Bernd Maylander features on F1 Beyond The Grid podcast as he talks about his role, aggressive/non-aggressive drivers, Mugello re-start and more.
A man often seen at the front of the grid on race days, but seldom recognized for his driving prowess and immense experience in Formula 1, safety car driver Bernd Maylander was the guest on the most recent episode of F1 Beyond the Grid podcast.
Discussion with the German began on the timely note of the his experience at the Portuguese Algarve circuit, the 49-year-old explaining that he opens each F1 weekend with a track walk just as any other driver did.
After this, when the statistic was brought to his attention that only Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen have led more laps in F1 than himself, Maylander found this fact entertaining, as he also spoke on the feeling of leading the grid and the ballet of sorts that occurs each time the safety car is deployed, as well as the vital communication between himself and the FIA race directors.
Maylander dispelled the misconception that he is deliberately going slowly, but admitted that he seldom goes at full tilt whilst on the straights, as he has to manage the gap among competitors, all of whom are at various points in the lap. He also spoke on how certain drivers behave in certain ways behind the safety car, explaining that the likes of Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg, and Max Verstappen are all often calm behind the safety car, in stark contrast to Hamilton, whose style is an aggressive one.
The infamous safety car driver told some stories of the toughest conditions under which he has headed the field, also sharing that he has almost crashed his car on some occasions, but that he has kept the car from spinning since the beginning of his tenure.
Talk of racing in adverse conditions continued, with Maylander also covering the starting procedure when there are questions about a safe time to start, and his feedback is vital in the ultimate outcome of the decision, as it was at Germany in 2019.
After this, Maylander spoke on how he got into his position, and how he juggled racing in Porsche Supercup and being the safety car driver. He explained, though, that ultimately both jobs demanded more of him, and he was unable to satisfy both roles, so he quit racing – something he admitted was difficult to do.
He went on to discuss his relationship with both Nico and Keke Rosberg, attesting to the Qualifying mettle of the latter, and speaking on the retirement of the former back in the 2016 season. Forging ahead, Maylander would cover the safety cars that he has driven over his career, and how they have evolved since his first season in F1, after he pushed for changes to inadequate SCs of years past.
He added on the equipment he has within the car as well. Maylander then spoke on the Tuscan GP restart disaster, which saw a significant crash involving many drivers upon the pitting of the safety car, and provided his view on the incident. He proposed some steps that could be taken to fix the issues faced in that instance.
As the podcast neared its end, Maylander spoke on what each race Sunday looks like for him, before sharing that he didn’t anticipate he’d still be driving the safety car 20 years after starting, and feeling anxiety each time a race starts. After further discussion about the safety car and his back-up model, the podcast ended.
Here is the link to the podcast as FOM prohibits embedding: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hdWRpb2Jvb20uY29tL2NoYW5uZWxzLzQ5NjQzMzkucnNz/episode/dGFnOmF1ZGlvYm9vbS5jb20sMjAyMC0xMC0yNzovcG9zdHMvNzcxNTk5MA?hl=en-IN&ved=2ahUKEwiwsIK3xNnsAhUnIbcAHae_DmcQieUEegQIDxAF&ep=6
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