Formula 1 drivers give backing for 'virtual safety car' proposal

F1 drivers behind 'virtual safety car' idea
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Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso give their backing to a 'virtual safety car' idea in the wake of Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are among a number of Formula 1 drivers who have backed the FIA's idea of introducing a 'virtual safety car' in the near future.

The proposal comes in the aftermath of Jules Bianchi's crash at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, which has left the Frenchman fighting for his life in hospital.

The governing body announced on Friday that it was looking at a number of suggestions to make racing safer, with one such idea being a predetermined lap time which would be imposed on the drivers in the event of certain incidents where the safety car is not needed.

Mercedes driver Hamilton has said that the virtual safety car would "take the pressure off" the drivers to slow down.

"What's good is they're reacting to it and trying to find the best solution," he told BBC Sport.

"The problem with flags is that you want to be safe, but you want to lose as little time as possible. So you're always on the knife-edge with it.

"With the limiter through that sector or whatever they're going to do, that really does take the pressure off the chance you can make mistakes."

Ferrari's Alonso has also given his backing to the idea.

"I support it," he said. "In fact I raised the point in the drivers' briefing because between the Japan and Singapore races I went into an indoor go-kart circuit and when there is a yellow flag they push a button and the engines cut and we all go at the same speed.

"If some kind of similar system can be done also in F1, you maintain the gap, there is not a rush, nothing to be done, just slow down, same for everybody."

Hamilton will begin today's Russian Grand Prix on pole position.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates after qualifying in pole position for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix on April 19, 2014
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