For twenty years, Bernd Maylander, a former DTM driver, has been doing important work driving the FIA safety car, and in this capacity has been to almost all Grand Prix in this capacity since 2000.
And he knows very well that Formula 1 stars behave differently when driving behind a safety car.
Bernd Maylander: “Michael Schumacher rode completely calmly, I would say, fully maintaining his composure. Valtteri Bottas, when driving behind me, also acts absolutely unperturbed. He always keeps the same distance.
Max Verstappen is not overly urging me on. Nico Rosberg also rode very calmly, always keeping the correct distance. But Sebastian Vettel presses, and in this regard, he is almost the same as Lewis Hamilton, with whom it is definitely the most difficult, because he constantly accelerates, slows down, rides in zigzags. Can get very close to my car.
I’m not sure if he is trying to urge me on, because he understands everything. But that’s his style. He tries to do everything to keep the temperature of the tires in the right range, and at some point will again lag behind the safety car.
Sometimes there is a strange feeling, because he disappears from the field of view, I do not see him in the mirrors. His car is in the blind spot, and I wonder – is he on the left or on the right? .. “
Maylander also compared the speeds of modern Formula 1 cars and a Mercedes AMG GT R sports car with a 500-horsepower engine, which is used as an official safety car: “As far as I remember, a Formula 1 car goes around the highway in Portimao in about a minute and 17 seconds. My best lap on new tires was around one minute and 58 seconds. This is the difference.
But it is much clearer to compare speeds over a kilometer distance. On it, the difference is from 8 to 9.5 seconds. I’m saying that Formula 1 is just a different world. This is the same as comparing airplanes – for example, an expensive business jet with a fighter-interceptor. Both fly, but at different speeds. “