, which will save a lot of talented young men in the future.
     
  • This is really very basic stuff. The FIA totally missed the ball with their response to the Jules Bianchi accident. These latest cases are more of the same. Race cars should not be at speed whenever safety vehicles are deployed. Period.
     
  • VSC is one of those great sounding ideas that has already shown to be a PITA for drivers. Dangerously removing power from cars while cornering and failing to account for obvious variables like deceleration rates. If an incident calls for slowing the whole field then just throw doubles and have a sanction rule that doubles means so racing right now.
     
  • I think the VSC should be used IN ADDITION to a safety car. Even though there is monitoring of the speeds, let the VSC allow the cars to slow & properly form up, allowing Safety Car to pick up the leader easier. There needs a to be an on track control element. Fans also need to be more forgiving of time it takes to complete full course cautions. We all want as much racing as possible BUT track workers need to be able to complete work safely. It's also to the benefit of the drivers. With more delicate, miniature yet dangerous parts on track they can puncture a tire and cause disastrous results.
     
  • Did not answer Question 4 because there are too many items are included in the answer. i.e. I am okay with safety vehicles and wreckers being dispatched on a local yellow. Once arriving at the scene, the crew chief of the vehicle should then decide if it is safe to proceed under a local or call for a full course yellow. However I firmly believe that heavy equipment should never be on track without a full course yellow.
     
  • Safety vehicles should only be allowed to help on a live track when the stranded vehicle is in a moderately safe position.
     
  • Answers will change based on track and location of incidents on said track.
     
  • Clarifying Question 3: it depends a lot on conditions. In an example like Detroit where the track was wet, the risk of going off track is higher. If it was the same situation in the dry there is less risk of a car going off. The other option is to just use the "Green-White-Checkered" rule from NASCAR.
     
  • Professional racing is vastly different than amateur racing. I am an amateur racer and would not expect their rules to be the same as mine. We often have a safety truck on course for a "small" incident under traveling local yellows along with a red cross flag at start. As drivers we are trained to expect it. Drivers have been sent home or refused track time for being too aggressive around the safety vehicle. This wouldn't be done in changing weather conditions at the end of a race. What kind of time pressure was the sanctioning body under to clear the track for the next sanctioning body and their live TV schedule?
     
  • I believe local yellows can be adequate for safely handling incidents IF AND ONLY IF the drivers and teams respond to yellows appropriately. I think IndyCar has the right idea with its penalties for not decreasing speeds sufficiently through incident zones.
     
  • Question 4 should be only safety vehicles allowed on track under local yellow, nothing else. Question 5 if race is 5 laps or under, race should be red flagged and result given.
     
  • I believe that should a serious accident occur that has the immediate need for emergency vehicles or Marshals to attend, all other participants should make their way back to the pits and be held one behind the other, only once the debris is cleared and all persons have been removed from the track will the race resume unless it happens in the last 5 laps then the race is finished.
     
  • Some of these questions have unknowns as to the severity of the accident. Injuries, fire, debris, blocked track, can call for different calls for a yellow. The field should be under full course caution via race control, and safety personnel dispatched when cleared to do so.
     
  • Question 4 can not be answered as written. Safety trucks can go at any time, local or full course. Even a wrecker could be done under local caution depending upon the situation, but rollbacks and heavier equipment should probably wait until the full course caution comes out. Question 5: No one ever likes finishing under caution, but in the name of safety we need to do this until we figure out something better.
     
  • The VSC was a roaring success in Blancpain GT. Very quick cleanup times, maintains the integrity of the race and safe for everyone.
     
  • The key is JUDGMENT. If a car is well into a gravel trap a good distance away from the racing surface, there should be no question in the matter. Send marshals along the BACK of the gravel trap to recover the driver, and do it under local yellow. If you have a car just off the racing surface, partially on, or fully on the course, you go full yellow. But I'm not a fan of VSC. I prefer Code 60 rules, make pit speed and Code 60 speed the same, and force all drivers to engage it once Code 60 is called. They will keep their relative position on track until it's lifted. They are to keep it engaged at all times under Code 60. You could easily monitor this through telemetry. Racing will always be inherently dangerous. But we must figure out a way that makes COMPLETE sense for the situation at hand. Which means a lot of on your feet thinking by Stewards, Marshals AND Teams/Drivers. But most importantly, the fans. Though they don't directly involve themselves in the racing action, their opinions need to change on things like this. I say this as a longtime fan who would rather a race end under yellow to save a driver's life, than whine about the fact my favorite driver in 2nd place didn't get one last shot. No one should care at that point. And frankly, you should stop listening to their opinion at that point. Not to be close-minded, but because at some point you need to draw the line between competition and common sense.
     
  • Drivers need to take responsibility for slowing down under a caution flag. If they lose control under a yellow, then they did not slow down enough. Period.
     
  • Release of safety vehicles also is dependent upon the type of event as well. For example, the performance rally that I'm involved in the most has a radical different perspective on this.
     
  • If the situation is bad enough to warrant equipment on course, then a FCY is needed. However, workers should be allowed to respond to incidents on foot if needed. TUDOR's flag meeting lecture of "call us and we'll talk about it" is crap. If a car is upside down or on fire in MY sector, I'm going to respond. In the incident at Detroit, the car was not upside-down, was not on fire, and reports that I have read indicate that the yellow was displayed prior to the incident, then pulled, then hung again. The driver was as safe as he could be, belted in the caged racecar with his helmet and gloves on. I've stalled at apex during a wet race. Hard to sit there, but it was the best option.
     
  • Here's a good point to consider - how about requiring ON BOARD STARTERS for IndyCar? No more of this 'push me, push me' for a stalled car. That would keep the safety trucks off the course for at least a few incidents a year. VSC - if the drivers could obey the concept, it might work in a few cases.
     
  • In addition to preventing these accidents in the first place, we need better medical control, better CMO's, and better safety plans. It's an absolute crap-shoot right now. The safety plan for Detroit looked like it was written on the back of a napkin.
     
  • For club racing where panels are uncommon FCY should be used as well as a speed gun. Display VAD at S/F and black flag station.
     
  • A couple of things should be noted here: 1. All of the answers to the questions are dependent on the safety team. Is this a team that works at the track all year, or just once a year? Makes a difference!! 2. No vehicle should ever be dispatched alone, especially a wrecker. There should always be a second vehicle that can act as a blocker and a second set of eyes. 3. Drivers need to learn to react to flags. Penalties should be severe if they do not. 4. Safety workers need to question race control if they believe what they are being asked to do is unsafe.
     
  • It's quite simple, any time a vehicle or person that is not a driver or race car wants to enter a hot track, a VSC or full course yellow condition must be present.
     
  • Virtual Safety Cars work fantastically and should be the future. Far from being introduced after the Bianchi incident, they were introduced as 'Code 60' at the Dubai 24 Hours and adopted by several series thereafter. After the Bianchi accident, they were amended for F1's purposes. They can also be localised, as in the case of 'slow zones' at Le Mans. They are the best for both spectators and competition and are, in my opinion as fan and sometime marshal, safer than actual safety cars due to the cars slowing down almost immediately. The only risk to be mitigated is in ensuring all drivers receive the signal clearly and simultaneously.
     
  • I have been a fan of most forms of motorsports for many, many years. Safety of track workers should always be the overriding consideration, but I don't feel a full course caution is needed for every situation. With that said, I believe there are better methods than what is currently being used.
     
  • I was a safety worker in a truck struck by several cars under a full course caution. Problem is the cars coming out under the caution from the pits were trying to catch up to the pack and hit the oil then hit our truck. We need better communication, if workers ON the track request certain things, Race Control and/or Dispatch should not question what we want or need. Plus many other times race control will ask flaggers the same question several times as a ploy to keep it green flag for a few more laps before calling caution. Too many times has the corner workers or even trucks with EYES on the crash advised car is in unsafe location and race control ignores the requests for yellow.
     
  • Question 2 - I'd only send out workers/machinery under local yellow if the track were dry.
     
  • First off, this is about drivers being idiots during yellow flags. That is simply it. Some have not used enough caution during yellows amongst wet slippery conditions. Make a serious consequence such as a fine or race expulsion for any driver not proceeding with cautions/yellows/safety cars. Safety workers need to be less dumb about where they park and drive rigs when the track is hot, pull as far off to the side out of the way, why park right on the track right in the way of race traffic? PLEASE DO NOT END RACES WITH YELLOWS, if it ends in yellow add 2 laps of racing for the fans. This is what we PAY TO WATCH! Nobody wants to see a race end under yellow.
     
  • The current situation where tailenders speed around the track to catch up with the Safety Car trail is more dangerous than not having a Safety Car!
     
  • I'm not sure I fully understood the explanation of VSC. I based my answer on the assumption that it is a visual signal similar to flags.
     
  • The incident at Detroit was completely avoidable. One of the worst places to leave a car stranded at that course. Not only did it injure people which is first and foremost but think of the extra money and time that was required by teams to repair damage.
     
  • Initial response vehicles should be dispatched even with only a local yellow. Race Control can then decide whether heavier vehicles should be dispatched under a local or full course yellows. Depending on the sanctioning body, local yellows do not require the drivers to slow down, so Race Control needs to determine how the drivers are responding to the incident. How is the speed controlled with the VSC? Sounds like it is up to the drivers - bad.
     
  • If there is need for a caution within the last five laps their should be a local caution provided the car has been pulled into a safe location by the driver and the driver "must" stay in the vehicle until the end of the race upon which safety/recovery vehicles can be dispatched. If the car has been too severely damaged and remains within the bounds of racing traffic or a driver's health is at all questioned then a full course caution must be flown to attend to that driver. Nobody likes to see a race end under caution but by no means should a driver or safety personnel be placed in harm's way.

To see the full results of the MSF Safety Car Survey, please click here. You can also find an easy-to-understand infographic on the results here.

marina's picture
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Miami, FL
Last seen: 14 hours 21 min ago
July 14, 2015

Check out this ute crashing into a safety truck at Townsville last weekend! Why was this vehicle allowed to go the wrong way? Apparently, this was not a racer, but the issue at hand is allowing the ute to drive in the wrong direction. Would love to know your thoughts about this!

 

stephensionJoyle's picture
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Joined: November 19, 2016
Last seen: 1 year 2 days ago
November 19, 2016

Car safety is the most important thing while driving a car. Drivers are protected by more <a href="http://www.germanformula.com/repair-shop/">car safety</a> features. It includes airbags, shatter resistant glass, anti lock brakes, stability control, seatbelts, lights, mirrors and bumpers. Before going anywhere we must check our car tires and must be aware of the life safety also. It depends on the car driving and the safety. I have also met with an car accident for which I am suffering now a lot as my left hand got broken.

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