2015’s list of banned radio driver coaching

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You may recall that last year the FIA issued a team directive insisting that the driver coaching over the radio was to cease. They issued a list of banned types of commentary that the teams could not use during the race.

According to James Allen, the F1 Strategy group discussed the matter and felt the list is adequate for the 2015 season:

  • Driving lines on the circuit.
  • Contact with kerbs.
  • Car set up parameters for specific corners.
  • Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver.
  • Speeds in corners compared to another driver.
  • Gear selection compared with another driver.
  • Gear selection in general.
  • Braking points.
  • Rate of braking compared to another driver.
  • Rate of braking or application of brakes in general.
  • Car stability under braking.
  • Throttle application compared to another driver.
  • Throttle application in general.
  • Use of DRS compared with another driver.
  • Use of any overtake button.
  • Driving technique in general.

Now all of that might be well and good but the epic task of policing this list as well as divining any coded or secret messages seems to be a real rabbit hole for the FIA to trundle down and it makes one wonder if their time couldn’t be spent doing something more constructive such as designing a new, better set of regulations for the 2017 season. Surely this is platitudes as any team could arrive at a benign phrase as strategic code?

Allen quotes and FIA spokesperson:

“The Strategy Group, from whom the original request to limit what messages could be delivered to the drivers, now feel that the balance is right by only limiting messages that can be considered driver “coaching”,” said the FIA spokesman. “Therefore, the only messages we will not permit are those listed in TD/041-14 from last year.”

“We may add a few to this before the start of the season and re-issue the TD,” he said.

So perhaps they may add a thing or two to the list? There are some in F1 circles and across F1 fandom that would like all radio communication to stop. They feel it adds an element that removes the real race craft a driver needs to read a race and react accordingly. There is a slight allure to that notion if I’m honest as it would force drivers to hone a part of their trade that has been somewhat marginalized with real-time in-car communication. Moto GP still uses a pit board…period.

What do you think? Is this manageable or is it nonsense?

Hat Tip: James Allen on F1

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