Formula 1 is likely to analyze Max Verstappen’s Safety Car restart from the Brazilian Grand Prix to see if the lessons from the way the scenario played out can be used to benefit the sport in future.
Verstappen remained slow until within a few meters of the finish line when restarting the race with two laps remaining at Interlagos in order to prevent any drivers behind him from picking up a slipstream on the run to Turn 1.
F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn says the way it ensured the rest of the field stayed bunched together warrants further analysis in case it can improve racing.
“His Red Bull was definitely the best package on the day, but Max, too, was in superb form,” Brawn said. “He didn’t waver, he trusted the judgement of his engineers and strategists, and he delivered a winning drive of pace, power and precision.
“He was particularly strong at the second restart, when he slowed the field right down with the aim of ensuring no one would be able to slipstream past him and snatch victory.
“It was an exciting and fascinating re-start which will be analyzed very carefully, as the closeness of the pack in the seconds leading up the green flags resulted in a thrilling spectacle as drivers jockeyed for position and where the slightest advantage proved decisive.
“Examining the possibility of procedurally recreating those conditions in future is an interesting concept and one that will undoubtedly be explored in the coming period.”
Highlighting Verstappen’s performance on Sunday, Brawn was also keen to point out the gains made by Red Bull and Honda in recent weeks having been a threat for victory in Austin and failed to maximize a competitive package in Mexico.
“Of Max’s three wins this year, this was the one where the Red Bull-Honda package was at its best, as it seems to have closed on if not actually matched the level of its rivals. There’s only one race to go, but the Milton Keynes team and the Japanese manufacturer have laid down a strong marker for 2020.”