(Motorsport-Total.com) – Lewis Hamilton lost just under 1.5 seconds in Baku during the virtual security period at Valtteri Bottas on Sunday. While the viewers were in the same because of a corresponding radio call from Hamilton, only a few noticed that Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had lost even more time with the VSC.
Stupid: Charles Leclerc was simply in the wrong place on the VSC … zoom
A surprising six seconds left the Monegasse at the top Bottas during the VSC stage. Numbers: At the time the VSC was activated on lap 40, Leclerc (fifth place) was 31.6 seconds behind Bottas and 24.0 seconds behind Max Verstappen (fourth place). After the end of VSC on lap 41, their difference increased to 37.6 and 29.3 seconds, respectively.
Leclerc lost 5.3 seconds to Verstappen and up to 6.0 seconds to Bottas. Many fans are wondering how this is possible. Because a mistake made the Ferrari driver during the neutralization did not. And at VSC, one always talks about "freezing" the gaps. But this is just the case in theory, as this situation proves.
The Leclerc case is a good example of the fact that in VSC, in reality, some pilots – as well as the true safety car – have a clear disadvantage. The collision point here is the position on the track. When the VSC was activated on Sunday, Leclerc was in sector 3, so had the long start-finish in front. This he had to drive under VSC in the rhythm of a snail.
Rosberg criticizes Ferrari for Baku qualification
Former Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg criticizes Ferrari for the qualifying strategy in Baku 2019! More videos from Formula 1
In contrast, the top 4 were already in sector 1 of the new round. An advantage, because the sections ahead are slower anyway. There you do not waste as much time in Baku during the VSC as in the long straight. Now, one can assume that these differences would have to be balanced during a VSC phase.
This is effective, but it is not the case because a VSC phase does not take exactly one turn. In Baku's example, it took 3 minutes and 26 seconds – more than one lap. Means: Leclerc had to crawl twice the long direct start-end under VSC conditions, the top group only once. This led to a great loss of time.
By the way, in Baku, it was not just Leclerc. Also Nico Hulkenberg, who was close to the Ferrari driver during the VSC stage on the track (with a gap), had a similar loss of time. In the end, it did not matter to either side, because Leclerc was in fourth and Hülkenberg out of reach anyway.
The bottom line is a good example that the VSC is not as fair as it is often portrayed. In any case, one can not speak of "freezing" of distances in practice.