Drivers in favour of 'virtual Safety Car'


Drivers have given their initial backing to a system which would see the introduction of an automatic speed limiter following an incident.

The idea was proposed by Charlie Whiting on Friday in the wake of last week's tragedy at Suzuka which has left Jules Bianchi fighting for his life.

Whiting admitted that whilst drivers slowed following Adrian Sutil's initial accident, some slowed more than others. Consequently, with an eye on the pitlane speed limiters, the FIA is looking at a means of slowing the cars on track, Whiting admitting that "it is probably better to take the decision to slow down away from the drivers".

"We had a drivers' meeting with Jean Todt on Friday and one of the ideas that came out is in electric karts when a flag comes out and all the engines die or limiters are put on, which is quite good," revealed Lewis Hamilton.

"What's good is the FIA are reacting to it, they're trying to find the best solution," he added. "The problem with flags is that you want to be safe, but you want to lose as little time as possible, so you're on a knife edge with it."

"I support it," said Fernando Alonso. "In fact I raised the point in the drivers' briefing because between the Japan and Singapore races I went into an indoor go-kart circuit and when there is a yellow flag they push a button and the engines cut and we all go at the same speed.

"If some kind of similar system can be done also in F1, you maintain the gap, there is not a rush, nothing to be done, just slow down, same for everybody."

It is not known when the system will be introduced, but it is understood it could be trialled over the course of the United States Grand Prix weekend in Austin.

"What needs to be done is to make it as fair as possible," said Sebastian Vettel. "I'm sure we have the opportunity with the current systems and technology. It shouldn't be a big problem. It's just about finding the right compromise so everyone is happy."

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Published: 11/10/2014
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