Pit-to-car ra­dio use to be lim­ited from Spa on­wards

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Clam­p­down on driver aids will start to take ef­fect at the Bel­gian Grand Prix, to make driv­ers more re­spon­si­ble for their own rac­ing

The push to re­duce driver aids in For­mula 1 will be­gin in earnest at the Bel­gian Grand Prix, with re­stric­tions on as­sisted starts and pit-to-car ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Fur­ther lim­its will be in­tro­duced for the 2016 sea­son.

The move comes af­ter the F1 Strat­egy Group de­cided to re­duce the im­pres­sion that driv­ers were ‘man­aged’ from the pits too much at races.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff ex­plained: “Rac­ing driv­ers are the main cast of the show, so let’s put more re­spon­si­bil­ity back to them. We want more vari­abil­ity and less pre­dictabil­ity. In or­der to achieve that, maybe there should be a less sci­entic ap­proach to rac­ing, and the race driver be re­spon­si­ble for his rac­ing.”

To en­force this, the FIA has turned to Ar­ti­cle 20.1 of the Sport­ing Reg­u­la­tions, which dic­tates that the “driver must drive the car alone and un­aided”. This catch-all reg­u­la­tion was rst in­tro­duced by for­mer FIA pres­i­dent Max Mosley in 1993, and has proved use­ful to the gov­ern­ing body over the years as they have sought to re­strict use of elec­tronic sys­tems.

Two main ar­eas of car oper­a­tions will be af­fected from the Bel­gian Grand Prix on­wards. On start pro­ce­dure: • The clutch bite point must not be changed from the time the driver leaves the garage un­til af­ter the start of the race. • The driver is not to use any bite-point fin­der elec­tron­ics, and the sys­tem it­self.

This is to pre­vent the cur­rent prac­tice of mod­i­fy­ing the clutch bite in the lead-up to the race, of­ten us­ing data from re­con­nais­sance laps.

Pit-to-car ra­dio dur­ing the for­ma­tion laps will be lim­ited to: • In­di­ca­tion of a crit­i­cal prob­lem with their own car, or a prob­lem with a com­peti­tor’s car; in­struc­tion to pit to fix or re­tire the car; mar­shalling in­for­ma­tion; no­ti­fi­ca­tion of a slip­pery track; re­quire­ment to swap po­si­tion with other driver.

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