FIA plans F1 yellow flag restrictions after Jules Bianchi crash

The FIA will meet with Formula 1 teams at Sochi on Saturday to discuss implementing a yellow flag speed limit in the wake of the Jules Bianchi accident

FIA plans F1 yellow flag restrictions after Jules Bianchi crash

With the initial report on the Bianchi's Japanese Grand Prix crash having been given to FIA president Jean Todt, one of the key lessons to come out is that the speed of cars in caution zones needs to be better controlled.

Bianchi speared off the track after running wide on a wet part of the circuit when double waved yellow flags were being displayed to warn him that marshals were attending to Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting believes that grand prix racing needs to find a system where the speed of cars when double yellows are out is controlled by the FIA, rather than relying on drivers to do what they think is best.

He has called team managers to a meeting at the Russian GP to discuss ways of introducing this for 2015.

"There are some things to learn and we want to engage with all teams and drivers to make sure we come up with good, sound and well thought through ideas," said Whiting during a media briefing to discuss the Bianchi crash.

"One of the most important things for us to learn here is that it is probably better to take the decision to slow down away from drivers.

"It is better to try to put in place a system where it is much clearer to everybody how much we think cars should slow down in similar circumstances.

"That is what we are working on, starting tomorrow morning, with a meeting with all the teams to discuss exactly that.

"We want a way of trying to impose a speed limit - it probably won't be a speed limit as such, but there will be a way of controlling speed with complete certainty and complete clarity."

Whiting ruled out the idea of a strict speed limit, like the World Endurance Championship uses with its 'Code 60' concept, but said that use of a delta time that is currently used for safety car periods would be one way of achieving it.

"The difficulty of having a speed limit over a certain sector is that it will probably have to be different for certain sectors," he said.

"One thing that would worry me slightly is the fact you can see how engineers and drivers push limits for pit lane speed limit, they would want to be braking at the last possible minute and as hard as possible to get down to the speed limit at the precise place - that is the nature of F1.

"The delta would be the same for everybody. They know what to do, they have same reference map so all have to slow down at the same time."

'EXTREME CAUTION' OVER TRACTOR USE

While introducing a yellow flag speed limit is a longer term project, Whiting said that the FIA would be more cautious about how it deals with situations where recovery vehicles are on track from now on.

When asked if changes would be made to tractors this weekend, he said: "There is nothing we can do to the tractors as such.

"All I can say is we will use them with extreme caution."

Whiting also said that the FIA would investigate ways of mandating a skirt around recovery vehicles to prevent the possibility of F1 cars going underneath them - as Bianchi did.

"We had nearly an hour with the drivers earlier and one of the things that emerged from that and has been discussed, and can be rediscussed, would be some form of skirt," he said.

"It is similar to the thing you see on trucks on the road to stop cars going under the side or under the back.

"That is something we would need to consider and are going to consider."

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