Lap 50: Chow retires and VSC is called.
VSC is deployed when there is an incident that requires cars to slow down on the track – the entire track – but without the need for a full safety car. This is intended to make the track a safer environment as in this case Guanyu Zhou’s car was removed from danger.
The advantage of the VSC in this situation was that if the other car spun, Chow’s car was in a dangerous position. The affected Alfa Romeo could push faster which meant it didn’t need a full safety car. It is in these situations that VSC is a good, quick and short solution.
In practice, VSC allows each driver to time the ‘delta’, which is displayed on their steering wheel ‘dashboards’. This ensures that the gaps between cars remain more or less uniform across the field. In theory, no one is deprived.
Lap 50: VSC’s finish message appears at T8 but does not finish
The regulations state that there will be a random interval of 10 to 15 seconds between the sending of the ‘VSC End’ message until the race restarts, with the marshal boards changing from yellow to green. It didn’t happen here, as the FIA later said was due to a technical glitch.
“The second VSC timeout message was sent due to a hardware problem, which caused an automatic switch to backup systems that worked exactly as they should in this scenario. Same info. All teams are provided simultaneously,” his statement read. This caused a delay of about a minute in the restart.
Confusion gripped Perez. At one point you could see the gap between the Red Bull driver and Russell widening after he pulled out of the chicken. That was because Perez thought the VSC era was coming to an end – or had ended – and he was getting ready for it. But it didn’t pan out and he had to backtrack again to ensure he stayed within his ‘delta’ time and didn’t incur a penalty.
Lap 50: VSC finally finishes in T12 and Russell catches Perez right away.
It was likely the case that Russell had the advantage of both being behind Perez and being within a second of VSC. The gist of it was that he could just watch what Perez was doing while still within his ‘delta time’ and make a little guess and then react. Perez suffered from both these factors as well as the ‘VSC ending’ defect.
At the critical turn just after turn 13, Perez was slowing to maintain his delta time as Russell was accelerating and then suddenly had to open the throttle, as well as the oncoming Mercedes. Twisted back trying to act. The spin to the rear was not the cause of the overtake but it worsened the situation and made it difficult for him to get close enough to the pits to try to reclaim the spot, even with the help of DRS. From. Russell read the situation better and caught Perez a little napping to take the final podium spot.