Teams now thinking twice before making radio calls to FIA


The decision this year to broadcast radio messages from the teams to the FIA is causing some to think twice before taking to the airwaves.

Only last weekend, in the moments after Valtteri Bottas' spin in the pitlane, McLaren team manager, Paul James was heard complaining over the radio to (race director) Michael Masi, the Finn subsequently picking up a three-place grid penalty.

Reacting to McLaren's radio call, Toto Wolff said: "It's highly entertaining how quickly some sporting directors jump on the channel to Masi, and come with Armageddon scenarios. It's good that these channels are opened up so we can all have a laugh."

Just a month earlier however, Wolff had been quick to "jump on" the channel, calling on Masi to take action against Nikita Mazepin, who the Austrian deemed to be ignoring blue flags and holding up Lewis Hamilton.

Broadcasting of certain radio calls has added a new dimension to race weekends, if only to show up the serial complainers and snitches, and as a result of the new public scrutiny these messages is leading to, Masi admits that some teams are having second thoughts before voicing their complaints.

"To be fair, each sporting team, and it's no different in F1, will utilise the radio knowing that it's there," said the Australian. "It's been there for many years. Obviously it's just broadcast now.

"If anything, knowing now that the teams know that it's broadcast, it's actually probably reduced the radio traffic in race control," he added. "From the team's perspective, it's making them probably think twice before they ask a question."

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Published: 01/07/2021
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