Some folks may have been looking for a lift in the radio ban from the FIA after Lewis Hamilton’s Baku issues, Sergio Perez in Austria or Nico Rosberg at Silverstone but what they got was a tightening of the regulation in regards to item number 2 on the radio ban list:
Previous Verbiage: “Indication of a critical problem with the car. Any message of this sort may only be used if failure of a component or system is imminent and potentially terminal.”
New Verbiage: “Indication of a problem with the car. Any message of this sort must include an irreversible instruction to enter the pits to rectify the problem or to retire the car.”
You’ll recall my piece about the Rosberg penalty and how that 10s penalty would simply be considered if and when the team had another issue now that they knew the precedent and I wondered if the penalty was just one of several punitive actions stewards may take or the definitive penalty for radio infractions. I argued that breaking the ban should incur some sort of pit stop and potential loss of track position and it seems the FIA agree with me on this.
As I argued prior, simply adding 10s to the time of the penalized car is not the kind of punitive action that could disrupt the running of a Mercedes—who normally have well over 10s in hand over the competition—and while I am not keen to punish those who have a clear performance advantage over others simply because they do, I believe that ceding track position, even if you have 45s in hand, always adds drama and potential back markers to the equation. Anything can happen in a pit stop and losing physical track position can at least add some gravity to the situation. May not be a perfect solution but at least the FIA are listening to me. ;)