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Virtual Safety Car rules revealed

NEWS STORY
08/01/2015

The FIA has revealed details of its new Virtual Safety Car (VSC) system which is to be introduced this year.

The introduction of the VSC follows a number of incidents in recent years, not least that involving Jules Bianchi at Suzuka, officials subsequently deeming that the decision to slow down during yellow flag periods should be taken away from the drivers.

The VSC, which was successfully tested on the Fridays of a couple of races last season, will normally be used when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car.

When the order is given to initiate the VSC procedure a message "VSC DEPLOYED" will be displayed on the official messaging system and all FIA light panels will display "VSC".

No car may be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person at any time whilst the VSC procedure is in use. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane. Indeed, no car may enter the pits whilst the VSC procedure is in use unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.

All competing cars must reduce speed and stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU at least once in each marshalling sector (a marshalling sector is defined as the section of track between each of the FIA light panels).

All cars must also be above this minimum time when the FIA light panels change to green - when the clerk of the course decides it is safe to end the VSC procedure the message "VSC ENDING" will be displayed on the official messaging system and, at any time between 10 and 15 seconds later, "VSC" on the FIA light panels will change to green and drivers may continue racing immediately. After 30 seconds the green lights will be extinguished.

The stewards may impose a penalty on any driver who fails to stay above the minimum time as required except when entering the pits, when leaving the pits, whilst in the pit entry or if any car slows with an obvious problem.

Each lap completed whist the VSC procedure is in use will be counted as a race lap.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by imejl99, 10/01/2015 11:43

"Should we, from 2015 onwards, cease to use obsolete term "driver" and introduce "racing vehicle manager" ?"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by stoney, 09/01/2015 12:10

"I hope this can actually avoid the deploying of the Safety Car and artificially bunching the drivers, to keep the real racing - although acknowledging that this often makes it more exciting, it's not entirely fair.

My concern is what happens when a driver under VSC leaves the track due to it still being an excessive speed..."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Paul C, 09/01/2015 4:34

"Just tell the drivers to slow down and let the Safety Car assume the lead of the race. No electronic silliness is required."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Vinicius, 08/01/2015 18:58

"Too much rules just because a driver made a mistake and hit a truck. Making things more complicated is the worse aspect in motorsports, which is already considered too complicated and let many people confused and not interested. Obviously if you are hardcore supporter you will disagree, but in fact you are wrong."

Rating: Negative (-2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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