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FIA trial virtual safety car during Friday Practice in Austin // Drivers given yellow flag lap time delta

Published by Christine

FIA trial virtual safety car during Friday Practice in Austin
Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images
FIA trial virtual safety car during Friday Practice in Austin audio waveform
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Following the two Friday practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas, the FIA asked cars to stay out on track after the chequered flag to test out their new virtual safety car concept. Following Jules Bianchi’s accident at Suzuka, the FIA have been reviewing how to ensure drivers slow down enough under yellow flag conditions, relative to the incident that has occurred.

Following practice, yellow flag conditions were put in place, with a specific lap time given to drivers as they made their way through the affected area of track. The test received mixed but mostly positive reviews. Lewis Hamilton said: “When the safety car comes out, it’s usually very slow. Today it seemed to work well, we’ll develop it and improve it a bit.”

Daniel Ricciardo was in favour of the idea: “It seemed to work well, I think it’s a good thing to have a set time for the lap, it’s fair, safe and equal for everyone.” Romain Grosjean wasn’t so sure though, saying: “I found it very difficult to follow how you have to open a bigger gap but when it goes green it is lost. I only did it in FP2 so didn’t have much training, but I found it quite hard.”