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French Grand Prix 2022

FIA explain how system issue impacted French GP Virtual Safety Car

The FIA have explained what impact an issue with the Virtual Safety Car had on the French Grand Prix.

VSC virtual safety car
To news overview © XPB Images

Following a glitch in the hardware for the Virtual Safety Car systems, the FIA have explained the impact of the error.

With the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu stopped on track, the VSC was deployed to allow the car to be cleared.

When the track returned to green flag conditions, Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who was running in third at the time, was caught out by the restart and passed by Mercedes' George Russell.

Perez had commented after the race that he was caught out by the unusually long time it took for the VSC to end.

RacingNews365.com has learned that a hardware issue occurred during the Virtual Safety Car period, which meant that a second 'VSC ending' message was sent.

In the circumstances where the hardware has a problem, a backup system kicks in, as it did during the French GP.

When the second 'VSC ending' message was sent, the track returned to full racing speed 10-15 seconds after that message. The 10-15 second delay is a standard procedure and the same information is still sent to all teams and drivers.

Horner rues missing out on double podium

Perez's poor VSC restart resulted in Red Bull losing out on a double podium finish at the French GP.

It means Red Bull took three points fewer than expected and denied them inflicting more damage on Ferrari's Constructors' Championship ambitions.

Speaking after the race, the Red Bull Team Principal questioned whether or not the same telemetry was going to both Perez's and Russell's cars.

"What was frustrating for Checo was there was an issue with race control with the [Virtual] Safety Car, because they couldn't turn it off," Horner explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"They had to do a reset. When I was talking with him, he was saying he wasn't getting the delta in his car, so he was bang on his delta.

"I think George either pre-empted it, but was within the delta, or maybe the information to the two cars was different.

"We have to go and explore that, but it was frustrating, because I think he would have had the pace to hold him off for a double podium."

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F1 2022 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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