FIA announces Formula 1 virtual safety car procedure for 2015

The procedure for Formula 1's new virtual safety car (VSC) system has been confirmed by the FIA, after the publication of its 2015 rules

FIA announces Formula 1 virtual safety car procedure for 2015

The virtual safety car came about in the wake of Jules Bianchi's Japanese Grand Prix crash, with the governing body believing that a new way was needed to slow cars down in the event of an incident.

Following successful trials of the concept during practice at the final three races last year, rules were agreed with teams.

These have now been formally added to F1's sporting regulations.

Article 41 of the rule books outlines how the VSC procedure will work - and makes it clear that it will normally be implemented when "double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car itself."

When the VSC is called out, the marshalling light panels around the track will display 'VSC'.

Drivers will not be allowed to enter the pits, unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres, and they will have to stay above a minimum time set by the FIA at least once in each marshalling sector

Any driver that does not respect the speed limit will be sanctioned by stewards.

When race control is happy that it is safe to resume racing, teams will be informed on the official message system that the VSC period is ending and then "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."

Rules relating to standing starts after safety cars and double points have been removed from the 2015 rules, after it was agreed to ditch the concepts at the end of last year.

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