FIA hits back at safety car ’turtle’ jibe
"The speed of the safety car is generally dictated by race control"
The FIA has hit back at driver complaints about the speed of Formula 1’s Aston Martin safety car.
With George Russell declaring in Melbourne that F1’s other safety car - a Mercedes - is five seconds per lap quicker, world champion Max Verstappen likened the green Aston Martin to a "turtle".
The sport’s governing body has now returned fire by insisting that the safety car is not about "outright speed" but "safety".
"The speed of the safety car is generally dictated by race control, and not limited by the capabilities of the safety cars, which are bespoke high-performance vehicles prepared by two of the world’s top manufacturers," part of the FIA’s statement added.
"The impact of the speed of the safety car on the performance of the cars following is a secondary consideration, as the impact is equal amongst all competitors".
The FIA concluded by declaring that it is up to the drivers to operate their cars "in a safe manner at all times according to the conditions of their car and the circuit".