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 unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022