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Wolff: Radio ban is unclear

NEWS STORY
12/09/2014

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the ban on drivers being given advice by radio is unclear and will lead to controversy.

Ahead of the forthcoming Singapore Grand Prix, Charlie Whiting has notified all the teams that in future radio communications between the team and driver must be limited to advising when a pit stop is due, the track location of rival cars and team orders. Banned however, are the sort of instructions that have come to the fore this season, including advice on where best to pass a driver, advice on tyre wear, fuel use and engine settings.

Officially, Whiting says such messages contravene Article 20.1 of the F1 sporting regulations which state that "the driver must drive the car alone and unaided".

The FIA fears that asking for and receiving such advice will give the impression that drivers are merely the means by which the engineers and boffins in the pits and back at team HQ are controlling the car.

Wolff, whose drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, can often be heard calling for and receiving such advice, believes Whiting's ruling will only cause problems, claiming the ruling to be vague and that "further clarification" is needed.

"This is a complex and controversial decision," he said. "The directive is not yet fully clear and there will inevitably be some controversy so it will need further clarification as to how much essential on-track procedures will be affected.

"It will require a significant effort from the teams to understand how best we can work around it," he added, claiming that "essential on-track procedures", including tyre and brake temperatures, on the warm-up lap for the start of a race are a particular issue.

Opinion amongst fans appears divided, though there is a general sense of bewilderment at the FIA’s insistence on issuing such regulation changes mid-season thereby creating the impression it is attempting to manipulate results.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Steve W, 14/09/2014 8:48

"If Wolff needs 'further clarification', then all he needs to do is inform Charlie Whiting of the message the team wants to send and let Whiting himself clarify it for him..."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by VC10-1103, 13/09/2014 14:22

"About time too! I've never understood message from the pits telling their driver to "push" or similar. Isn't that what the drivers are being paid to do?

The drivers should be left to get on with it, after all it is the World DRIVERS Championship they are competing for."

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