Safety car sets new records


The Canadian Grand Prix was one of the most chaotic and exciting Formula One races of recent years. What's more, the weekend saw a couple of records in top-flight motor racing being broken.

In view of the difficult weather conditions and the high risk of aquaplaning on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 32 of the 70 laps were completed behind the AMG Mercedes SLS safety car. At 45.7% of the race distance, this constitutes the longest safety car deployment of all time. The previous record of 26 laps was set under similarly difficult conditions at Fuji in 2007.

Including the start and restart, the safety car was sent out six times last Sunday, which is also a new record. Until last weekend, the Canadian Grand Prix already held the record for the greatest number of safety car deployments – five times during the 2007 race.

The spectacle of Bernd Mayländer leading the field in his Mercedes SLS AMG also attracted record TV coverage – the fastest safety car in Formula One history was shown live on screen for a total of 7 minutes 53 seconds during the broadcast.

By comparison, the Silver Arrows of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were visible on TV for 22 minutes 31 seconds last Sunday, including the eleven laps on which Schumacher was in second place, having switched to intermediate tyres and then clocking a sequence of fastest times. Including the pre-race build-up, the Silver Arrows were on screen for around half an hour (28:55 minutes).

Schumacher's fourth place in Canada was his best result of the season to date – last year too, the Canadian GP record holder (seven wins at Montreal) claimed no fewer than three P4 finishes in Spain, Turkey and Korea. Following the race last weekend, a poll of over 56,000 BILD-Zeitung readers chose the Mercedes GP driver as the greatest German sports personality of all time.

They were offered a choice of 50 famous names, including Franz Beckenbauer, Dirk Nowitzki, Steffi Graf, Fritz Walter and Boris Becker. Schumacher took 28.36% of the vote, more than twice as many as runner-up Beckenbauer on 12.95%.