Charlie Whiting: “We believe a driver should drive the car alone and unaided…”

DSC04016The FIA’s Charlie Whiting has emphasised that the climbdown on radio restrictions was done in the interests of fairness, because some teams would be more affected than others by a short term change.

For this year the FIA will focus on driver coaching, and postpone restrictions on techncial discussions until next year.

The main problem is that teams use one of two dashboards, one of which carries less information than the other. The teams affected can ‘upgrade’ for 2015.

“We believe a driver should drive the car alone and unaided,” said Whiting when explaining the restrictions. “He shouldn’t be told that he’s going a bit too deep into this corner, should take a tighter apex on that corner. It’s for him to decide, not for his team to tell him how he’s comparing to his team mate, for example, so that’s the basis of it.

“It was becoming apparent that more or more was being done for the drivers, and quite simply that is at odds with article 20.1 of the regulations. We felt that this should extend to both car performance and driver performance related parameters, but when one looks into it in more detail it became quite clear that some teams will be at a disadvantage compared to the others, not just in their know how or ability to react in the short term, but also with hardware choices that were made a year ago, for example.

“I think you are familiar with the two types of dashboard that are available to the teams, one would simply show a great deal more than the other. In the interest of fairness we felt with the benefit of hindsight it would be have been better to introduce it in two stages, which is what we’ve done.

“The plan is to make it more far-reaching, to take in the technical elements of it as well, the technical assistance that drivers are getting about the performance of the car as well. It will inevitably be more complex, but I think that is how the sport is. I think it is going to be very hard to make it simpler, unless one was to remove radios from the car. Very simple. But I think that might not be very well received.”

Whiting said that eight people are listening to radio when the cars are running. Regarding possible penalties he said: “It’s not for me to say what the penalty will be, because it’s a matter for the stewards of course.

“What I would do is report to the stewards a possible contravention of Article 20.1, who would then decide what the penalty would be. I think it would have to be a sporting penalty, as opposed to a monetary one. If it happened it might be, I emphasise might be, a 5s time penalty for example if it happened in practice it might be a grid position or something like that.”


Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

8 responses to “Charlie Whiting: “We believe a driver should drive the car alone and unaided…”

  1. Russ

    I don’t think the fia should be allowed to run a school bake sale. One questionable decision after another.

  2. jiffyhelper

    With all this talk of driver aids surely power steering has to go.

  3. I agree with Charlie on this one…

  4. This is infuriating. Whiting gives the impression of total, servile incompetence. Disloyalty to the actual sport of F1, those who compete in and follow it. It’s so distasteful and Bernie, Whiting and their ilk are doing more to turn me off Formula 1 than any driver coaching. Ridiculous.

  5. Tony Dowe

    I think its clearly correct not to have driver ‘coaching” in terms of telling a driver what his team mate is doing. Gentlemen dont read others mail. However, having this year introduced the most complex engine situation that has ever been presented to drivers/teams, the FIA should be the ones taking the responsobility for defining what can be discussed at the start of a season and not two thirds of the way through. This really is just the usual Bernie “I’m bored now I dont have to go to jail” trick, so what do I do to screw things up again. Charlie is just a puppet for BCE, so lets get back to proper racing before we are all just racing Formula E.

  6. If this is taken literally – Let the sport dispense with electronics completely & go back to pit boards…………In the 1960s the ratio of car performance & driver skill was in the order of 50/50……………..How many times this year have we seen a frustrated driver frantically prodding buttons on his steering wheel when his car conks out ?

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