Formula 1 radio coaching had been 'intolerable' - FIA's Whiting

Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting claims "an intolerable level" of coaching forced the FIA's hand in its clampdown on pit-to-driver radio communication

Formula 1 radio coaching had been 'intolerable' - FIA's Whiting

Ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix the FIA has issued "stricter enforcement" of article 27.1 of the sporting regulations that states "the driver shall drive the car alone and unaided".

Whiting believes the new rules were the only option.

"We started off last year by restricting what teams could say to the drivers," he said.

"We said they couldn't give them any coaching, which was 'don't cut this kerb', 'try and take a slightly different line through that corner'.

"Now we've gone one step further because we think the driver should be driving the car alone and shouldn't have as much help from the engineers.

"The main thing is they can't be told about their own strategy, for example. They can't be told power unit settings, to change the state of charge, mixtures. Anything like that is forbidden.

"There is a list of things they can say, but there are not many things on that list.

"The main point is the driver should be doing things. He should be driving the car and he should be doing the things a driver is normally expected to do.

"But over the last few years there has been so much information given to the driver by the engineers to manage every aspect of the car, we honestly felt it had got to an intolerable level."

Button: Radio limits impossible to police

Despite the turning of the screw, Whiting feels drivers and teams will quickly get to grips with the changes.

Speaking in a video on the FIA website, Whiting said: "They [the teams] can tell the driver to come in, as long as he comes in on that lap that they say come in.

"Then they can put on what tyres they like on the car. They will be the ones knowing what they feel is a good change of strategy, so I doubt it will change much in that respect to be honest."

THE FIA'S NEW RULES IN FULL

Detailed below are the restrictions on team-to-driver communications:

** To all communications to the driver including, but not limited to, radio and pit boards.

** At all times the car is out of the garage with the engine running and the driver on board (with the exception of any time the car is in the pitlane on the day of the race prior to or between reconnaissance laps).

The following is a list of the permitted messages. Any other message, including any of those below which we suspect has been used as a coded message for a different purpose (including a prompt to a driver), is likely to be considered a breach of article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations and will be reported to the stewards accordingly.

1. Acknowledgement that a driver's message has been heard. This may include repeating the message back to the driver for the sole purpose of confirmation.

2. 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.

3. Information concerning damage to the car.

4. Instructions to select driver defaults for the sole purpose of mitigating loss of function of a sensor, actuator or controller whose degradation or failure was not detected and handled by the on-board software. In according with article 8.2.4, any new setting chosen in this way must not enhance the performance of the car beyond that prior to the loss of function.

5. Instruction to enter the pitlane in order to fix or retire the car.

6. Indication of a problem with a competitor's car.

7. Marshalling information (red flag, blue flag, yellow flag, safety car, virtual safety car, race start aborted or other similar instructions or information from race control). This would include a reminder to switch off the SC 'delta time' function after crossing the first safety car line twice from the time the SC was deployed.

8. Passing on messages from race control (this would include a countdown to the start of the formation lap and telling a driver that the last car has taken up position on the grid at the end of the formation lap).

9. Wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.

10. Weather information.

11. Information concerning the driver's own laptime or sector times.

12. Laptime of a competitor.

13. Helping with warning of traffic and gaps to other competitors during a practice session or race.

14. Instructions to swap positions with other drivers.

15. Number of laps or time remaining during a practice session or a race.

16. Position during a practice session or a race.

17. 'Push hard', 'push now', 'you will be racing xx', 'take it easy' or similar (you are reminded about suspected use of coded messages when giving these messages or any words of encouragement).

18. When to enter the pits (or go to the grid during reconnaissance laps). Any message of this sort may only be used if a driver is to enter the pits on that lap. Having been told when to enter the pits, drivers may also be told to stay out if there has been a change of circumstances.

19. Reminders to use the speed limiter, change tyre settings to match the tyres fitted to the car or to check for white lines, bollards, weighbridge lights when entering or leaving the pits.

20. Driving breaches by team driver or competitors, e.g. missing chicanes, running off track, time penalty will be applied etc.

21. Notification that DRS is enabled or disabled.

22. Dealing with a DRS system failure.

23. Oil transfer.

24. Test sequence information during practice sessions (P1 and P2 only) e.g. aero-mapping.

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton sets pace in rain-hit first Australian GP practice

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton sets pace in rain-hit first Australian GP practice

Next article

No leeway for drivers stymied by red flags in new F1 qualifying

No leeway for drivers stymied by red flags in new F1 qualifying
Load comments
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021