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FIA considering driverless safety car for F1 races

Marcin Budkowski, head of the FIA's F1 technical department, has suggested the sport could adopt driverless safety cars.

Safety car
Driverless safety cars could be coming to F1

Driverless safety cars could be on their way to Formula One after the FIA confirmed the adoption of autonomous vehicles is being considered.

The world's maiden competition for autonomous cars, Roborace, was announced last year as motorsport increasingly takes advantage of advances in technology.

But Marcin Budkowski, head of the FIA's F1 technical department, said that while the adoption of new technology will continue in F1, drivers will remain at the heart of the sport's appeal.

"Let me give you an example, but it is not the only one: we have spoken about an unmanned safety car," Budkowski said to Autosport. "It would promote a technology about which there is a bit of scepticism and, instead, it could be shown that it works.

"The safety car driver would no longer be essential, because it would leave the controls to the computer. But we must be aware of the attraction of race cars without drivers: the engineers would love it, but not the fans."

Formula One also launched an official eSports series on Monday, with the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix set to see the first virtual world champion crowned.

"This launch presents an amazing opportunity for our business: strategically and in the way we engage fans," said Formula One commercial operations managing director Sean Bratches.

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