In recent podcasts, we discussed our opinions on the amount and level of detail the pit-to-car radio communication has been this year. Very detailed analysis of the driver’s lap, where he is losing time and what he can do to do better, be quicker and nurse the car.
It seems we’re not alone in our concern as the FIA says they will clamp down on the pit-to-car radio traffic that aids the driver because, quite simply, it’s against the regulations.
Article 20.1 states, “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided” and it seems that these messages are certainly “aiding” the driver. FIA technical chief, Charlie Whiting, said:
“In order to ensure that the requirements of Article 20.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations is respected at all times we intend to rigorously enforce this regulation with immediate effect,” Whiting wrote.
“Therefore no radio conversation from pit to driver may include any information that is related to the performance of the car or driver.”
“We should also remind you that data transmission from pit to car is specifically prohibited by Article 8.5.2 of the F1 Technical Regulations.”
The last sentence is to prevent teams from using different methods of relaying the information to a driver.
One appealing element of MotoGP is that the riders are still reliant on the pit board and have no team communication and this leaves the race strategy set at the beginning but should it need to be changed or elements in the race might favor or harm the riders strategy, he will have to make those judgments himself with only the possible help of a pit board message.
One would presume this also means that telling a driver where his teammate is gaining on him or what his teammate is doing that gets a better lap time or tire wear would be banned such in the case of chatty Mercedes.