The 2012 season returned with a bang with a thrilling race in Australia. There were a number of notable drives up and down the grid such as Fernando Alonso, Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Perez and Kimi Räikkönen. The race was jam-packed with incidents and close wheel-to-wheel racing.
There were a number of exciting moments during the race, however, my personal race highlight was the restart after the safety car when Jenson Button put the throttle down and instantly pulled away from Sebastian Vettel, and was soon setting fastest race laps. Button dominated the race from start to finish, maintaining his cool even during the safety car period.
The issue of cars un-lapping themselves under the safety car was highlighted in the race when three drivers – Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock and Charles Pic – were allowed to un-lap themselves during the safety car period. This meant that even though Vitaly Petrov’s car had been cleared, the safety car had to stay out for an extra lap or two in order for the un-lapped cars to rejoin the pack. This effectively meant that drivers lost out on two racing laps. In the past there have been issues with lapped cars getting in the way when drivers are forced to overtake at the restart in order to stay with the cars they are fighting with for position. I think that this is an issue that does need to be addressed but the prolonged period behind the safety car is not ideal. If lapped cars are allowed to un-lap themselves but not given time to rejoin the pack then there is the strong possibility that the cars will soon be lapped again when the field return to full racing speeds, negating them un-lapping in the first place.
Do you think that this is the right way to deal with backmarkers or is there another way to do it? What were your race highlights?