The safety car’s main function, as its name implies, is
to assist in maintaining safe track conditions throughout the Grand Prix
weekend. It is driven by an experienced circuit driver and carries an
FIA observer who is in permanent radio contact with race control.
an accident or incident occurs that is not severe enough to warrant
suspending the race, but which cannot be dealt with under yellow flags,
then the safety car will be called on to the circuit to slow the cars
It will come on to the circuit with its orange lights on
and all drivers must form a queue behind it with no overtaking allowed.
The safety car will signal backmarkers to pass by using its green light
until the race leader is immediately behind it.
If the incident
that brought out the safety car has blocked the pit straight, the clerk
of the course may direct the safety car to lead the field through the
pit lane. Cars are free to stop at their pit garage should this happen.
the safety car is ready to leave the circuit it extinguishes its orange
lights, indicating to the drivers that it will peel off into the pits
at the end of the current lap. The drivers then continue in formation
until they cross the first safety-car line where green lights will
indicate that they are free to race again.
circumstances, such as in extremely poor weather, a race may begin
behind the safety car, which will put its orange lights on at least a
minute before the start to indicate this. When those lights switch to
green the safety car will lead the field around the circuit in grid
Overtaking on this first lap is not allowed, unless a car
has a problem getting away from the grid, in which case the delayed
driver may repass cars in order to regain his original position. (If he
fails to regain that position before the end of the lap, he must pit and
rejoin the race once the field have passed the pit exit.) The safety
car will peel into the pits at the end of the lap and drivers are free
to race once they have crossed the first safety car line immediately
prior to commencing the next lap. No overtaking is allowed if the safety
car is on track on the final lap.
All laps completed behind the safety car count as race laps.