Virtual safety car gets green light for 2015 season

The FIA will push ahead with the idea of a virtual safety car (VSC) for the 2015 season following successful trials during the final few races of 2014.

The system won't replace the safety car, which will still be used for large accidents which require a pace car, but it could result in fewer safety car periods as the VSC system will force cars to slow down for safety reasons.

The change comes after Jules Bianchi's accident in Japan where Adrian Sutil span off, but with his car clear of the circuit, the FIA saw no reason to deploy the safety car and instead used double waved yellow flags.

Drivers must therefore slow, but by how much is completely up to them. That may have played a role in Bianchi's accident when he span off at the same point as Sutil and hit a recovery vehicle.

It's hoped the VSC, which will be used whenever a recovery vehicle or marshal is on the circuit, will resolve this problem as drivers must stick to an exact speed limit until the track is cleared, otherwise they will face a penalty.

Extensive testing was carried out during practice for the United States GP, and then again in Abu Dhabi where a few tweaks were made to satisfy driver concerns.

During a meeting in Abu Dhabi, the teams and the FIA agreed it should be introduced for the start of the new season next year.

Draft regulations have been written and submitted where they will be signed off and written into the sporting regulations.