F1: FIA ban all radio messages that assist car and driver performance with immediate effect

Formula 1's governing body confirms they have taken swift action to halt pit-wall messages helping drivers to negotiate races more easily

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 11 September 2014 23:27
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Nico Rosberg straight lines the first chicane to hand Lewis Hamilton the lead and subsequent victory at Monza
Nico Rosberg straight lines the first chicane to hand Lewis Hamilton the lead and subsequent victory at Monza

The FIA has responded to calls to clampdown on the level of assistance drivers receive from the pit wall by announcing a ban on all radio transmission that appear to help the driver with matters on the track.

From the Singapore Grand Prix next weekend, drivers will no longer be allowed to receive messages that help them with their driving style of inform them of where they can pick up time in both qualifying and the race itself.

After a number of calls for such transmissions to be banned, the FIA has released a statement confirming that the regulation will now be strictly enforced in an effort to make the race as honest as possible.

The regulation states: “The driver must drive the car alone and unaided.”

FIA race director Charlie Whiting issued a directive to all F1 teams confirming that the regulation regarding pit-wall messages will be “rigorously” enforced.

“In order to ensure the requirements of Article 20.1 of the F1 sporting regulations are respected at all times, the FIA intends to rigorously enforce this regulation with immediate effect,” stated the directive.

“Therefore, no radio conversation from pit to driver may include any information that is related to the performance of the car or driver.

“The FIA should also remind you data transmission from pit to car is specifically prohibited by Article 8.5.2 of the F1 technical regulations.”

While the ban promises to bring the racing back to the man behind the wheel rather than those sitting in the pits, radio messages as a whole have not been banned, and teams can still relay information regarding pit strategy and safety should they experience tyre wear or damage that puts the driver in danger.

It also means that the back-and-forth conversations – sometimes gripping, other times explicit – can continue, and they have become one of the more common talking points from a race weekend with the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel lighting up the airwaves with their passionate responses.

Mercedes team-mates and championship contenders Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have both been hugely vocal in their one-on-one battle for the drivers' title, with chief engineers Peter Bonnington and Tony Ross acting as the first point of call when either driver needs help driving the car.

But from now on, the pair will be left to work it out themselves in a true test of finding the best driver in the hunt for the 2014 F1 world champion.

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