F1 safety system working after Bianchi accident

In N.Y., Brad Spurgeon wrote a "sense of fatalism is hanging over Formula One" days after the death of French driver Jules Bianchi. Many observers "consider the Frenchman’s crash a freak accident."

Bianchi "skidded off a wet track at high speed and ran under a crane vehicle that was removing a car that had been in an earlier crash." Some argued that "the crane should not have been there at all, but there are few other ways to remove a wreck at the edge of a track."

After an inquiry, FIA, the sport’s governing body, concluded that Bianchi "had not sufficiently slowed while track marshals waved two yellow flags."

But FIA "also recommended the introduction of what is called a virtual safety car, a system that forces drivers to reduce their speed and freezes the order of a race."

The virtual method controls drivers’ speed via electronic commands sent from the race control tower to their steering wheels, "giving each driver maximum and minimum speed limits." Failure to respect the limits, which require speed to be reduced by roughly 35%, "results in a penalty." N.Y. TIMES

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