FIA re­lents on team ra­dio strat­egy clam­p­down

F1 Racing (UK) - - INSIDER -

Re­stric­tions on ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing races have been re­laxed fol­low­ing an in­ter­ven­tion by the teams.

This year the FIA has im­posed strict lim­its on team ra­dio aimed at en­sur­ing the driver pi­lots the car “alone and un­aided”, as re­quired by the reg­u­la­tions. A list of 24 per­mit­ted sub­jects teams could com­mu­ni­cate to their driv­ers is de­fined in the rules. These largely con­cern safety, such as warn­ing of ter­mi­nal prob­lems with their car or a com­peti­tor’s, track con­di­tions, and so on.

But the teams felt that ban­ning them from dis­cussing race tac­tics would de­tract from the ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing F1 for tele­vi­sion view­ers. This came up on Sun­day morn­ing at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix, fol­low­ing a dra­matic drop in broad­cast ra­dio mes­sages – in the re­gion of 85 per cent – as teams fret­ted over how they should phrase dis­cus­sions with their driv­ers.

In a last-minute de­ci­sion ahead of the first race of the sea­son, FIA race di­rec­tor Char­lie Whit­ing ac­qui­esced to the teams’ sug­ges­tions and per­mit­ted dis­cus­sions of tac­tics over the

FIA’S Char­lie Whit­ing said they wanted to get rid of “coach­ing” but re­tain “juicy con­tent” ra­dio. Pre­vi­ously, the re­stric­tions were so ex­treme that a team could not even tell the driver which type of tyres they were putting on his car – they would have had to show them to him as he came in to the pits. From the cock­pit, the driv­ers can­not eas­ily see the coloured side­walls de­not­ing the dif­fer­ent com­pounds.

Also, driv­ers were per­mit­ted to make sug­ges­tions on race strat­egy, but would not know if these had been ac­cepted by the teams.

Whit­ing ini­tially was of the view that the TV show would not be neg­a­tively af­fected.

“First of all,” he said, “we heard many, many com­plaints from view­ers who were get­ting a bit fed up of hear­ing the con­stant engi­neer­ing as­sis­tance the driver was get­ting.

“That’s fun­da­men­tally what we want to cut out. But the driver is al­lowed to say any­thing he wants – there’s no re­stric­tions on what he says; it’s what the teams says to him.

“You’ll still get what I call the juicy con­tent – if some­one has done some­thing silly on track, the driv­ers can call him an id­iot and all that sort of stuff. Those are the things I think peo­ple gen­er­ally like to hear.”

The over­ar­ch­ing phi­los­o­phy of the ban re­mains, de­spite the slight re­lax­ation.

When rules brought in to pre­vent driv­ers be­ing ‘coached’ re­sulted in ra­dio si­lence, the gov­ern­ing body soft­ened its ap­proach

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.