Madrid, Monday: Campos team principal Colin Kolles has formally expressed his concerns to the FIA over the new-for-2010 Safety Car, it was revealed today.
The Mercedes SLS AMG, which can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and reach a top speed of around 200 mph, is believed by the Campos team to be significantly quicker than their own F1 car, which Kolles claims is a serious safety issue.
“The Safety Car is supposed to neutralise the race by slowing the entire field down,” Kolles said in a statement to the press earlier today. “But this car is so quick and so powerful, it seems as though it will probably not slow us down at all. In fact, it’ll be a major struggle for us not to be lapped by it. This has obvious safety implications for the marshals working at the track.”
The Campos F1 car is being built by Dallara, who have prodigous experience in chassis construction, but delays in funding the project mean it is unlikely even to be shaken down before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Observers are predicting a difficult first few races for the team, though this is the first acknowledgement from them that they are likely to be dangerously slow.
“This is pathetic,” one fan blustered. “Turning up at the first race with a car that’s so far off the pace it’ll be slower than the Safety Car? The FIA should have picked better teams from the ones that applied! This would never have happened with Lola. Right?”
Regular Safety Car driver Bernd Maylander refused to be drawn on suggestions that he might have to swap to last year’s McLaren car in order to keep the field running at a safe pace during caution periods.