Local fibre line failure caused F1 data outage at Imola

The Formula 1 organisation says that the failure of a local fibre optic line caused the outage that impacted TV coverage and team radio transmissions during first practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Local fibre line failure caused F1 data outage at Imola

The F1 data system went down at the start of track action and a quick switch was made to a "recovery mode" that allowed basic operations to continue via a satellite link.

However, many features such as data transmission, onboard cameras and team radios were out of commission for at least part of the session.

The fibre failure was addressed during the lunch break and FP2 took place without any further problems after the normal system was reset.

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, F1 has switched more of its technical operations from the track back to its UK base in Biggin Hill in order to reduce the need for personnel to travel to races, but the organisation has stressed that today's failure was local.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, is returned to the garage

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, is returned to the garage

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The outage created major issues for teams, as radio communications to drivers were disrupted, making it impossible to give the usual guidance about traffic issues when faster cars were approaching from behind.

The lack of contact with the pit wall contributed to a clash between a slow-moving Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, which brought out a red flag. After a hearing the stewards took no action on the matter.

"Certainly, it was a big problem," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. "I don't know if in all the teams we had exactly the same problems. But for us, it was very difficult, especially on Charles [Leclerc], no way of communicating to him.

"It's difficult because you cannot give him advice on the cars following, so then there can be impeding situations which are not voluntary at all, but very difficult for the drivers as well to know who is coming behind.

Read Also:

"On top of that we are running our race power unit, because those power units are the ones we fitted in Bahrain and are used for the entire weekend. So obviously, if you've got any problems, you don't know how to react and to communicate. So these type of problems are serious."

"The experience was a bit strange because we had no lap times," said Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur. "We had the data for safety at least. It was just for the first stint until the mid-session, so it's OK for me, it's not a drama.

"We discussed it after the session, because the drivers were complaining about the radio, but 20 years ago the guys were able to drive without the radio!"

"Until you lose that kind of data I don't think you realise how much you rely on it," said Aston Martin's Otmar Szafnauer. "It was like we were blind on the pit wall. Even driver communication wasn't working. It made things much more difficult."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas heads FP2 Mercedes 1-2, Verstappen hits trouble
Previous article

F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas heads FP2 Mercedes 1-2, Verstappen hits trouble

Next article

Aston Martin pushing FIA to consider tweaking F1 aero rules

Aston Martin pushing FIA to consider tweaking F1 aero rules
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022