Teams worried that radio ban will make starts difficult

The F1 teams are still coming to terms with the full meaning of the FIA clampdown on radio transmissions, after Charlie Whiting issued more details today (see previous story).

The subject will be discussed further at a meeting of the semi-formal sporting regulations committee – the 11 team managers and the FIA – in Singapore on Thursday. That has been scheduled in addition to the regular Thursday team managers’ meeting, where topical issues are usually discussed.

One area which has given teams particular cause for concern is that the ban covers complex pre-race procedures. The FIA has specifically targeted discussion of such areas as “start maps related to clutch position, for race start and pit stops,” “information on clutch maps or settings, eg bite point,”, and “burn-outs prior to race starts.” Usually there is a lot of radio traffic as the drivers head to the grid.

“The really big headache is the parade lap,” one insider told this writer. “Engine, tyres, brakes and clutch management during this lap require a lot of engineering input if the car is going to arrive on the grid in optimal condition.

“The driver workload during this time is huge. Driver intelligence doesn’t even come into play, as the settings are all ‘calculated’ live during the lap. At best we will end up with some seriously botched starts, and at worst a stall on the grid. It potentially mixes it up a bit if it’s the former. But the latter has the potential for things to go really seriously wrong.

“I think we are all happy to stop ‘coaching’ the driver but this is a much bigger step.”


Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

14 responses to “Teams worried that radio ban will make starts difficult

  1. Martin Bennett

    Don’t make the cars so difficult to start, then. No sympathy.

    • Koopra

      They can’t remake the cars in two days. It would not be a problem if they changed the rule interpretation between seasons.

    • Brian

      I agree 100%. Only F1 could evolve cars that require a NASA launch team simply to get to the cars *to* the grid, much less *off* of the grid, in good health. And they wonder where all the money goes…

    • floodo1

      the teams will adapt to any rules, which means the issue isn’t the rule but the way the rules were changed suddenly. It made sense to make the cars difficult to start given the previous rules because in doing so they could be made to launch faster/better. With a sudden change to the rules like this it’s bound to be painful.

      this is my real criticism of the changes, that they are drastic and made mid-season (both together)

      • Chris Normal

        I totally agree. I also want F1 cars to have “nasa” start procedures and be the pinnacle of modern technology. I enjoy the technical aspects of the cars just as much as the racing. I’m definitely not one of the fans who are confused by the rules or the cars as many top F1 players state.

      • Martin Bennett

        The rules haven’t been changed. They’re just being more strict with them. It’s the usual interpretation thing and the teams expected continued laxness.

  2. PeriSoft

    FIA: “We’re going to require you to use incredibly complicated hybrid systems that combine ICE, electric motors, regenerative braking, and very complex battery systems. We’re doing this to show that F1 research is relevant to road cars.

    “But we’re also requiring that everyone use the same system with exactly the same capabilities. Despite that it will be very difficult to make work, so tiny differences in implementation will mean everything when it comes to on-track performance.”

    Teams: “What?! OK, OK, fine. We’ll figure out how to make it work.”

    [time passes]

    FIA: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING! You’re telling the drivers ALL THIS TECH STUFF! You’re confusing the viewers and ruining EVERYTHING! You need to stop with all the mumbo jumbo. Like, right now. What’s wrong with you people?!”

    Teams: “…”

  3. CTP

    Bernie says… Botched starts will be good for the show.

    • MJR

      But dangerous and having cars eliminated on the grid will not improve the show.

    • Cabby

      Mmmh, reminds one of the standing restarts after the safety car planned for next season? Deemed to be dangerous by the teams but included to “improve” the show. I this really the way forward?

  4. Nasa start procedures function entirely without pilot input and maybe the pinnacle of modern technology would be to leave the drivers away altogether. You can bomb a jeep driving through the Somali desert from an office in Texas, so why not race F1 from the team’s home base in, say Brackley or Milton Keynes?

  5. All I ever seem to hear is complaints about the sport; if you don’t like it, vote with your feet as that’s the only way anyone will listen to you; walk away and Merc, Renault, Ferrari and Honda will all listen, stay and they have their audience.

    For me, the cars are relevant and also the technology; engines in all cars are being downsized and hybrid technology coming to the fore. For me this is what you expect of the leading category in the sport. If the start procedures are hard to fathom, make them easier, plumb it in, or make sure you have a preset procedure for the drivers to follow. If the starts are dud, then they’re dud. Nothing has changed, I have seen many people junk their starts and get passed in 40 years of the sport and it is part and parcel of it.

    Fed up of hearing complaints to be honest; leave if you don’t like it.

  6. Tony Dowe

    I think the reality is that the FIA is refering to the “Race” From where I sit the “Race” starts when the green flag drops, so whats the fuss about getting to the grid?

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