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FIA considering safety measures in wake of Suzuka accident

NEWS STORY
10/10/2014

The FIA is looking at various measures in reaction to conditions surrounding the accident that has left Jules Bianchi fighting for his life.

Speaking in Sochi, Charlie Whiting, who had earlier met with the drivers, told reporters that while all drivers had slowed in the wake of Adrian Sutil's accident, including Bianchi, some had slowed more than others. With this in mind the FIA is looking into ways in which it can impose a speed limit at such times in future.

"There are some things to learn," he said. "We want to engage with all the teams and drivers to ensure we come up with good, sound and well-thought-through ideas.

"One of the most important things to learn here is that it is probably better to take the decision to slow down away from the drivers, to have a system where it is clearer to everyone how much we think drivers should slow down.

"That is what we are working on. We have a meeting with the teams on Saturday to discuss a way of imposing a speed limit. It would have the same effect as a safety car because if you slowed everyone down to the same pace they would hold position."

Revealing that, contrary to some reports, it is "highly unlikely" such a measure will be introduced this weekend, he added: "We have to ensure it works the same way on all the cars. We will be exercising extreme caution as always."

In terms of recovery vehicles, he admitted that the FIA would be more cautious in terms of using such vehicles in future and is also looking at fitting them with skirts which would deflect cars as opposed to allowing them to go underneath.

"It is similar to the thing you see on trucks on the road to stop cars going under the side or under the back," he said. "That is something we are going to consider."

As debate over whether the race should have been moved forward, in light of the impending arrival of Typhoon Phanfon, he confirmed that this had been suggested by the FIA but rejected (by the promoter), he also denied Felipe Massa's claim that he had been 'screaming for several laps' to get the race stopped.

"That's not entirely true," said Whiting. "I don't think he was screaming. 'Track conditions are getting worse' was the only thing he actually said. I don't personally think that constitutes screaming.

"But we don't listen to all the drivers at all times," he added. "We rely on the teams to tell us anything important they think we should know."

The Briton who also confirmed that a waved green flag just after the (Sutil) incident was correctly displayed, said that the Safety Car had not been deployed because the German's car - which crashed a lap earlier - was "well away from the track, against the tyre barrier."

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1. Posted by Martin B, 16/10/2014 6:37

"Aww, C'mon Charlie Whiting Sir, you have been doing this fine job for LONG enough but with drivers shouting into their radios at you that the track was too bad that the race should have been red-flagged, the minute Chilton crashed you should have red-flagged it.You know multiple people have gone at that corner in treacherous conditions in the past, yet still unfortunately Jules found a large orange immovable object. I pity him and for how you must be feeling, but whatever the "boss" says - the race (MUST NOT) continue at all costs for the sake of TV airtime. I do sympathize with you, Sir, and of course with Jules and his family."

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2. Posted by Jonno, 11/10/2014 3:34

"So, what is the truth about a directive that Charlie Whiting was supposed to have sent to the drivers demanding that drivers merely slow 0.2 seconds for a yellow and 0.5 seconds for a double waved yellow flag? I hear it was reported in Autosport in March this year.
If this is true, I hope it is not swept under the carpet.
"

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3. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 10/10/2014 22:04

"With Charlie Whiting you will get a balanced view, and positive action. Nothing "knee-jerk" - just as Mike Lawrence noted in his excellent article."

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4. Posted by Dreadnaught, 10/10/2014 20:23

"So far all seems sensible and reasonable, do not throw the baby out with the bath water."

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