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.

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