Charles Pic, Caterham, Sepang, 2013

FIA telemetry problem remains unsolved for Malaysia

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Charles Pic, Caterham, Sepang, 2013The telemetry glitch teams experienced during the first race of the season has not been solved for the first race of the season.

An FIA statement said “Due to continued reliability problems with the telemetry link between race control and the cars we will again be disabling this with immediate effect.”

As a result teams will face the same problems they had in Australia, including loss of function of the red, yellow and blue flag warning lights in the cars.

The FIA will also be unable to disable DRS and there will be no automatic warnings for teams about blue flags.

The stewards issued the following advice to teams:

1. None of the red, yellow or blue cockpit lights will work.
2. At the start of the race DRS will be automatically enabled once each car has crossed the line to complete two laps.
3. There will be no automatic blue flag messages on the Official Messaging System. We will do our best to give as much information from race control as we can, however, it will be even more important that teams do what they can to ensure their drivers respect blue flags.
4. If the safety car is deployed Safety Car Mode will have to be selected manually by the driver immediately after he sees either the SC light panels or SC boards being held out by marshals.
5. If the safety car is deployed a message saying “DRS disabled” will be displayed, we will however be unable to actually disable it. Therefore, from this point, drivers must not use DRS until the message “DRS enabled” is shown two laps after the safety car returns to the pits.
6. If yellow flags or lights are displayed in either DRS activation zone “DRS disabled” will be displayed, from this point drivers must not use DRS in that activation zone until the message “DRS enabled” appears.
7. In conditions of poor visibility a message saying “DRS disabled” may be displayed, we will however be unable to actually disable it. Therefore, from this point, drivers must not use DRS until the message “DRS enabled” is shown.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “FIA telemetry problem remains unsolved for Malaysia”

  1. This is getting a little embarrassing.

    1. Such geniuses the FIA recruit.

    2. What if a driver loses his radio during the race … He could still see the flags around the track but he won’t know if DRS is enabled/disabled for example

    3. “a little embarrassing” that’s a good euphemism. I agree, what was done of the guys that set up that almost perfect system?

      1. Is the problem not due to an issue in the Mclaren ECU? AFAIK that is what has changed.

  2. The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.

    1. No, the RED zone is for loading and unloading. There’s no stopping in the WHITE zone!

      1. Traverse (@)
        23rd March 2013, 8:59

        Isn’t the Red zone where women sell their…Oh wait! I’m thinking of the Red light district…sorry. :P

      2. But the white zone has always been for loading and unloading. There has never been any stopping in the red zone.


        1. I go to the blue zone to buy red zone stuff so that I can have a party all over my white zone with it.

  3. so what’s the deal with drs activation? willy-nilly or are they on the 1-second honor system or what?

    1. Dunno but Alonso activated his DRS in Melbourne for a few seconds during a “DRS Disabled” phase of the GP and there has been no mention of it since which irked me. If i remember correctly it was also in a yellow flag zone.

      He also skidded over the pit lane speed limit line on entry, leaving obvious black lines for several meters past the white line which led me to suspect that he might have broken the speed restriction and this wasn’t mentioned either. Sutil did the same thing shortly afterwards.

      The stewards seemed to be extremely lenient in Melbourne all weekend. I hope they don’t let drivers get away with these kind of mistakes for the rest of the season. The lack of automatic policing is not a valid excuse for breaking the rules.

      1. The pit lane has a speed trap which is used for all series, not just F1. It wouldnt make use of the F1 cars telemetry.

        You also dont know if Alonso broke the speed limit. All he did was lock the brakes. Once you have locked the brakes, it is hard to unlock them because traction is lost. So he probably slowed down more than he needed, unwillingly.

        1. @joshua-mesh

          You also dont know if Alonso broke the speed limit. All he did was lock the brakes.

          Indeed, I see now that my comment could be interpreted as saying that Alonso broke the speed limit. I didn’t mean to suggest that he did for sure.

          1. We know he did not break the speed limit because he was not penalised.

  4. how embarrasubg !

  5. the governing body of the pinnacle of motorsports don’t know how to play with electronic gadgets.

    1. @eggry

      I’d imagine it’s quite a complicated system if you actually get into it.

      In the end, the drivers really should be able to work it out in the race.

  6. Some if-then conditions are unambiguous, like “after he sees either the SC light panels or SC boards being held out” or “if yellow flags or lights are displayed”.

    But what about “conditions of poor visibility”? Is that specific enough?

    1. Slightly ironic that- hanging out a board to show that there are “conditions of poor visibility”. What happens if you can’t see the board?

      1. “And in breaking news, mechanicsworking feverishly to install headlights on F1 cars, “It will ruin the airflow” says A. Newey of the Redballs team.”

      2. That’s what they have the big LED boards for.

  7. Been told that the problems are down to a change in the supplier of the FIA systems for this year.

    The reason they have not been able to fix it yet is that they don’t actually know what the problem is because its an intermittent issue. The company supplying it need to take all the equipment back to base & run thorough diagnostics which are apparently not possible to do at the track.

    1. Great management, first increase the fees by millions of dollars and then buy new services from the cheapest source.

  8. Like WRC last season with its timing problems. Two years, two strikes for FIA for two top categories.

  9. It appears they changed the supplier of the system for this year hence the issues. This gives reason to the saying, don’t change what isn’t broken

  10. This should be fun when a heavy rain and darkness comes.

  11. vuelve kowalsky
    23rd March 2013, 10:14

    what a disaster. Some guy it’s going to lose a dream job.

    1. Jean Todt ????

  12. Does it have anything to do with the McLaren ECU glitch?

  13. There has never been anything “pinnacle” about FIA. FIA has always been about messing up and embarrassing incompetence. It’s only the part where the competition is that is the pinnacle. In other words, when it comes to teams, they are leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of excellence and no mistake goes unpunished, while FIA is enjoying its privileged position in a manner any government or a governing body would – by employing incompetent or self-serving hypocrites, mostly on a know-the-right-people basis.

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