Apr.13 - Formula 1's safety car driver has defended himself following criticism after the Australian GP.

World champion Max Verstappen described the green Maylander-driven Aston Martin safety car in Melbourne as a "turtle".

"In a straight line, he was doing a maximum of 140kph, although there were no wrecked cars in that section.

"I don't know why we had to drive so slowly," the Red Bull driver said.

Maylander, who is F1's long-time safety car driver and once an accomplished racer in the DTM and top-level sports cars including Le Mans, was asked about the comments.

"I'm well aware of the criticism from drivers like Verstappen, but I couldn't do much," the 50-year-old insisted.

"It's nice that Charles (Leclerc) saw that I was absolutely at the limit. That's all I could do."

It appears the FIA is also aware of the problem with the Aston Martin safety car, having cleared Mick Schumacher of the blame for a near-crash in Melbourne.

In the stewards' ruling, the FIA said the "speed and braking capabilities of F1 cars ... are in tension with the ten-car length separation behind the safety car traditionally specified in the regulations".

As suggested by Maylander, championship leader Leclerc doesn't blame the safety car driver for the speed problem.

"To be honest, I wanted to complain," he said. "But then I checked how much the safety car was sliding in the corner and I don't think there was anything more that he could give so I didn't want to put too much pressure."

George Russell, meanwhile, pointed out that F1's other safety car - a Mercedes - is "five seconds quicker than the Aston Martin".

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8 F1 Fan comments on “Safety Car driver responds after 'turtle' jibe in last GP

    • shroppyfly

      They probably had it in full electric mode, they were late to the party with an SUV , i can see this going the same way as the Rapide

      • ReallyOldRacer

        The last truly cool car they built was the DB5 when they were a real Brit OEM. A school chum of mine dad had one. Didn't know what it was, just knew it was way cool.

        • Swede

          Yes, the DB5 was great,

          The new Veloce looks like a girl you used to date that grew up and has nicer boobs now. ;) (sorry Susan, just how I feel)

          And the new Valkyrie sure LOOKS good. Responses with interesting adjetives describing the looks welcome...

  1. Jax

    "George Russell, meanwhile, pointed out that F1's other safety car - a Mercedes - is "five seconds quicker than the Aston Martin".
    How could you leave out Leclerc's response to this at said press conference. I figured he was cool cat but I never knew he had a comeback like that in him Lol. The look on boy George's face afterwards made it even more epic. 😄. Leclerc's is officially in my good book.

  2. CanadianEh

    The image of the Safety Car driver pedaling madly away as he leans into the corner came to mind. And unfortunately, ROR is correct, the latest Aston Martin iteration rests firmly in the "bath-tub" school of design.

    How sad.


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