Radio buttons, Hockenheimring, 2016

Radio ban to be lifted during races

2016 German Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Formula One’s controversial restrictions on radio communications during races are to be lifted, the Strategy Group has ruled.

McLaren, Hockenheimring, 2016
German GP Thursday in pictures
The restrictions were introduced following complaints drivers were receiving too much assistance with their driving from race engineers. They were enforced via a strict interpretation of articles 27.1 of the sporting regulations.

The FIA announced today that “at the request of the teams and commercial rights holder”, the FIA has agreed to adopt a more liberal approach to the interpretation of article 27.1 (that a driver must drive the car “alone and unaided”).

“With the exception of the period between the start of the formation lap and the start of the race, there will be no limitations on messages teams send to their drivers either by radio or pit board”.

“This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide the Commercial Rights Holder with unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times that their cars are out of the garages”.

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119 comments on “Radio ban to be lifted during races”

  1. I was hoping for changes but I do fear this will see a return of the driver coaching which brought all this on in the first place.

    1. Don’t forget tho @craig-o that drivers get all kinds of coaching in the garage and simulator. At least when it’s by radio we can hear it, and get some insights into what makes a driver faster or slower. And they still have to execute, just like other sportspeople who get coaching as a matter of course.

      1. But its rare for a sport to allow a coach on to the field mid game to give immediate advice to the sportsman.

        I mean fair enough, it is what it is. They tried to fix something that people were complaining about, and now they’re changing it back because people were complaining about the fix they tried. I think kudo’s should be given all round with that process…

        But the complaints wont stop for sure, people will always find something to complain about.

        1. f1 fan (@effvaanfaen)
          28th July 2016, 23:34

          What about in Football, coaching constantly… Cross country, coaching along the track…

        2. But its rare for a sport to allow a coach on to the field mid game to give immediate advice to the sportsman.

          The engineers aren’t actually entering the car or the race track to give advice though. They’re doing it from the sidelines, akin to a football manager shouting instructions from the touchline.

          1. I don’t think it really matters one way or another. Like as in, communication is better, or communication isn’t better. It’s just different. This whole topic has just been a whole bunch of hoohaa over nothing, let’s see how long they stick with this idea for or if they change it yet again in another 6 months time.

        3. On the contrary, most sports allow coaching from the sidelines. I am sure that only F1 prohibited coaching during practice.

          1. There’s a difference between coaching from the sidelines and coaching while actually performing. Name me one sport where the player has a headset to receive instructions from a coach mid game? Some even go to great lengths to prevent such signaling from the coaches like tennis or curling. The coaching from the sidelines equivalent in F1 would be like allowing them to have a chat during a pit stop, or in the F1 where they do driver changes and the driver out of the car can obviously chat to the team.

            It’s apples and oranges anyway.

          2. *wec

          3. “There’s a difference between coaching from the sidelines and coaching while actually performing. Name me one sport where the player has a headset to receive instructions from a coach mid game?”

            Road cycling. And it’s as controversial as it is in Formula 1, with some races having entirely banned it.

    2. Unfortunately the rule book couldn’t tell the difference between “coaching” and telling a driver his brakes are about to fail. If safety is the priority, then the rule has to go.

      1. And let’s see if it is just one driver’s radio comm we hear as he is being coached, making it seem like only he needs or uses the info. F1 selects what we get to hear. I hope we will now get to at least read it all again, a few days after the race, here on this site.

      2. Re: Brake failure – you think the engineers have not heard of a warning light????

      3. @drycrust

        “You need to brake earlier into turn 4” “Swap to setting 2B on brakes”

        One of those was a safety matter. If you can pick it, then I’ll agree the rules were the problem.

        1. Actually, both could be considered a safety matter. The important thing is a driver wasn’t told there was a problem with his brakes because someone decided it was against the rules. This situation shouldn’t have happened, but it did. Someone goofed. Like it or not, there isn’t a “backspace” key in motor racing, so the team has to be able to tell the driver.
          I don’t agree with coaching, the driver is the expert and the one in the car so he or she shouldn’t need coaching, but if a team can’t tell the difference between coaching and telling a driver his brakes are going to fail, then the rule book needs to be revised.

      4. Nonsense. The solution was simple: From team to driver you can provide information, but not direction. (With the exception of certain predefined items, such as “box now”, etc.) You can tell a driver his gearbox is failing, but not how to fix it. You can tell them that another driver is faster in a certain corner, but not what to do to improve their own performance.

        But this rule was never about preventing driver coaching. It was about giving Charlie a way to try and fiddle the outcomes of races. Had he actually wanted to ban driver coaching, the rule doing so would’ve been trivially easy to write.

    3. As Colin Chapman said “Rules are for the interpretation of wise men and the obedience of Fools”… a lot of F1 teams in history have won WC’s on interpretation of rules.

    4. And now we know how Bernie got his agreement not to run with the halo. He told the teams that if they voted the halo down, he’d get the radio ban lifted as a reward.

  2. Better just ban radio at all and leave pit boards. What a joke is this rule chaning every month.

    1. @osvaldas31 I couldn’t agree more. I HATED the kind of advice the engineers were telling to the drivers. I admit the complete radio ban had some specific issues, but man, before Austria everything was working just fine.

      Maybe it needed some fine tunning, to specify the situations where a conversation could happen freely. Like brakes failure. But I feel it’s a shame we’re going to free for all again.

  3. And stop using coded messages fans can’t decipher or know what they mean..!!!

    1. I’m feeling exo 71 to multisubset 1 about the whole thing

      1. To overcome that issue just ketchup your Marconi and cheese.

        1. That would just be truly awful. I mean, truly Multi-map 43

    2. Such as?

      1. Traverse (@hellotraverse)
        28th July 2016, 19:30

        Multi 21?

        1. @hellotraverse That was three years ago and everyone knows what it means! Anything more recent?

          1. Traverse (@hellotraverse)
            28th July 2016, 19:41

            @keithcollantine
            Ferrari’s “-3.2 LFS6 P1” pitboard message to Vettel during the Melbourne GP.

          2. @hellotraverse, would it be possible for you to confirm when the team showed that pit board to Vettel? I’m pretty sure that the message isn’t in code at all – it’s just been abbreviated in order to fit it onto the board.

            The first line with the numbers “-3.2” is telling Vettel that Rosberg is 3.2 seconds behind him (the negative sign tells you it is a trailing driver, whereas a positive sign would indicate the gap to the driver in front). I think that the next line, with “LFS6”, is telling him that it is six laps before his next pit stop, whilst “P1” would have been his current position.

          3. Traverse (@hellotraverse)
            28th July 2016, 21:38

            @anon
            I remember hearing that a rival team (apparently Williams) made the complaint regarding a potential rule infringement by Ferrari.

            Here’s a related article:http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/123653

            Williams were never officially confirmed as the team that complained.

          4. “For the restart you should go to Yellow G6. When you do that you will automatically get the Red Button mode”
            (Russia 2015)
            I can do without these messages.

            But to me the worst part of this back flip is that the FIA once again has no spine (nor any idea) and is making a joke of the F1 rules. I absolutely detest BE, but at least you know what he stands for. Spineless Todt on the other hand stands for nothing, even a wind vane is more consistent.

        2. William Jones
          29th July 2016, 11:14

          @Traverse, I agree with you – it’s now known and confirmed that drivers had been coached to swear a lot on the radio, a “homemade” privacy button, and I’m damn sure that during the ban on driver orders, plenty of orders were given via a pre-agreed codeword.

          BUT

          Messages like “Multi 21” give some of us a great deal of pleasure in decoding, as it brings us an understanding of the engineering and control systems in these cars that enhances our viewing.

  4. This has now gone too far the other way now. Driver coaching should be banned, everything else is fine.

    1. Yeah this is stupid again… Oh the joy of ‘use third gear in turn 3’ ‘brake 5 metres later’

      ‘what is Lewis’s brake balance into turn 1’

    2. This is my view on this too. Driver coaching was banned back in 2014, this is the way to go.
      But I like the thing that FOM will now have unlimited access to radio com. Hope they can build something on this with the broadcasters or maybe FOM alone on their website with the live commentary.

    3. Unfortunately those in charge can’t tell the difference between safety messages and coaching messages so we have to accept coaching messages because the consequence of no coaching messages is no safety messages.

  5. Another case of F1 making a knee-jerk decision then a knee-jerk reversal. The radio ban was fantastic for stopping messages which were detracting from the racing. All that was needed was for them to allow them to fix / be informed about critical faults without being penalised!

    1. @strontium I wonder if that’s a case of ‘easier said than done’? At least without writing reams of rules which cover a huge number of possible scenarios.

      1. F1 purportedly has cornered the market on the smartest people in racing. You’d think that if they put a few of those brains together they could come up with a workable middle ground between not being allowed to tell the driver their brakes are about to fail and having engineers tell drivers what precise steering angle, diff settings, and throttle feathering to use to maximize their friction profile.

        I want to see the drivers have to figure out on their own how to get the maximum performance out of the car. I don’t want to see Button and Perez suffering brake failures because their engineers aren’t allowed to tell them about it, and I don’t want to see Hamilton having to troubleshoot through the automotive equivalent of the Windows Services on his PC while driving around Baku. There has to be a middle ground between those extremes.

        1. “F1 purportedly has cornered the market on the smartest people in racing.”

          Richest does not equal smartest.

  6. A bit too far the other way perhaps but better than it was and it’s nice to see them listening.

    1. Launchedsquid
      28th July 2016, 21:10

      The FIA and FOM have always been listening to the fans, that’s the problem bcause we don’t know what we want.

      We wanted more overtakes so they gave us DRS, we wanted them to stop being so wasteful with engines and gear boxes so the introduced limits per season, we wanted more varied race strategies so they gave us tyres that degrade at different rates, we were sick of races being ruined by refueling problems so they banned them, we wanted to be the pinnacle of tech so they gave us hybrid power units, we wanted to end driver coaching so they brought in a radio ban, we think that the radio ban has too many other problems so they repeal it.

      The fans dislike at least some of these things, but we as a group asked for them. You can hate these rules but I think it’s unfair to suggest the FIA isn’t listening.

      1. Omg Launchedsquid
        Like totally nailed it!!!!
        FOM / FIA stop listening to the fans and concentrate on the sport being a sport.

      2. @Launchedsquid This is a classic case of the customer not always being right. Or to be clearer: the customer is always right about their pain points. The customer is not, however, always right about the best way to cure said pain.

        The FIA does need to listen on the pain points, but they need to actually use the expertise of the people on their own team to devise a well thought out solution.

      3. @Launchedsquid

  7. Formula 1 became such a joke, first they put restriction, now no restriction. Come on, guys! Maybe they should give Rosberg his second place back? Lewis’s second place in Baku (he would have had it, if team would’ve helped him), Jenson’s places he has lost probably he would have been 8 after Alonso, and all other drivers who suffered from this. Think of how Jenson feels, he got a drive-through in previous race for this, now he comes to Germany and the rule has been lifted, a complete joke. It reminds me about Schumacher’s overtake on Alonso in Monaco, when he got penalized after to find out a few days later that it was perfectly legal.

    1. Good point. I don’t think LH would have gained a spot from the info, nor was he given a penalty for anything, but JB and NR were. I don’t expect a reversal on any points lost though, as it was the rule at the time.

      1. LH was behind 2+ secs and approaching Perez, I believe, when he got the problem. That was going to be an easy pass, at minimum, that’s what Dmitry28 meant.

      2. Hey @robbie, my armchair analyser brother. Just one question. Why are you so anti Hamilton? I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, just wondering why it is.

        1. @stubbornswiss I’m not ‘so’ anti-Hamilton, really. Much of the time I don’t mind him.

          The day he won his first Championship he did almost everything to lose it, while Massa did everyone right all weekend with the pressure at it’s greatest. So I never thought LH stamped his authority on it…just eked his way in.

          But it really started for me when he got bested by Button in 2011 and admitted off-track distractions were costing him on the track, and I thought that was very poor of him, on behalf of the sponsors and staff that spend hundreds of millions to provide him a vehicle (literally and figuratively) to himself become rich and famous. He did it again at the end of last year…WDC decided, my job is done, wish the season was over, party time…Nico gets the better of him and he still managed to whine for special treatment on the team via extreme strategies to try to get ahead of Nico, which thankfully they weren’t having. At the time we also heard all about the dirty air effect making it impossible for him to pass Nico, yet when he heads Nico he comes across like it’s all him. Thankfully he hasn’t played the ‘poor kid from Stevenage growing up on Dad’s couch’ card for a while. Truly poor kids don’t get to go karting at enough of a level that they end up in F1. So generally I find him as person disingenuine, so that makes it hard for me to admire him on the track. I don’t ‘admire’ any of the drivers in this era where I don’t believe they are performing great feats, but that’s not their fault, it’s F1’s.

          I’m pulling for Nico because I want to see his potential fulfilled, which has been to me too slow coming, but I’m no fanatic for him, and he is against a great driver in LH, and does seem to be making some progress. Wish he would stamp his authority on it more, and less awkwardly.

          Realistically all the drivers, I genuinely believe, are great guys…kind, charitable, intelligent, fun-loving, humorous professionals. But through the racing media and at times in the heat of the moment, as I said before, I find LH disingenuous, a little too full of himself, a little too self-promoting in a Kardashian kind of way, for me to believe in him.

          1. Just to add, the drivers I have been a fanatic for…Gilles, Ayrton, Jacques. Next could be Max. He’s exciting, and boy can he handle an interview. A bit of controversial behaviour on the track for a little spice. Can’t wait to see who excels in next year’s ‘pre-98’ style cars.

          2. So basically a bunch of made up BS in your head, ok then

    2. Dmitry28 Totally agree with you. Its like changing the rules half way through a game. In fact, its not like, it is!

  8. If fans don’t want to hear the coaching messages then just don’t broadcast them. It is that simple.

    1. It’s not that simple. It’s not that we (fans) don’t want to hear it … it’s that we (fans) don’t want the drivers getting coached on track. They can learn and get coached off–track, during their sim time and training. But once on track … leave’em alone to drive … no coaching.

      1. @riccarr In total agreement. During a race there should be only one piece of communication allowed…

        “Box. Box. Box.”

        Once the driver gets in to the pit, they can get all the tips, training, advice and coaching they need before being sent back out on track.

        Simple!

  9. So we’re back to drivers being told exactly where to brake etc? Surely they must realise that it’s easy to ban driver coaching but allow teams to help with settings?

    1. Having said that – I prefer unlimited radio to no radio and it’s great that unrestricted access must be given. They’ll start swearing again to block this so they should put a £500k fine and 3 penalty points on anyone who swears over the radio.

      1. That could be good. The FIA will have to make a definitive list of which words constitute swearing, and then we’ll be able to look up the rules and giggle like schoolgirls. I wonder how they’ll decide which words will be banned. Will it be only English words, leaving all other languages completely open? This could turn out to be top-class entertainment.

        1. Well I guess whichever words they can’t broadcast live on TV. There must be a list already?

          Interesting you mention it though – I kept getting emails blocked at work from one company and couldn’t figure out why. When me and a guy from IT looked through the blocked emails, we found out it’s because their address was “Balls Road!”

          They had to load up the swear filter which was just a Word document with loads of swear words. There must have been 200+ words on there. Imagine your job is to create that list. :D

          1. f1 fan (@effvaanfaen)
            28th July 2016, 23:46

            So they can advertise massively for alcoholic beverages that kills tens of thousands each year but not broadcast “bad” words, this is what is called irony ?

          2. duncan idaho
            29th July 2016, 21:50

            They could just scan my work emails.
            I’m happy if the drivers express themselves concisely – not so enamoured with special comments guys broadcasting their conniption in response.

    2. I agree. Why such a black and white approach. Surely they know its the “coaching” aspect that was what people wanted stopped. Seems that it would have been not that difficult to define coaching terminologies not to use.

      1. I get the feeling that they want this totally open approach to fail again and to eventually go back to their ridiculously restrictive radio, but that’s exactly what we the fans, drivers and teams desire, with no driver coaching but help for the drivers to sort technical and safety issues with the car. It smells like Bernie is behind this. Fans will rebel against the Nico-type coaching again.

    3. Duncan Snowden
      28th July 2016, 20:37

      Except it turns out that it isn’t. Oh, I know that’s not what the old rules did, but is it any easier to draw a line between coaching and settings than it is to draw one between safety and everything else? How do you define “coaching”? Advice about braking and gearshifts, maybe? As we’ve seen over the last few races, that can easily encompass messages that can also be seen as being about safety or the health of the car. So you end up with arguments about definition and intent, post-race penalties, appeals to the WMSC, and ultimately one of these situations where we discover the result of the race through an FIA press release a couple of months later.

      I came up with the idea the other day that you could maybe discourage regular coaching with an increasing scale of penalties for every message, regardless of content, but there are problems with that too. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing’s perfect, unlimited radio is the least bad option of those realistically feasible, and I’m glad to see the ruling body has done the same. I don’t like driver coaching any more than the next guy, but it can’t turn a no-hoper into a Hamilton, and at least we’ll know who “needs” it most.

      1. There is a fallacy there since we don’t get every radio transmission we won’t know who needs it most, just who gets broadcast the most.

        1. Duncan Snowden
          29th July 2016, 1:33

          Well, maybe so. (I only added that bit at the last minute, actually. :) ) Either way, it beats a set of byzantine rules that nobody properly understands.

  10. Perhaps there IS some weight in using common sense on this matter. The sport is ripe in its history with communication between driver and team via varying methods as time is long. So what if its a high tech communication system or a black board with chalk….it is but a part of Grand Prix Racing. Lets see what happens with this change for now.

  11. While I obviously applaud this I’m really sick of the way F1 is being governed for the past I don’t know how many years. Basically boils down to:

    F1: We think we’re going to introduce x

    Everyone else: That’s terrible and going to be a negative for the sport

    F1: No it’ll be fine, trust us. * introduces x *

    Everyone: See it’s terrible.

    F1: No, no give it time. It’s great trust us.

    F1 (2 days later): Ok, never mind that was terrible.

    1. Ben (@scuderia29)
      28th July 2016, 21:11

      Bang on..COTD

    2. I’d like to award penalty points to the rule makers.
      Ambiguous rule = 1 pt.
      Rescinded rule = 3pts.
      10 points in any 12 month period equals a ban.

  12. when does it go into effect?

  13. “Drink now, follow proper hydration parameters at all times…”

    1. To monetise F1 Bernie will include Radio Advertising ;)
      @bullmello

  14. Was banning driver coaching really a necessary thing in the first place. Yes, I’d much prefer the drivers drive the car unaided but at the end of the day, telling someone to brake 10 meters earlier or to use X gear at Y turn didn’t have a huge affect on the racing or competition in my opinion. The rule wasn’t a thing in 2010 or 2012 and they are considered to be two of the greatest seasons in the sports recent history.

    In football if a team is loosing or not playing well then the manager or captain can tell his players to do a multitude of things like switch positions, put a different player on free-kicks, ask a player to man-mark an opponent etc in hope that these changes increase their chances of winning the match. If a driver is not using his machinery to the best of it’s potential at certain points of the circuit then what’s wrong with another member of the team (i.e. his race engineer) giving advice to maximise the chance of improving their position?

    1. Agree 100%

    2. f1 fan (@effvaanfaen)
      28th July 2016, 23:56

      Agree. Nearly all other sport does have active coaching during competition, reading many of the comments negative to lifting radio ban, they give the impression the cars will be radio control driven from the pit wall 😁

  15. Surely the real solution is to make the cars less complicated to drive but maybe this is just wishful thinking.

    I think allowing nearly all radio communications is a better solution than banning nearly all. It’s a level playing field so all drivers can receive advice to get the best out of their cars. It should not therefore benefit one driver over another. It also means it should make the racing a little more competitive because everyone can be given the optimum solution for dealing with any problem with their car. What is the sense in a driver driving around with an electronic or mechanical issue that could be solved at the touch of a button or two. Surely it will make their car more competitive if this is solved.

  16. As much as I hate in season rule changes, I think this was the right way to go. The other rules had got so messy and after sticky plaster on top of sticky plaster McLaren still managed to fall foul of them last week, which further highlighted how much of a mess the rules were.

    Now, if they really want to introduce radio restrictions, they can sit down and come up with some simple, concise rules and implement them for the start of a season. And then stick with them.

    I still think, as fans, we clearly don’t know what we want. Whatever change is made, there’s a significant quantity of us who’ll moan about it. It’s no wonder they don’t listen to us. Too much radio; too little radio. Too little overtaking; too much overtaking. Stewards are too harsh; stewards are too lenient. That move by driver X was stunning and ballsy… 1 week later, that identical move by driver Y was reckless and stupid (because it was against driver X). F1 management are out of touch with the modern world; why can’t we go back to screaming fuel guzzling V10s like the good old days!

    Mixed messages…we haven’t got a clue.

  17. As Button told, such messages as ‘Up-shift earlier in that corner’ or “You need to brake five meters later” should be banned. Other messages, like “Turn on mode G23-P49G6” should be allowed.
    I can’t believe that this simple idea escapes from the FIA.

    1. @sviat You make it sound simple, but how would anyone write it into the regulations without creating an even more complicated mess? There’s no efficient way of eliminating driver coaching and leaving everything else untouched.

    2. @sviat, it escapes me as well.
      At least a fan understands when overhearing “Up-shift earlier in that corner”.
      But “Turn on mode G23-P49G6” is abracadabra to us.

  18. I find it entertaining that when F1 initially banned certain radio messages, the WEC commentators and fans immediately went on the usual predictable rant of “WEC doesn’t do that, more pure racing etc etc”, but when the rule gets reversed, everyone still complains. There’s no way of pleasing everyone in this sport is there!

  19. I really support the idea some people are throwing around which is to ban the radio all together and only communicate via pit board (urgent safety concerns aside).
    The reason I say this is because I agree with a comment I saw Keith make regarding how it is up to the team to decide how complicated to make the car. Perhaps a team of engineers that undoubtedly have an incredibly high combined IQ could figure out a way to make complicated machines simple to use? It would never be deemed acceptable to sell a product to a consumer with the expectation they will need constant coaching on how to use it.
    F1 is a team sport but it is also an individual sport. It is the only sport I can think of that has two championships running concurrently with both decided using the same set of results. I ask, where is the line between each? Is the WDC actually won by a driver? Or is it won by the team through the a driver? Is the team actually winning the WCC or is the driver winning it for them? The distinction is not clear enough for me.
    I hate to propose disrupting a long tradition of Formula 1, but perhaps the championship structure is a huge root problem in this argument that needs to be visited.

    1. I agree completely.

      I’ve often thought that the constructors championship should be truly that and they should score points for every engine they make that scores points. This might also be an incentive to provide the best spec engine to all customers.

  20. Well Rosberg will be absolutely filthy if he loses the championship by the 2 points he lost in silverstone due to the penalty.

    1. I think he’ll be more concerned about the point he lost in Monaco, Canada, and Austria.
      @tommy-c

  21. So it’s all or nothing for the FIA where radio messages are concerned? It feels almost as if they lifted the ban wholesale to get back at critics – here, take it all then.
    Anyway, all radio is better than no radio at all. Can’t wait for Kimi to get back in his true radio element :-)

  22. I for one am glad for it; the radio transcript was one of the articles i was waiting for a few days after the race; that is before the ban, made it a joke.

  23. It angers me the most that this ridiculous nonsense has played a direct result in the current world championship standings.

    Nico Rosberg lost three points because of rules that will not apply during the second half of the season. If those points end up deciding the title, then this championship is tainted, in my opinion.

    1. Agreed. Many will argue LH lost out when the team wouldn’t tell him how to correct his settings, but I don’t believe that cost him any points and of course he certainly did not get a penalty, as the team remained mum.

      1. My gosh Robbie, can you give the anti-Lewis logorrhea a rest? Will Wood didn’t even mention the dude

  24. I think this is bowing to the obvious and inevitable.
    There is absolutely no way that any administrative body can differentiate between ‘help’ messages and ‘safety’ messages with any degree of judgement or certainty.
    The only other possibility i could contemplate would be the banning of radio messages from pit to driver. Driver to pit would be allowable, so that he could say “I can’t get in to sixth gear cleanly. Tell me what to do” or whatever, but the pit crew’s response would have to be via the pit board.

    1. I’m not entirely sure it’d be difficult to differentiate help and safety messages as telling the driver their brakes are failing isn’t quite the same as telling them to brake X meters earlier or go to a particular setting. One’s a piece of information the driver has to decided what to do with while the other’s a direct instruction on how to drive/set the car. I’m pretty sure Nico could have worked out not to use sixth gear on his own at Silverstone.

  25. Well, radio before ban even with some coaching was better than now.

    So welcome change.

  26. Bernie has gotten his way again, it’s a simple ploy often used by police forces, if you want to get rid of a rule/law you just have to over-prosecute, shrug and say ” you made the rule/law, it’s our job to police it”.

  27. Driver coaching not allowed.

    But everything else should be.

    Dont shift to 7th gear, no problem. Reset hydraulic sensor? No problem. Engine mode 73, is faulty do not use it.. No problem.

    But shift to 3rd gear on 4th turn. Lift and coast at 150m board turn 6, those are not ok.

    If F1 cannot seperate coaching from technical support, then why bother running a sport at all.

    Drivers can keep their car within the white lines. Teams can keep their radio coaching free if they so desire aswell.

    1. “Drivers can keep their car within the white lines”

      Haha, gave me a chuckle…

  28. let’s be clear that Bernie has delivered this result to someone…. I don’t know who, but someone didn’t like the drivers driving the cars unaided, so had Bernie cut off radio transmissions wholesale in order to make the rule unpopular. This is putrid, and i for one am livid, but that’s F1.

  29. Too lazy to adjust what they can say based on overall safety. This reversal just indicates how little legitimacy F1 management has. What’s that saying: If you don’t stand for something, you don’t stand for anything.

  30. This is ridiculous. F1 just look like a bunch of amateurs sometimes! It could of easily of been relaxed a little i.e if there were to be a serious problem with the car then that’s perfectly acceptable to get help on the radio (button brake issue, Rosberg Gearbox issue). Im not surprised anyway

  31. You know when F1 attempts something and it doesn’t work, and then they revert, I’m fine with that. It’s a prototype series and not all ideas are winners.

  32. Oh dear dear dear. I am afraid that Bernie’s statement sums up all that is wrong with the FIA.

    Their statement reads: “At the request of the teams and the commercial rights holder, the FIA has agreed to adopt a more liberal approach to the interpretation of article 27.1 (that a driver must drive the car alone and unaided).

    “With the exception of the period between the start of the formation lap and the start of the race, there will be no limitations on messages teams send to their drivers either by radio or pit board.

    “This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide the commercial rights holder with unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times their cars are out of the garage

    So the reason they have done lifted the ban is to add ‘entertainment value’ for the fans and in doing so they have missed two obvious points!!

    1. The majority of fans do not want driver coaching – that is clearly now back on the agenda and it did not need to be

    2. The reason everyone complained about the radio ban was that messages to do with mechanical issues with the car could not be transmitted.

    Does FIA stand for “Farcical Inept Association” ?

  33. The FIA going back on a ruling mid-season?

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

  34. the reality is, we fans are a bunch that are very hard to please, with different views and needs that may even change over time. So, I say, well done for bringing back the live radio broadcasts, at-least we get to have some insight into the teams and drivers. I personally don’t care if any driver gets coached, as ultimately it is a team effort and a team sport.

  35. Justin (@vivagilles27)
    29th July 2016, 7:20

    I love that the FOM now have unlimited access. “Leave me alone, I know what I am doing” will be much more interesting than “MOD1 P8”.

  36. Well, it was a good idea, but, completely unworkable.

  37. There will be nothing to coach about if teams do not have so much information about what is going on with the car. So why don’t reduce data that teams can get from the car and just keep the critical sensors that should be coach about?

  38. Just replace the drivers with bots. The results of the races will be the same as under driver coaching, but with lower costs, win/win

  39. Perhaps it over complicates matters even further, but I wonder about each team being allowed to give, say, ten messages to each car over the course of the race. This could be anything from technical information, pit instructions or team orders. It would make them really think about each one, while only giving essential or urgent information. Anything more is a drive through penalty.

  40. Although I approve lifting the ban, it should have been made effective for 2017. Imagine if Nico loose the championship by one point now ..

  41. crikey, here we go again.

    1) NIco Rosberg asking where lewis is ahead of him and which lines he is taking – NOT OK

    2) NIco Rosbergs car is broken but will make it to the end if he presses a button or two – OK

    Why is it hard to make this distinction? Radio comms is not a binary problem, when the comms pertain to an issue with the car or track then ok, if the comms are asking for information on how somebody else is going faster than them then no thats not ok.

    I blame Rosberg for this.

  42. I think people are over simplifying the rules required here to get the ideal rule they want. The rule being enforced is that the driver must driver the car alone and unaided. The intent of that rule being to prevent electronic driver aids and remote operation from the pit wall. They extended that rule to try and prevent driver coaching over the radio as well, which resulted in a blanket ban on any instructions on the operation of the car. Be it lines, braking points, switch positions, shifting points etc…

    I know it sounds simple to us saying it should be fine to tell them not to shift into a gear because it will cause a reliability problem but wrong to tell them to shift into a gear because it will gain them time but could you imagine the amount of protests and investigations that would be required in a race checking through every teams radio message for every lap and making a determination which category of instruction a message fell under? The teams specialise in finding loop holes, it just wouldn’t work. Blanket ban or carte blanche are the only feasible options.

    1. It’s nice to read a comment in which somebody is trying to think it through form all sides.

      I would argue that to listen to all of the radio comms retrospectively would indeed be time consuming but let me suggest this as a solution.

      11 people can listen to all of the radio traffic in realtime. One steward per team. If anything of interest comes up, they only need refer that particular transaction to a more senior steward while they carry on listening to the rest of it.

      It is true that the teams will always be looking to exploit the rules for their own advantage but i’d prefer that they did that as opposed to blatantly coaching a driver on how to get a faster lap time.

      It’s unsporting.

      I recall a qualifying session a few years ago where Rosberg was not able to match Hamilton’s time and Rosberg freely said over the radio (i’m paraphrasing as i cant remember it word for word) “come on guys, give me something, what can i do to go faster”. He was told where Hamilton was braking and what Hamilton was doing differently to go faster. Rosberg implemented the advice and matched Hamiliton’s time.

      This is not sporting behavior. I’m desperately trying to avoid being too hard on Rosberg but i cant help it, he has just been involved in too many unsportsman like events over the past few years and this driver coaching issue is his fault. He wanted to be coached into beating Hamilton and winning the WDC which is a problem and must be crushed…..Crushed.

  43. Typical F1, constant fiddling with the rules, the radio restriction rules were changed again before the previous GP and now they are virtually abandoned altogether.

    Personally I would have preferred a middle ground regarding radio rules. Driver coaching, for example how to take a corner, being banned, but how to fix problems with the car allowed.

    What are the odds that the rules are changed again before the start of next season?

  44. F1 you have finally done it.. hybrid engines no one cares about, rule changes every race, fakes sounds, fake sparks from the legality plate, tires meant to degrade, after 30 plus years of loving this sport I’m finally done. You’re getting exactly what you deserve a shrinking audience and declining attendance.
    Just cut to the chase and let the pit wall drive the car.
    ( drops microphone) peace out.

    1. I know the feeling, it’s farcical and so full of negativity at the moment.

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