Why an unsafe release is considered dangerous in F1

What is an unsafe release in F1? When would a team or driver be guilty of racing – and what is the penalty?

Pit stops can sometimes be the most exciting part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The thrill of watching mechanics change four wheels and get the driver back on the road in less than 2.5 seconds is as exciting as it is remarkable.

However, sometimes in Formula 1, during a period of heavy pit stops, there can be an unsafe clearance – for example under a safety car.

But what is an unsafe release in Formula 1 – and why is the FIA ​​so strict about enforcement?

Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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Unsafe release in F1

On an unsafe clearance in Formula 1, a team lets go of Driver A from his pit stop and causes Driver B, who is approaching in the pit lane, to take evasive action to avoid contact.

It is the teams responsibility to ensure the fast lane in the pits is clear of other cars before allowing their own.

As Driver B approaches, Driver A must be held in his pits until Driver B has passed and the passing lane is clear.

Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Obviously teams want to save as much time as possible on pit stops and so sometimes they turn out a car with things that are just on the right side of acceptable.

A pit lane, especially when the safety car has been deployed, is a busy place with mechanics, marshals, team staff and the media.

If two F1 cars collided as a result of an unsafe release, people could be injured by flying debris.

What kind of punishment is awarded?

Uncertain releases in Formula 1 are usually fairly easy to spot and teams have no argument to approach the stewards.

A time penalty is usually imposed on the driver as a result of an unsafe clearance.

At the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen received a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release from Valtteri Bottas.

Red Bull put the Dutchman ahead of Bottas – who was pushed into the pit wall and suffered a puncture as a result.

Verstappen ran and finished second behind Lewis Hamilton – but dropped to fourth after his post-race penalty was imposed, with Sebastian Vettel and Bottas finishing second and third respectively.

Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images

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https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/03/27/unsafe-release-f1/ Why an unsafe release is considered dangerous in F1

Zack Zwiezen

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