In each F1 season several cars running at the back of the pack are overlapped by faster teams. In most races, only drivers placed until 10th-12th place end in the same lap of the winner. Until 2011 it seems to be the faith of slower cars to finish the race within one or more laps behind the leading driver. Well, not anymore!
In 2012 FIA altered F1 regulation and allows now for slower cars, under a safety-car period, to unlap themselves and recover their position in the pack. This change aims at providing better competition conditions after the safety-car exits the track, since otherwise pilots running for top positions would have to deal with ‘undesired traffic’, sometimes often called as ‘mobile chicanes’. But this also allows unlucky top drivers that may have had a negative contingency during the race that thrown them outside the leader lap to rejoin in a position to, who knows, dispute it again. In future posts we will explore the safety car deployment procedures and how a F1 race works under it.