The FIA are failing to make teams stick to the traction control ban according to ITV’s Ted Kravitz.
The teams have been using special engine setting maps at the start of the races to simulate launch control and get their cars off the line as quickly as possible – and efforts to stop the practice have failed.
To prevent teams doing this the FIA introduced a new rule that said there must be a 90 second delay between a driver changing the engine map and the new setting be applied to the engine by the software. It was hoped that the teams would not want the cars running with their ‘launch control’ settings for the whole of the first lap and so wouldn’t be able to use them.
However according to Kravitz the teams are still using the ‘launch control’ maps anyway because the start of the race offers such a good opportunity to move up through the field.
If I were trying to get around the ban I’d switch from the ‘launch control’ setting to race mode about 60 seconds before the start – I suspect most if not all the teams are doing this. Kravitz suggested this was why we’ve seen so many crashes at the start of races this year, and it might explain Felipe Massa’s unusual spin at the start of the Australian Grand Prix.
Keep an eye on those radio broadcasts and in-car shots at the start of the next race to see if anyone’s fiddling with their engine maps at the end of the formation lap…