Jolyon Palmer questions fairness of pitting under virtual safety car

02-10-2019 15:42
by Adam Newton
General
Jolyon Palmer questions fairness of pitting under virtual safety car

Jolyon Palmer has questioned the fairness of drivers being allowed to pit under virtual safety car after the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas used it to their advantage to secure a 1-2 finish at the Russian Grand Prix.

Starting on the medium tyres, the Silver Arrows were able to run longer than the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, so when Vettel's car ground to a halt of the VSC was called out, Mercedes pitted both cars, allowing them to get in front of polesitter Leclerc and cruise home for a 1-2 finish.

In his BBC Sport column, Palmer wrote: "It seems odd that a race can be won or lost under a VSC when the whole point of the VSC is to neutralise the race, which is why the cars have to lap at a specific speed, to keep the gaps between them the same.

"One solution to avoid this would be to shut the pit lane during VSC and under full safety cars to force drivers to take a time penalty in the pits, to account for the lap time gained.

"There may be other solutions, but that would be a fair way to ensure that, in races such as Russia, the spectacle is kept gripping until the end."

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