FEBRUARY 22, 2001
No Safety Car after 2003
FIA President Max Mosley says that there will no longer be any need for a Safety Car in Formula 1 from the start of 2003 as the teams have all agreed to run intelligent speed limit systems instead. The system will be introduced at the start of 2002 but the Safety Car will be retained for one more season while any bugs in the systems are ironed out.
The race director will decide what speed limit is needed at the scene of any accident and will communicate this to the drivers. Cars will be equipped with systems that will run beneath the chosen speed limit and anyone exceeding the limit will be detected and given a stop-go penalty. The system has been made possible by the electronic systems which are now in place at every race as part of the digital TV wiring and there are sensors every 100 meters which indicate the speed and trajectory of the cars at any point on the track. Eventually it is expected that the system will become completely automatic with the cars being slowed on the FIA signal but obviously there is opposition to this from the teams.
Mosley is keen for F1 to have the technology as he is busy promoting "intelligent" road safety systems with governments around the world.
The FIA President says that there are also plans for a collision avoidance system which will warn drivers if there is a car going slowly or stopped ahead of them.
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