So you may remember when F1 announced a ban on team radio everyone lost their minds over it and then it ended up making absolutely sod all difference to the racing anyway. Well good news everyone! They’ve gone and made the rules on team radio even stricter.
The FIA has introduced a whole bunch of restrictions ahead of the first race of 2016 so drivers won’t have a clue what the hell is going on during the race. Seriously, they won’t be allowed to hear about other drivers lap-times and they won’t even be able to talk with their engineers about pit stops until the lap the driver is meant to be coming in on.
F1 drivers will no longer be informed of gaps to competitors, tyre choice in the next pit stop, tyre choices of a competitor, the Safety Car window, reminders about track limits or even the track position of other cars in a qualifying session.
Sounds like it’s going to be impossible to police right? Well apparently the FIA have now banned coded messages, so expect drivers to be given some kind of penalty when they come on the radio to tell their engineers that their ‘back is itchy’ or if they’re discovered asking ‘what time is Game of Thrones on’ or something.
The ban of radio is of course in the hope that engineers aren’t the ones in control of the races but Fernando Alonso is one of the drivers who seems to think the ban will have the opposite effect.
“The aim is to give the driver more freedom, or more input in terms of strategy or changes in the car, or preparation.” said Alonso. “I think now we will not have any input in anything we do – because we have not the possibility to have that conversation with the team or have that decision on the radio.
“So we will stick to the programme and what we decide two hours before the race in the strategy meeting and we have to follow that. I don’t think it is going change anything, but if it does change it will be even less possibility for a driver because we are not able to chat [about] that thing.”
Oh well that’s just bloody great.
What do you think to the latest changes to driver/team communications?