But the Italian Grand Prix provided further evidence that FOM has already begun reducing the number of team radio messages being broadcast. This appears to have started after the summer break.
The number of messages broadcast during the Belgian Grand Prix was down by around a half compared to last year. And while there were 219 radio messages in last year’s Italian Grand Prix transcript, this year there are 75 – little more than a third.
Ironically, Sunday’s race provided more proof of how team radio messages can heighten our appreciation of what drivers are doing, and therefore our appreciation of the sport.
Lewis Hamilton took the lead of the race when team mate Nico Rosberg went off the track. Moments earlier, fans had heard Hamilton being advised on the radio to back off – advice he did not heed, which turned out to be a smart move. Had we not heard that radio message, the key turning point of the race would have lost some of its intrigue.
What else might we have missed out among the hundreds of unheard messages? Communications to Ferrari’s drivers was almost entirely absent – we only heard a single remark to Kimi Raikkonen late in the race. Radio silence greeted Fernando Alonso’s first mechanical failure in 86 races.
It was only a few years ago that teams were forced to free up their radio messages so fans could hear more of it. Now the dialogue has been drastically cut back and we could be about to hear even less.
Team radio has added much to fans’ understanding and enjoyment of Formula One in recent years. While it’s not hard to understand why some don’t like hearing racing drivers being told how to drive, it would be to the detriment of F1 if, as seems to be happening, much of the other radio communications were lost. The coming races will reveal whether the recent drop in messages is a one-off blip or the shape of things to come.
If so, Formula One is wasting one of its best resources. Far from scaling back the transmissions, FOM and F1’s broadcasters should embrace the opportunity offered by internet streaming and make each driver’s radio channel available to listen to in full, uncensored and in real-time.
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2014 Italian Grand Prix team radio transcript
|PR||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Just to reiterate: The opening laps of the race, overtake is free until we tell you.|
|FL||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So if we can learn all gears, please, all the way up to eighth. RS modes cancel.|
|FL||Unknown||Sebastian Vettel||Gearbox is good. Charge is good.|
|FL||Ayao Komatsu||Romain Grosjean||Try to shift up at higher engine speed, please.|
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||This may have been said prior to the start.|
My RS modes won’t [censored by FOM] work.
|1||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Yeah copy that Lewis we see it. So torque mode three.|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||The Mercedes drivers normally deactivate their RS modes after the start, but Hamilton’s display indicated his was still on after it had failed at the start.|
RS mode lights are on.
|2||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK we’re showing RS modes off, looks like everything’s in a muddle. Just leave it where it is for the minute.|
|3||Andrew Murdoch||Felipe Massa||DRS enabled. Use overtake if you need to.|
|4||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||DRS has been enabled. We’ll get the pack up to full charge, then we can make an attack.|
|6||Andrew Murdoch||Felipe Massa||Do not use overtake at the minute.|
|6||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||You’ve got Ricciardo behind. Chassis four, P4.|
|7||Max Chilton||Gary Gannon||Chilton retired after hitting a kerb at the Roggia chicane and landing in a gravel trap.|
Yeah I’m just a bit winded.
|8||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||OK I lifted a lot, I lifted off a lot.|
|8||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Copy that Nico we can see that. So other car reporting rear tyres goind off so just be aware. Gap to Massa is four seconds. He is matching your lap times at the moment.|
|9||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So Nico looks like you locked front and rears together there.|
|10||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Tell me when I have enough power for strat two.|
|10||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis you may use strat two on the main straight only, exit turn eleven to turn one, strat two only for two laps.|
|10||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Nice work Lewis. Right, let’s get those strat modes under control.|
|12||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Status update if you can.|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||This sounds like it has been edited. Suspect Vettel actually said he would be half a second quicker without traffic.|
Not that much quicker. Traffic probably half a second quicker in clean air.
|13||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Try an earlier apex in turn 11, Parabolica. Try and open the steering on exit for scrubbing.|
|13||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Do not tell me the gap.|
|15||Andrew Murdoch||Felipe Massa||You’re pressing the brakes when on throttle into turn five.|
|15||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis two-tenths faster last lap. Gap now 1.8. Nico carrying more speed entry apex turn 11.|
|18||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||Another great move. You are in the window.|
|18||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||It now looks like you’re picking up a tow so you’re slower in corners, faster on the straights.|
|19||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Drivers use a switch to report the state of their tyres to the team without giving that potentially valuable information over the radios.|
And let us know how the tyres are on the HPP switch.
|19||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Copy that. All cars are getting degradation like yourself.|
|21||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So you’re getting close to DRS.|
|21||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||How far?|
|21||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So it’s around the two-tenths mark, just keep it up.|
|23||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Push hard now, two more timed laps.|
|24||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Perfect. So we’ve jumped Alonso and Button, Checo.Just keep on Magnussen’s tail. Really good job, mate, really good job.|
|24||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Go strat mode four, it’s hammer time.|
|26||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So suggest you go back to strat three to recharge the battery. Gap to Lewis is two seconds. We will need some Hoagys for fuel to the end.|
|27||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||I reckon the race is going to be at the end, the race will be at the end. So suggestion is we sit two, two-and-a-half seconds, get the benefit of the tow without losing the downforce. So we’re going to need the tyres at the end.|
|28||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Sebastian, Magnussen is within DRS range.|
|30||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||24 laps to go, let’s just get into the rhythm.|
|30||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So it’s going to be important to look after these tyres to be able to attack at the end, Nico. Save a bit of fuel when we can and attack at the end.|
|33||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Try to push up to the guys ahead if you can, Checo. Do not use the overtake button.|
|34||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Just keep it clean, Checo. Keep it clean. Jenson wasn’t as close this time around, just keep it clean. We hope to give you the fuel performance back soon. Let’s get back to the DRS, the two guys ahead are fighting.|
|34||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||OK mate, excellent job, Right let’s get into them ahead.|
|35||Tom Stallard||Jenson Button||Jenson car behind now Ricciardo. Ricciardo stopped four laps after us.|
|35||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||OK mate it’s going to get pretty tasty ahead of you. There’s a lot of changing of places going. Let’s get amongst it.|
|37||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Checo I can’t say enough what a good job you’re doing. Just keep it up. I know I’m asking the impossible, but just control the rear tyre slip and as long as we’re in this DRS train we’re OK, OK?|
|37||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||That’s brilliant job, brilliant. So try to limit the use of the overtake now, good work.|
|39||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||OK Magnussen has a five second penalty added to his race time. So stick with his DRS and we have his position, OK?|
|40||Sergio Perez||Gianpiero Lambiase||You saw what he did to me?|
|40||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||I saw it, but that was brilliant! Brilliant. Get back up to Magnussen, settle down mate.|
|41||Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||He just cut the chicane. Perez just cut the chicane.|
|42||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||And use the overtake button if you need to to defend. Only on the start/finish straight.|
|44||Sergio Perez||Gianpiero Lambiase||I need more power.|
|44||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||OK Checo we just need to keep it tidy and make sure we get to the end now.|
|44||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||You’re doing a good job with your tyres, your pace is good. Ten laps to go.|
|46||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Alright then Daniel, Nine laps to go. Vettel doing 29.6s, you are eight tenths quicker than him. Let’s get him.|
|46||Mark Temple||Kevin Magnussen||And Kevin we’ve been given a five-second penalty for forcing Bottas off at turn two. We are racing Raikkonen behind so we need good pace all the way to the end to get good points.|
|47||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||Great mate. Keep going. The next is Raikkonen. He is seven seconds in front. We will fight for P10.|
|48||Antonio Spagnolo||Kimi Raikkonen||We expect Kvyat will be to us in two laps to the end. You should push if you can to close on Button.|
|48||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||OK Checo we want to test using the overtake button on the exit of Ascari as well. Continue with the start/finish straight.|
|51||Esteban Gutierrez||Craig Gardiner||I think I have a flat tyre.|
|51||Craig Gardiner||Esteban Gutierrez||Which corner? Preload 12. Esteban is it flat or you can continue?|
|51||Esteban Gutierrez||Craig Gardiner||I can continue but…|
|51||Craig Gardiner||Esteban Gutierrez||Interrupting.|
|53||Daniil Kvyat||Marco Matassa||I got no brakes. Is it last lap?|
|53||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||No, two laps to go. Keep pushing, keep pushing mate.|
|53||Daniil Kvyat||Marco Matassa||I cannot manage.|
|PR||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Nice work Lewis, get in there pal. Beautifully recovered, mate.|
|PR||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Thanks for all the efforts, guys. Great result, great recovery. So happy for everyone.|
|PR||Andrew Murdoch||Felipe Massa||Cut off|
OK Felipe great race, great race. We need…
|PR||Felipe Massa||Andrew Murdoch||Thank you guys. Very good, very good result. I’m so happy, I’m so happy for this result. Especially to be here in Italy.|
|PR||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||OK good job guys on a deserved one-two. That’s a great result for the team. I’m sorry for my side of the garage. Real shame.|
|PR||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||Again, very good drive, very good race. Bravissimo, bravo.|
|PR||Daniil Kvyat||Marco Matassa||Grazie a tutto [Thanks to all].|
Lap: Refers to lap message was broadcast on. There may be a delay between messages being said and being broadcast. PR = pre-race; FL = formation lap; VL = victory lap.
Message: Repetitive or irrelevant messages omitted. Notes in italics. Highlights in bold.
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Italian Grand Prix data
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2014 Italian Grand Prix
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Team radio transcripts
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- “Oh, so unlucky!” How Alonso’s cursed Austrian Grand Prix unfolded on his radio
- “I don’t agree”: How Schumacher lobbied for team orders throughout sprint race
- “Do something, please!” The radio calls which show how Leclerc lost at Silverstone
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