'Juicy content' in F1 team radio won't be lost with new rules - FIA

Formula 1's new pit-to-car radio restrictions will not spoil the "juicy content" enjoyed by fans, insists FIA race director Charlie Whiting

'Juicy content' in F1 team radio won't be lost with new rules - FIA

The governing body issued a "stricter enforcement" of article 27.1 of the sporting regulations, which states "the driver shall drive the car alone and unaided".

While what the teams communicate to the drivers will be closely scrutinised by the FIA, there are no constraints on what the drivers can say.

The new radio restrictions in full

"The driver is allowed to say anything he wants," said Whiting.

"There are no restrictions in what he says, it's just what the team can say to him.

"You will still get the juicy content. If someone has done something silly on the track, the driver can call him an idiot and all this sort of stuff.

"Those are the sorts of things that I think people generally like to hear.

"We heard many complaints from viewers who were a bit fed up hearing the engineering assistance the drivers were getting.

"That's fundamentally what we want to cut out."

There was an evident reduction in the amount of team radio messages FOM put out on the TV broadcast during Friday's two practice sessions in Melbourne.

Whiting said punishments for breaching the regulations will range from a warning to a time penalty depending on the severity.

"If it was a simple one, they would get away with a warning at this stage at least," he said.

"If it was slightly more serious, the stewards may consider a reprimand.

"But if they were to do something which really helped the driver do something he should be doing himself then I suspect a time penalty would be more appropriate."

McLaren's Jenson Button argued the FIA will find it almost impossible to police the clampdown due to the volume of messages.

Whiting denied this, saying there will be a dedicated team of people charged with listening to certain radio channels.

"We will hear every single message, I'm absolutely sure of that," said Whiting.

"We are listening to it in real time. We have four people in race control who are listening to three drivers each.

"Then we have four or five software engineers listening to two or three each.

"It's relatively straight forward and quite honestly, they are not saying that much."

Regarding coded messages, which are "likely to be considered a breach" of the regulations and reported to the stewards, Whiting said: "We have to be a bit careful about that.

"If we have a suspicion one message is odd, we could then look at data and see if the driver did anything in response to that message.

"Then at the next race, if we hear the same message, we look for the same switch change. We'll build up a little knowledge."

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