Radio rules branded ‘rubbish’ by teams
Leading team bosses have hit out at F1’s current radio rules in the wake of Nico Rosberg becoming the first driver to suffer a penalty as a direct result of illegal communications during a race.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said he thought the FIA’S current rules regarding drivers talking to their pit crew were “rubbish”. He said: “It doesn’t make a great deal of sense but the rules are the rules. There’ll be loads of messages that will take into account whether it is worth five seconds [penalty] or 10s, or if it’s a reprimand.
“The cars are technically very complex and you can understand why Mercedes would want to give that message to keep their driver running. The question going forward is are these rules right for F1?”
Williams’ Pat Symonds added: “I don’t like it [the radio rules]. To me F1 is a team sport, you should work together. A technical directive is not a rule, it’s an opinion.
“Charlie [Whiting, FIA race director] has written that technical directive and said ‘this is what you can say, everything else is illegal.’ Well that’s his interpretation of a very, very vague rule about the driver driving the car alone and unaided. There are a couple of things we heard on the radio [previously] that we asked Charlie ‘are you happy with that?’ and he said ‘yeah’. Every single race there’s a debate going on on the pitwall.”
Force India’s Bob Fernley added: “We’ve got to look at the radio communication because we were not allowed to tell the drivers their brakes were critical [in Austria when Sergio Perez crashed out]. It’s a bit worrying. It seems silly putting a halo on a car but not being able to tell a driver his brakes are about to go.”
Mclaren’s Eric Boullier said before the British GP that teams had attempted to seek clarification on the rules, or even an alteration to them. Boullier said: “There were discussions between the teams and the FIA, seeking either more freedom or clarification, and the FIA has been very clear they will not change their position.”