FIA telemetry glitch causes DRS problems

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Melbourne, 2013The race stewards are unable to disable drivers’ Drag Reduction Systems this weekend due to a fault with the telemetry link between race control and the cars.

Race control uses the telemetry to disable DRS in scenarios where drivers are not allowed to use it. This includes low visibility conditions, under local yellow flags and during the first two laps of a start or restart.

Due to the telemtery fault the FIA is having to rely on drivers not to use DRS when it is restricted.

During the final practice session Adrian Sutil activated his DRS while it was supposed to be disabled. The stewards decided against penalising him after Force India explained it had not seen the ‘DRS disabled’ message due to a power cut.

The same telemetry fault also means drivers cannot rely on their cockpit lights which communicate red, yellow and blue warning flags.

Nor will teams receive blue flag warning automatically via the official messaging system. “We will do our best to give as much information from race control as we can, however, it will be even more important that teams do what they can to ensure their drivers respect blue flags,” said an FIA statement.

Drivers will also have to activate the safety car mode on their cars manually if the safety car is deployed during the race.

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72 comments on FIA telemetry glitch causes DRS problems

  1. Fixy (@fixy) said on 16th March 2013, 14:21

    Back to the ’50s!!

  2. I hope everything runs smoothly, as this has massive accident written all over it. I wonder if they’ll give drivers drive-through penalties for activating the DRS when they aren’t supposed to…

  3. so in the race or qualy they can apply it really early and just say ‘well i didint know i cant see a white line/board at 130+mph’

    thats stupid. If its not working get rid of it for a race. Its what everyone wants anyway.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th March 2013, 14:43

      That’s a bit unfair: some teams’s DRS works better than other, so this will give them a disadvantage. I do agree: would be great to have a DRS-free race.

      • @andae23 – that’s actually a fanatastic idea (kudos to q85): it’s an opportunity to give a like for like comparison with DRS and non-DRS races and may (if successful) hopefully even convince the FIA to change their tune on the matter…

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 16th March 2013, 14:57

          +10 hell yeah!!!

        • andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th March 2013, 15:30

          @vettel1
          I have been thinking this through: at the moment there are no cars that get a major advantage from the usage of DRS since active DDRS systems are banned. If the teams were to choose they would probably all want to race with DRS as it will make their strategy ‘work’ and they don’t get stuck behind a slower car on an alternative strategy. What the FIA could have done was assemble all team principals and have a vote: if even one of them votes against the ban of DRS for this race, the plan is off. And thinking about it, there are teams that have already decided to run alternative strategies (Sauber and Williams, eliminated in Q1) that will surely vote against this.

          To make a long story short: it’s a good idea, but it’s too late to change things now.

      • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 16th March 2013, 14:56

        @andae23 @vettel1 No I dont think we need a race without DRS, we know what racing is like without DRS, we had 60 years of f1 without DRS, and thier’s other racing series still in the stone ages not using DRS, go watch them.

        • @mattynotwo – We have never had DRS and no DRS in the same season though, which would make for a much better comparison. I think the fact that there are many people against DRS is more than enough to justify a cause for prohibiting its use for a weekend.

          and thier’s other racing series still in the stone ages not using DRS, go watch them.

          No, I will watch F1 because the other racing series simply don’t compare to it. That doesn’t mean to say it is perfect however and that because DRS is used in F1 it is obviously excellent: remember grooved tyres? They we only used in F1, and that was a fairly terrible idea.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th March 2013, 15:23

            @vettel1

            That doesn’t mean to say it is perfect however and that because DRS is used in F1 it is obviously excellent: remember grooved tyres? They we only used in F1, and that was a fairly terrible idea.

            Hear, hear. Wretched things.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 16th March 2013, 16:29

            ‘We have never had DRS and no DRS in the same season though, which would make for a much better comparison.’

            You can’t have DRS at one race and not the next, that would be silly.

            ‘No, I will watch F1 because the other racing series simply don’t compare to it.’

            I never said you must stop watching F1.

          • @mattynotwo

            You can’t have DRS at one race and not the next, that would be silly.

            Under normal circumstances, yes it would be very silly. Under adverse circumstances such as this though it would be quite an interesting experiment.

            I never said you must stop watching F1.

            “Go watch them” isn’t implying that then? As I said, F1 is still much better in my opinion, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect though as I have highlighted in my analogy to DRS.

          • +1 Keith!

        • John H (@john-h) said on 16th March 2013, 15:06

          we know what racing is like without DRS, we had 60 years of f1 without DRS, and thier’s other racing series still in the stone ages not using DRS, go watch them.

          I think we’ve now all been told. Time to leave F1 for us non-believers I guess. Bah.

          • @mattynotwo – that is because the pack has closed up, not because of DRS. The Canadian GP and the Brazilian GP for example also were wet races where DRS was largely disabled, so you could actually argue the opposite in that no DRS improved the racing.

        • Dizzy said on 16th March 2013, 15:35

          we know what racing is like without DRS, we had 60 years of f1 without DRS

          And the racing was better & overtaking more exciting.

          All DRS does is make passing so easy that passing is no longer exciting or even intresting to watch.

          and thier’s other racing series still in the stone ages not using DRS, go watch them.

          Yes & the racing is way better in them.

          Just look at Indycar last year, Fantastic racing on every type of track.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 16th March 2013, 16:21

            ‘And the racing was better & overtaking more exciting.’

            Was not. The fans love the fresh new era of F1. Check Rate the Race here on F1F. The top 4 races if I’m correct are from the DRS era of racing. Says a lot.

          • Peter_GH said on 16th March 2013, 16:48

            well if you like fake, boring, easy & unexciting passing then you keep enjoying the gimmick that is drs.

            since i like real racing with close fights & real, genuine & exciting & since drs does none of these im finished with f1!
            i’ll be purely sticking with indycar this year, thats where the real racing is now!

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2013, 17:47

            Says a lot

            Yep. Says that the close regulations and Pirelli tyres provide great races in spite of DRS.

        • we have never had a no DRS Pirelli tyres race.

        • CapeFear (@capefear) said on 16th March 2013, 16:07

          Other categories in the stone age? I think you need to be more open minded, and please get off the high horse. This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lJtP7sEIfs and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brNtbaMadX4& and oh this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjWo8VdMb8I are far more exciting than F1 has been in a long long time and these are recent events not the 1980′s.

          Why? Because the racing is genuine, no disintegrating tyres to the point you can’t race, no gimmicks like kers nor DRS in F1 which aren’t relevant to the road, http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/65226 even the 24 hours of Le Man has proved that with the Williams hybrid flywheel technology is more relevant used by Toyota and Audi, it cannot be used in F1 due to the size impracticality of the unit.

          F1 should be relevant to F1 and just make a great racing series, they have this real pretentious attitude we’re the pinnacle of everything automotive, yet are alienating the people they need to be the most relevant to their sport their drives and their fans.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 16th March 2013, 16:53

            ‘Other categories in the stone age? I think you need to be more open minded, and please get off the high horse.’

            My friend, its not me that needs to be more open minded.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2013, 17:50

            My friend, its not me that needs to be more open minded.

            Hmm… hard to justify that statement when you are so dismissive of every other racing series, and apparently the history of F1 before 2011 too.

          • @capefear – I agree to an extent: I think there are many other great racing series that have provided fantastic races, but F1 has done the same (i.e. 2012 Brazilian GP, probably the best F1 race I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live).

            I like F1 for the way in which the best drivers and the best engineers converge to make a great racing series, but I’m not so short-sighted that I completely disregard every others series as being nothing on F1.

      • PÄ“teris (@spicais666) said on 16th March 2013, 15:53

        Its fair for drivers.

  4. OOliver said on 16th March 2013, 14:32

    Very strange problem to have considering it is not the first time it is being used here. Makes for massive confusion.

  5. Alex (@smallvizier) said on 16th March 2013, 14:33

    How is this going to work in the race? Are drivers going to have to “guess” whether they’re within two seconds? Or is that part still working?

  6. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th March 2013, 14:37

    All this money and there is still problems with these systems, i know that this staff happens in engineering(bugs,errors…..) but this is F1 and we don’t have 365 race a year , we have only 20 races , Any idea about the provider of the FIA’s systems???

    • @tifoso1989 – the systems are hugely complex though, so from time to time there’s bound to be failures (just as there is on the cars). This could be storm damage though.

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 15:38

      Any idea about the provider of the FIA’s systems???

      Nobody complained when an installation of Windows crashed, it’s something people don’t pay much attention to (as they shouldn’t). As @vettel1 said, it’s bound to fail.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th March 2013, 17:32

        Nobody complained when an installation of Windows crashed

        Maybe on a Desktop that is used to listen to music, watch films and of course surfing internet it is acceptable , but a fail on an information system it is not acceptable
        I’m telling this because i currently works on staffs like these
        I give you an example i’m working with a group on a project that consists of emulating the implementation of the whole networking architecture of a given company and of course the establishment of its services
        We spent more than a month in making research to have a comparative study of the technologies and products that we will use and the constraints that we must respect are
        How to ensure High availability, quality of service ……..
        Man this was for a normal company how about F1

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2013, 15:48

      Apparently FOM are unable to invest in better equipment, no doubt due to lack of funds, after all how far can $800 million go when you have investors to please.

    • anonimous said on 16th March 2013, 17:01

      Actually FIA changed the provider this year, the new one promised astonishing new features. This brand new system has been used for all the tests days of this season and it never worked. It is not like Windows that has some bug, this is a safety system that doesn’t even work occasionally.
      I think FIA should void their contract and sue the provider, instead it seems to be happy with it.

    • That’s unfortunate that they can’t solve problems by throwing money at them

    • J. Jonah Jameson (@j-jonah-jameson) said on 16th March 2013, 20:03

      @tifoso1989 I heard this problem was due to the power outages in Melbourne which damaged some of the telemetry equipment…

  7. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2013, 14:42

    Hang on… so with all the unbelievably intelligent people involved in F1, no-one is able to fix this in 24 hours? Seriously?

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 15:43

      Back from the 20th century Windows has crashed numerous times, and people can still live with it without looking at (in my oopinion, superior) alternatives, after more than a decade! So just because the people in F1 are intelligent doesn’t mean that it’ll be fixed quickly.

      I bet even Adrian Newey isn’t too good at HTML, and I’m sure Rory Byrne can’t simply build a Wankel engine by himself, and they’re both very intelligent!

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2013, 16:23

        No sure – but you’d expect the IT department of a company that makes billion pound profits to be fairly numerous. Surely whatever isn’t working can just be replaced? They don’t carry backup systems?

        Obviously it depends what the problem is but I wouldn’t have thought it would be something that couldn’t be fixed given 24 hours!

        • anonimous said on 16th March 2013, 17:05

          FIA switched to a completely different provider so they can’t switch to last working system, because the new provider still dosn’t have one.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th March 2013, 17:36

        Back from the 20th century Windows has crashed numerous time

        Why don’t use Linux???

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th March 2013, 17:44

        I bet even Adrian Newey isn’t too good at HTML, and I’m sure Rory Byrne can’t simply build a Wankel engine by himself, and they’re both very intelligent!

        If you have Adrian Newey or Rory Byrne in your team taking care of the aerodynamic department so you must have someone in the same level (i know these guys are genius but i mean someone with the same level of experience) taking care of the IT department
        Eddie Cue is a member of Ferrari’s Board of Directors
        I don’t know about the other teams but for sure they have many talented people in their IT departments

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 15:44

      ..Although if they can’t fix it by Brazil (not to be confused by “if something different in Brazil causes the same thing”)…….then you’re right.

  8. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17) said on 16th March 2013, 14:55

    Wow! Tomorrow the 22 cars are going to run 6800 kilometers, who will control the use of DRS?
    I think it will cause some problems. Strange start of the season.

  9. Rigi (@rigi) said on 16th March 2013, 15:08

    but how will the drivers know IF they’re allowed to use drs? (the within-one-socond-rule)

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th March 2013, 15:25

    Not sure if this was while DRS was disabled but Vergne definitely used it while he was on wet tyres today.

  11. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 16th March 2013, 15:49

    Anyone knows what the safety car mode is?

  12. timi (@timi) said on 16th March 2013, 16:02

    McLaren ECU’s playing up yet again. First testing, and now a live race weekend. This has the potential to be very dangerous in a race situation. Hopefully it’ll all get ironed out.

    • J. Jonah Jameson (@j-jonah-jameson) said on 16th March 2013, 20:06

      @timi Heard that McLaren are going back to their older car.. of last year..

      • timi (@timi) said on 16th March 2013, 21:04

        @j-jonah-jameson I read something similar on Planet F1.

        However, my comment has little to do with McLAren F1, but rather McLaren Electronics (the sole supplier of ECU’s in F1). The ECU they provided glitched in testing, and was actually the cause of today’s errors (at least the telemetry part, im not sure about the DRS).

      • photozen (@photozen) said on 16th March 2013, 23:28

        I read that too, would be interesting. Last year’s car was a good was overall pretty good, fast and then retain last last year’s development cycle and then take a few usable changes from the new car that work, incorporate them into last year’s car, we will see. last year, the poor pit stops, etc. played a big part last year’s performance and it they can iron that out, get a car straighten out, last year’s, this year’s, either one, and move forward we can hopefully see them maintain their competitiveness.

        • timi (@timi) said on 18th March 2013, 14:09

          @photozen The thing is, I don’t see last year’s car being much better than what they have now.

          It hasn’t been developed since Interlagos, and probably hasn’t had any new parts on it in the simulator so it is missing months of simulation work, as well as the three pre-season tests, and now a race weekend. The other teams have utilised this time, with their old cars and gained quite a bit of pace, so the MP4-27 right now would be pretty slow.

  13. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 16th March 2013, 23:01

    wow!

    can someone clarify for me: is the use of drs now totally open (except for the 1st 2 laps, SC, yellow) or are the restrictions (drs zone, 1 second behind) still in effect?

    i would much rather see the open use of driver-controlled adjustable aero, as well as getting rid of external control of the car even from race officials.

    i guess the marshalls will certainly be earning their pay this time! oh, wait. this multi-billion dollar sport doesn’t pay these people that make it all happen…..

  14. matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2013, 23:31

    I feel a lot of penalties coming on…

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