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F1 to test speed limits in Austin

2014-10-12 20:54

READY TO TEST: F1 is set to test the proposed auto speed limiters in Austin, Texas, in two weeks following Jules Bianchi's horrific crash. Image: AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura

SOCHI, Russia - F1 looks set to test new software and procedures, in two weeks out in Austin, that will automatically limit the speed of the cars through double-waved yellow flag zones.

It is the governing FIA's reaction to Jules Bianchi's life-threatening collision with a recovery vehicle at Suzuka a week ago, when the Frenchman lost control of his Marussia despite the waving of yellow flags.

But it seems the drivers themselves have also been at the centre of the proposed solution, with Fernando Alonso telling Italy's Autosprint that "I was the one who raised the issue" with Charlie Whiting earlier in Russia.

'FEASIBLE IDEA'

Alonso said: "It seems to be a feasible idea. In indoor karting, the management can limit the speed of all the competitors by pressing a button."

Fellow Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen agreed: "As long as it's the same for everyone, I don't see any problem with it."

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims that Whiting met with team bosses on Saturday and said a proposed solution is to mandate a minimum 'delta time' through yellow flag zones that drivers will have the responsibility to obey.

But F1's swift reaction to the Bianchi crash does not mean the FIA has escaped criticism.

Bernie Ecclestone had earlier called for an independent investigation, but La Stampa correspondent Stefano Mancini said: "It was hard to imagine that, in investigating himself, Charlie Whiting would have recognised (the FIA) had taken dangerous decisions (in Japan)."

And F1 legend Alain Prost told France's RMC: "I don't want to argue with the FIA, because I have too much respect for everything that has been done for safety. But if there was one area where we knew there was something still to be done, this was it.

"So I am not convinced (by the investigation), but (I say that) without controversy," Prost added. "In extreme circumstances, you should have zero risk. That is why I cannot be totally convinced."

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