De la Rosa: SC system in early stages
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, June 14th 2008, 12:22 GMT|
Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Pedro de la Rosa says the new electronics systems for use in safety car periods are still in the early stages of development.
New software that uses the standard ECU to limit cars' speed while passing through dangerous situations is being tested in Barcelona this week before further trials during practice for the French Grand Prix.
The system is being introduced after criticism of the current safety car rules, under which the pits are closed initially when a full course yellow is called.
This regulation is intended to prevent drivers racing through accident scenes at full speed in order to pit as soon as possible, but it has led to drivers being penalised because they have been forced to stop in closed pitlanes to avoid running out of fuel.
Although the software will be tested at Magny-Cours, de la Rosa said that FIA race director Charlie Whiting had informed the GPDA that the system was some way from being ready for use in races.
"I don't know what the changes are and it's really in the very early stages, that's what Charlie has told the GPDA," de la Rosa told reporters in Barcelona during testing.
"Nothing will be implemented at Magny-Cours, it's just something to try. We asked Charlie what the situation was on the safety car rules, and he said he would try new systems at Magny-Cours, but they would only be at a very early stage and for development."
De la Rosa said that he had only briefly used the system during testing yesterday.
"We have it scheduled and we have done some safety car running, but really only one in-lap," he said.
He also reiterated the GPDA's desire for the rules to be changed as soon as possible, saying that the crash involving Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Montreal pit exit proved that encouraging the whole field to pit as one during safety car periods was dangerous.
"The GPDA is not happy with the current safety car rules because we believe that they introduce luck into a race, and we don't want the races to be decided by luck," de la Rosa said.
"Plus we believe that the pitlane becomes a very busy and dangerous area when all the cars come in at the same time behind the safety car.
"There's a potential dangerous situation like we saw in Canada, especially when the pitlane is very short, like in Canada, and the red light is bound to be red at the end of the pitlane.
"If you have to come in because you have no fuel, you get a stop and go penalty, and we believe that is not fair."