Oct.11 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1 is considering a couple of rule changes in response to Jules Bianchi’s serious crash at Suzuka last weekend.
The most significant is that, when double yellow flags are being waved, drivers may have their pitlane speed limiters automatically triggered.
It would have the twofold benefit of not only preventing the sort of accident that sent Bianchi off the track, but ensuring that every driver is equally disadvantaged by caution zones.
“There were some (drivers) that didn’t slow down much,” said the FIA’s Charlie Whiting at Sochi on Friday when he spoke to reporters about Bianchi’s crash.
“One of the most important things to learn is that it is probably better to take the decision to slow down away from the drivers,” he added.
F1 teams have also been briefed about the FIA’s proposals, another of which could be the fitting of safety skirts around recovery vehicles.
Reporters, who were asked to turn off their camera phones, were also shown official video replays of Bianchi’s crash.
“We have to learn from what happened,” said FIA president Jean Todt, whose son Nicolas is Bianchi’s manager.
“And we will, because we cannot be faced with such a situation again.”
But Whiting played down suggestions one solution to the problem could be fighter jet-style cockpit canopies.
“It’s very difficult to find something that is strong enough to stop an errant wheel and allows the driver to drive the car without being affected by the structure,” he insisted.
He said any new safety measures would probably not be introduced until 2015, but the drivers may have been told something different.
“I know that this weekend the FIA is taking every possible precaution,” Bianchi’s closest friend in F1, Jean-Eric Vergne, is quoted by France’s L’Equipe at Sochi.
“Each time a car stops at the side of the track and there are marshals working there, the safety car will come out.
“There will be zero risk until they have found solutions for the sport,” he added.
Meanwhile, Whiting denied Felipe Massa’s claim of last Sunday that he “screamed” on the radio for the race to be stopped just before Bianchi’s crash.