Toro Rosso radio buttons, Monza, 2014

FIA to monitor thousands of messages in real-time

2014 F1 season

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Toro Rosso radio buttons, Monza, 2014The FIA will monitor all team radio in real-time in order to enforce the new limits on messages to drivers from this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Although viewers can only hear a small portion of the messages through the main television feed and pit wall channel, the FIA has confirmed to F1 Fanatic stewards will listen to all messages as they are sent.

The FIA believes that will give it a very high chance of detecting any illegal messages immediately, which could allow them to be dealt with straight away.

The number of messages broadcast on television represents a small fraction of the total communications. In some races this year more than 200 messages were heard, though this fell to less than 100 at last week’s Italian Grand Prix.

However one team told F1 Fanatic they broadcast almost 300 messages during that race. That indicates the total messages sent by all the teams ran to several thousand. This is likely to be reduced following the latest ruling.

It illustrates the scale of the task the FIA faces as it attempts to prevent teams from giving too much assistance to their drivers during races. The FIA has also confirmed teams will not be allowed to communicate the same messages with their drivers via pit boards.

No new rules have been passed to enforce the restrictions, which will be policed using the existing article 20.2 of the sporting regulations which states cars must be driven “alone and unaided”. However the FIA has produced a clarification setting out which messages will be allowed and which will be banned:

Messages now forbiddenMessages still allowed
Sector time detail of a competitor and where a competitor is faster or slower.Acknowledgement that a driver message has been heard.
Adjustment of power unit settings.Lap or sector time detail.
Adjustment of power unit setting to de-rate the systems.Lap time detail of a competitor.
Adjustment of gearbox settings.Gaps to a competitor during a practice session or race.
Balancing the SOC [state-of-charge of batteries] or adjusting for performance.Push hard, “push now”, “you will be racing xx” or similar.
Information on fuel flow settings (except if requested to do so by race control).Helping with warning of traffic during a practice session or race.
Information on level of fuel saving needed.Giving the gaps between cars in qualifying so as to better position the car for a clear lap.
Information on differential settings.Puncture warning.
Start maps related to clutch position, for race start and pit stops.Tyre choice at the next pit stop.
Information on clutch maps or settings, e.g. bite point.Number of laps a competitor has done on a set of tyres during a race.
Burn-outs prior to race starts.Tyre specification of a competitor.
Information on brake balance or BBW (brake-by-wire) settings.Indication of a potential problem with a competitor’s car during a race.
Selection of driver default settings (other than in the case of a clearly identified problem with the car).Information concerning a competitors likely race strategy.
Answering a direct question from a driver, e.g. “Am I using the right torque map”?Yellow flags, blue flags, Safety Car deployment or other cautions.
Any message that appears to be coded.
Messages forbidden from the Japanese Grand Prix
Learning of gears of the gearbox
Information on tyre pressures or temperatures
Warning on brake wear or temperatures

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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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  • 137 comments on “FIA to monitor thousands of messages in real-time”

    1. I had no idea it will be this extreme :o

      1. Me too really. I could enumerate a dozen of problems with Formula 1, others than pit-to-car messages. It’s going too far, it’s getting extreme.

        First things first, F1 is a purists’ sport. Broadcasters and fans are involved in it like in any other sport. They show/watch free practice sessions, qualifying sessions, pre-races, races, post-races…live!
        Medias enlighten fans and vice-versa in a fair reciprocity, and they all do like to show-hear-watch some more in-depth of their passion.

        With the radio clampdown, we all are losing a bit of what’s going on in the cars. Which is what we really care about.

        If, at first, it sounds a good action to try and prevent teams to ‘help’ drivers, it definitely prevent us all to hear what teams have to say to drivers – without coded or fake messages.

        1. I feel ok about the changes, we’ll see what the effect are in reality soon, may change my mind after.

    2. With all the issues facing F1 at the moment, this is the one that the FIA are going to spend an enormous amout of time, effort and presumably money on? I despair for F1 at times.

    3. I feel sorry for whomever has to monitor the messages… I hope they have language translators for English, Italian, German, Finnish, Dutch, and Aussie.

      1. Haha good point! Everyone is going to be brushing up on their Ancient Latin!

        1. All the “team orders” code gets repurposed as “driving instructions” code by the teams.

          They should just let rabid fans monitor the traffic over their broadband connection and report infractions via Twitter.

    4. I don’t understand. “Sector time detail of a competitor and where a competitor is faster or slower” is not allowed but “Gaps to a competitor during a practice session or race” is? So they’re not allowed to say “Lewis is faster turn 2” but they are allowed say “gap to Lewis before turn 2 1.5 seconds, gap to Lewis after turn 2 1.6 seconds”?

      1. I’m with you on that, however I expect if that was tried the team would very quickly that’s against what is allowed. If someone tried that and carried on, and it was challenged, it would be an utter coin toss if which way a lawyer could take it.

        It just shows how hastily this has been implemented.

      2. @daffron, exactly!
        And to make it even easier to understand (safer) for the driver.
        – gap to Lewis before turn 2: X!
        – gap to Lewis after turn 2: X+0.1sec!

      3. This would clearly fall break the rules as it falls under “Sector time detail of a competitor and where a competitor is faster or slower.”

        “Gaps to a competitor during a practice session or race” means they can say “X is Y seconds behind you” without any reference to the part of the track. If they start repeating this message before and after every corner then they’ll wont be in the spirit of the rules, and therefore will likely end up with a penalty.

    5. This seems a little excessive for what is not really that big a problem. I just think it’s going to be strange that the engineers will have all this information printed out in front of them, and the driver could ask them a question about it and they’ll have to tell him to figure it out himself. It just seems rather un-Formula 1 that information has to be withheld just because.

      I can see this going exactly the way of the team orders ban. If they weren’t relaying the team order through some coded message, then they’d have already planned it before the race started. What’s the difference between them planning it out pre-race and doing it mid-race?

      1. It just seems rather un-Formula 1 that information has to be withheld just because.

        Not really. Most things in F1 are “just because” the rules say so. There are many things which could be done to improve the performance of the car, but they can’t “just because” the rules say so.

        Note: I am not defending this ridiculous decision.

    6. Formula Indonesia (@)
      16th September 2014, 12:41

      maybe advantage Rosberg?? we’ll see it

      1. He is always using a lot of fuel, I think this might hurt him

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          16th September 2014, 12:50

          yeah, it could be a disadvantage too

        2. According to a piece on Autosport by Gary Anderson its actually Lewis who asks for more advice through the race & Nico tends to just get on with it.

          There’s also a train of thought in the F1 paddock (According to Martin Brundle) that Nico doesn’t actually use more fuel but instead asks for his car to be under-fueled pre-race to get a performance advantage early on in the race due to been lighter which additionally allows him to be a bit easier on his tyres on the opening stint.
          Its also been put forward as the reason Nico tends to do much slower formation laps when on pole, To save as much fuel as possible to limit fuel saving later on.

          1. Can you post a link please??

            1. Its in the Subscribed article of Autosport .

            2. Article that Autosport posted.
              http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/6188/ask-gary-anderson-who-benefits-from-radio-ban/
              Without stealing Gary Anderson’s thunder, as he’s spent the time writing the article and deserves the credit, he believes that Lewis needs more encouragement than Nico during a race, especially when things go wrong, where Nico just keeps it to his chest and gets on with it. He also says that Nico tends to do more homework with the engineers during the course of the weekend, which may actually pay off during the course of a race if he encounters a problem on race day.

          2. When I have seen the on-screen list of fuel used by each driver, Nico has always been higher than Lewis. It does not seem to back up Gary Anderson’s assertion.

            This is still a stupid and frustrating rule
            for fans!

          3. Lewis might asks for advice and tips more often, Rosberg is the one who really needs it.

            Going through the radio messages you can easily see that Rosberg actually gets told how to improve by the team without even asking. Pretty much like with Massa or Perez.

          4. We all know that Gary Anderson doesn’t like Hamilton.

            1. Glad to see there are at least two of us!! GO Nico

          5. So can someone tell me why Hamilton doesn’t begin the race with less fuel like Rosberg?

          6. It shows fuel usage, not the amount left. Even if Rosberg actually starts with less fuel, he still consistently uses more of that lighter fuel load than Hamilton on his supposed heavy load.

    7. It illustrates the scale of the task the FIA faces as it attempts to prevent teams from giving too much assistance to their drivers during races.

      Exactly, that would require one steward per two drivers, so eleven stewards in total just to check team radio.

      I wonder how long it will take before the FIA realises that the current method is impractical – they will probably manage to finish the season with this, but no way this will remain unchanged for 2015. And then what? Ban team radio altogether? I’m personally in favour of it, but I don’t think the majority of viewers agrees with me.

      So I keep coming back to this: it’s a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that probably wasn’t a big problem in the first place. I mean, low spectator numbers at Hockenheim really aren’t related to team radio. The FIA should focus on the real problems instead of things that are pointed out to them by people like Flavio Briatore.

      So, what are the real problems? Distribution of money among teams certainly is one of them, there are some more that I can point out. It would be fantastic if the FIA could host a survey among fans just to get an idea what they really think instead of just guessing.

      1. Very well said.
        I’d add to that poor circuits that limit decent racing (fortunately Valencia has gone!) and the double points nonsense as real issues to be looked at.

      2. @andae23: Could one steward cover two drivers? I thought that they all had individual comms, so I’d expect one steward per driver.

        1. @jimg I have no idea, I guess one steward could deal with two drivers at the same time (it’s not like they are having a continuous conversation). But yeah, if they need 22 stewards, that would be pretty ridiculous.

        2. @jimg, @andae23, and the Stewards need to speak the same languages as the drivers.
          Rosberg speaks German, English, Italian, Spanish, French, and a bit of Finnish.
          [http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/linguistically-talented-f1-drivers/#.VBg96mQ58Ww]

          1. @coldfly: Good point. Does the FIA have the power to mandate that the drivers only speak languages that the stewards understand? Could they interpret anything else as a “coded message”? They’ve already reinterpreted the rules pretty liberally!

      3. You have to admit the driver aid bit on the radio has reached ridiculous levels this season.
        But real time voice and electronic surveillance is done in a number of industries and there is some good software. You can preprogramme a lot of suspicious terms and it will alert if used. The people doing it don’t even need to be at the race.

        1. You have to admit the driver aid bit on the radio has reached ridiculous levels this season.

          I’m willing to bet it’s no different to previous seasons; we’re just hearing more of it broadcast.

    8. This is such nonsense. Formula 1 now has its very own GCHQ.

      And how will they know a coded message when they see it? If it were me, I would find a way a to communicate ‘forbidden’ messages in ‘allowed’ messages.

      1. @m47e57: If there’s no apparent reason for a message it could be suspicious, especially if it’s followed by a change in the driver’s behaviour. You could theoretically hide messages within other messages (“pit” has one second meaning, “box” has another) but this gets very hard for the driver to work with under the pressure of racing, and looks suspicious in itself if the engineers start varying their language too much. And as with other regulations, what are the possible sanctions if someone is caught breaking this rule? Would it be worth the risk?

        1. The drivers were already memorising arcane-sounding codes for their different modes, strategies and so on. Compared to poring over brake temperature, tyre metrics, fuel data, ERS data and so on on a tiny little screen, working out some new codes using permitted language doesn’t seem a very tall order. What kind of penalty can the FIA possibly impose for something like encouraging the driver to push using too wide a vocabulary? There are so many different ways to code stuff like this, it doesn’t have to be the least bit noticeable.

    9. Does the word “competitor” include team mates?

    10. Isn’t brake wear related to safety? (there are driving implications too, but not totally)

      Also, don’t drivers / teams communicate by buttons/dials on the steering wheel? will that be monitored?

      1. So, I need to tell you something vital to your, the competitor’s and the marshal’s safety, but the FIA wont let me. So, uh, as soon as you get to the next turn there will be yellow flags!

    11. Will the ban include, Hammer Time!

      1. That would be coded – but they could play ‘can’t touch this!’ in the background.

        1. lol. Comment of the day!

      2. I suppose that counts as “push now” so will be fine!

        1. @jleigh I doubt it since “any message that appears to be coded” is banned, not just messages which when decoded turn out to be allowed communications.

        2. Like that time “Hammer time” meant “pit time”?

    12. FIA is in absolute turmoil. The sport has become absurdly complicated, money play the leading role in everything and they try to keep things in perspective by checking the clarity of every raindrop that falls into the circuit. A vicious circle…

    13. Max Verstappen FTW
      16th September 2014, 13:03

      So, the first team that manages a to project a HUD on the inside of the visor with RET (Remote Eye Tracking) will have a good advantage in operating the power-unit. :D

      So, go on boys! hatjeee, to work , and go develop a McL-glass-Helmet. :D

      1. There not allowed to do that as there only able to use one of the 2 displays which come with the ecu which every team must run.

      2. Is there a rule preventing drivers from wearing a device like Google Glass?

        1. No, but the neither the car nor the team would be allowed to broadcast any useful data to it, so it wouldn’t be much help.

    14. Madness!
      Waste of resources and pointless.
      This is beyond belief.
      So they replay the message the viewers and then the driver gets a drive through?
      I cant believe this.

    15. This is even worse than I expected.

      If a driver encounters an engine issue mid race they’re unlikely to know what settings to use to help protect that engine from complete failure.

      Surely this now increases the likelihood of having more grid penalties towards the end of the season due to engine power unit failures, making the latter part of the season even more of a farce.

      1. Chris:

        In the list of banned messages (my emphasis):

        Selection of driver default settings (other than in the case of a clearly identified problem with the car).

        This looks like a ray of sanity. I still think it’s a hasty, badly planned change though.

        1. Good spot, hopefully you’re right about a ray of sanity.

          Although, does this then supersede the ban on: “Adjustment of power unit setting to de-rate the systems”?

          1. @cdavman: Probably not. Cancel the sanity, and send for the lawyers!

        2. The trouble with these power units is that by the time you have a “clearly identified problem”) you’ve probably been driving it too aggressively and using up its lifespan too quickly. If that’s only halfway through the race you’re going to have a bad time.

          Unless things like “not enough lift and coast to get to the end of the race on this engine mode” counts as a “clearly identified problem” in which case, well, it’s business as usual I guess.

    16. There’s so much talk of the “massive resources” that this will take… Surely it just takes 22 people to listen into to the radio transmissions for each car. If they hear anything dodgy, they flag it up to the stewards….

      Considering the billions F1 makes a year, paying 22 people to wear some headphones and listen for an hour and a half isn’t really that big of a drain on the resources!?

      1. Considering the billions F1 makes a year

        Those go to FOM, not the FIA

        listen for an hour and a half

        The restriction apply to all five sessions across a race weekend.

        1. They can get all the Ladies that line the podium steps or hold the grid numbers to listen to the messages; it doesn’t look like they’re strapped for cash to employ a few extra people with such sexist extravagance!

    17. One thing this is going to mess up is Martin Brundle’s grid walk. The drivers are not going to speak to anyone before the race as they will be going through the start procedure, clutch settings, fuel usage etc because this now can’t be done in car.

      No doubt some will get it wrong at Singapore and get off to very poor starts.

    18. Well i count to teams geniousness now.. after multi21 we will here this time strange discussions like this :

      Driver: Can i Pit32?
      Pits: No because its time for Water45
      Driver: Got it. What about Pit44 then?
      Pits: No you can do pit38 and drink water07

      A small example…

      1. @bluechris Do you really think no one will realise that’s a code? Notwithstanding the fact you’ve just pointed it out.

      2. yeah as @keithcollantine has indicated, FIA will classify it as coded message by default. They may investigate this after the race and who knows issue appropriate penalties if need be.

        The only thing I find bizarre is that they permit the following message:

        Push hard, “push now”, “you will be racing xx” or similar.

        clearly, as we have learned from before (Piquet) this type of message can be used as a coded message. The words can be rearranged to mean anything.

    19. I don’t understand F1. It advertises itself as ‘the pinnacle of motor sport.’ Then goes on to ban technological advances. It says it’s a team sport, the drivers always thank the guys back at the factory for their hard work. So now mid season it becomes a solo effort. Teams can’t tell the drivers anything. The fans are expected to watch as £millions worth of cars are destroyed on track for the want of informing the driver that something is overheating or wearing out. How does that make anyone want to pay £hundreds to watch? It’s not a sport as it has liquid rules just like wrestling. Why not just roll some dice on Sunday to get to a winner? Why bother pretending to race?

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        16th September 2014, 13:51

        I don’t even understand the want to ban team radio completely. First, F1 is a team sport, and I think the engineers and strategists should contribute to their driver’s success. Second, we live in 2014. Why does the FIA see the need to ban technology every few months? First FRIC and now this.

      2. Its not bad, just puts some of the decision making back in the drivers hands. Probably a good thing.

        1. The drivers already make most of the decisions during a race (likely hundreds per second). All this will do is lower the quality of racing, as drivers won’t always be on the optimum engine mode etc.

          Also, these cars were designed around the fact that engineers could monitor the car and advise the driver. They are horrendously complicated. The mid-season change allows no time for the teams to redesign their cars to suit the new interpretation.

          F1 is a team sport. Notwithstanding the fact that I love the team radio, and think that it’s loss will hurt the racing as much as the fans experience, a change like this is so fundamental that several teams will be at a disadvantage purely because they chose a smaller display on the steering wheel. That’s one of the most minor design decisions which was made due to the fact that the engineers could relay extra data.

      3. If the teams were smart they would be campaigning the FIA to keep freedom in radio messages, thereby playing up the fact that Formula 1 is a team sport, and start turning the engineers, mechanics, fabricators etc into household names, educating the fan at home that it takes a whole team to race these cars, and take some of the focus away from the drivers, thereby reducing their wages. If the drivers are no longer the sole ‘star’ of the team their value decreases, meaning the teams have more money to pay better engineers, and to develop better cars.

    20. “Messages still allowed: Push hard, “push now”, “you will be racing xx” or similar.”

      So that’s the green light for Hammer-time!

      1. But Hammer-time is code for push, and coded messages are banned.

      2. I love the discussions about wether “hammer time” is still allowed. It highlights how ridiculous this whole thing has been done!

        1. whats to discuss…? Hammer Time is equivalent to Push Hard, or Push Now which is totally allowed… I think its interesting how some are reacting to this strict enforcement.. which is exactly what it is… this is not a new rule.. the FIA has just decided the radios have gotten a bit out of hand and personally, I’d tend agree.

          1. It’s more complex than that though. What if Merc now decide hammer time means, push hard, turn up the engine?

          2. Hammer Time is equivalent to Push Hard, or Push Now which is totally allowed

            But it is a coded message. Whether or not it is code for an allowed message, coded messages are banned.

            I love the discussions about wether “hammer time” is still allowed. It highlights how ridiculous this whole thing has been done!

            Yep.

        2. What if “hammertime” means “push hard,” but, say, “go like stink” (a Michael Andretti-ism) means “push hard at strat 6.” People are shooting down the scenario where a code can go undetected, but there are easy ways for smart people to vary messages this way. In any case, whenever we hear something like “hammertime,” people are going to start crying about whether it’s a code and demanding the FIA to investigate, which is going to make the sport look ridiculous.

          1. Personally, I’d be glad if the whole ‘Hammertime” thing was banned, it’s becoming as annoying as Vettel’s finger and just as contrived.

    21. Just for a bit of perspective: this sounds extreme, but they must already do it to an extent to choose what to broadcast, yes?

      And as for how will drivers now know how to gauge this or that setting, well it’s a bit like how would we know how to function if looking up info on the internet were banned. Answer is, after a brief moment of confusion, we would adjust. Simple as. I think this will advantage those drivers who are willing to do the homework.

    22. Not fair. As a us does and maybe some other nationalities speak in code, in general. Otherwise known as slang. So what is normal language for some could be perceived as code. This is just one point. I think this will take a while to sort out. Probably see some unfair penalties and some overlooked code in Singapore.

      Also if they want to listen and penalise in real time will viewers the actual people interested be able to hear the discrepancy? Otherwise it will seem like a conspiracy when your favourite drive is penalised.

    23. So detailed Radio Messages and details on the Pit Boards are banned. Will they resort to using the Pit Lollipop to display this information now?

    24. Not fair. Aussies and maybe some other nationalities speak in code, in general. Otherwise known as slang. So what is normal language for some could be perceived as code. This is just one point. I think this will take a while to sort out. Probably see some unfair penalties and some overlooked code in Singapore.

      Also if they want to listen and penalise in real time will viewers the actual people interested be able to hear the discrepancy? Otherwise it will seem like a conspiracy when your favourite drive is penalised.

      1. I don’t think that is a problem. Whilst all countries no doubt have the local vernacular or slang, I’m yet to hear an F1 driver use language of the sort via team radio. Many of the team’s personnel, stewards etc are not native Engligh speakers and I don’t think anyone would be unprofessional enough to expect that someone speaking their second language would understand slang or colloquialisms.

    25. I think that the key sentence in this article is the “This is likely to be reduced following the latest ruling” which if true we should end up having less messages to monitor. I don’t see that as a problem then.
      I like the ban on the messages.
      Even though we live in an era of information, when I watch racing I expect to see the drivers doing all the talking in the cars, on track rather than blabbing and getting all this artificial help all the time.
      Some will disagree but I actually look forward to the next race to see how it’s going to be.

    26. Good. I like the babysitting is being banned. And it’s not that tough really compared to all other forms of scrutineering the FIA already make

    27. I think something to remember is that these cars are so much more complex than what was raced in the past before we had telemetry, team radio & so on…

      There was an exchange on twitter between Martin Brundle & his son Alex a few days ago in which Alex pointed out that cars are no longer just a few analog dials, They have a lot of information on the digital displays & a lot more dials, switches & buttons to play around with, With a lot more on the car which needs to be monitored & altered.

      In the past all the driver had to do was drive the car & there was so little tech on the car that nothing really needed to be monitored. Now there are systems on these cars which need constant attention & which constantly need to be adjusted to get the optimum out of it depending on what phase of a race your in (Attack, Defense, Fuel management etc.) & there are so many sensors & so many error codes thats its impossible for a driver to remember & be able to do everything that needs to be done.

      Look at modern road cars, If you get a fault now with many aspects you can’t do anything about it without plugging in a diagnostics system to find where the fault is before you can fix it. In the past before they were full of electronics & everything was more mechanical you could diagnose the fault fairly easily just by feeling/listening to what the car/engine was doing.

      This is a different era, There’s more information required, More things to do & banning the team from helping drivers figure all of this out is a backwards step & will be one area where F1 is now behind just about every other racing category.

      1. Look at modern road cars, If you get a fault now with many aspects you can’t do anything about it without plugging in a diagnostics system to find where the fault is before you can fix it. In the past before they were full of electronics & everything was more mechanical you could diagnose the fault fairly easily just by feeling/listening to what the car/engine was doing.

        I used to love my Mini’s for exactly that reason. If I could get home, I would always be able to diagnose and fix a problem myself. If I broke down, by the time the AA arrived, I could tell them exactly what was wrong (even in the middle of the night, with rain pouring down, on a country road with no lights).

        Now, if my car breaks down, I may have a rough idea, but mostly I leave it to a mechanic. There’s too much I don’t know about in there, too many black boxes and sensors.

    28. So will we see a lot of development in the area of the LCD steering wheel displays? Surely a lot of the information regarding car performance could be displayed on that panel? I bet all teams adopt that display next year.

      1. Yeah I thought that. Next will be a touchscreen display with a keyboard. They’ll be racing around with i-pads as steering wheels.

    29. I’d rather the FIA ban radio use all together, and banning the steering wheel display info.
      I wonder if the teams who use the larger, more detailed displays will have an advantage over teams like redbull who have the basic displays. Could for instance merc be able to provide information through the screen, directly from the car with built in software instead?

    30. Illogical, impractical, wasteful on resources, pointless, but at least it’s not as unfair as double points. Is there a requirement of the drivers to speak English on the radio? Otherwise Kobayashi should not be so disappointed after all.

    31. To me, there is a technical solution to this new rule which will improve a lot of things. What would be wrong with:
      – Interfacing at least the more critical/useful sensors to a common output bus – something akin to a USB or Bluetooth input to a smartphone
      – Having this device crunch at least some of the more critical and simple telemetry math, check for alert thresholds, etc and announce audible warnings to the driver (just like hitting the beeps on your rev counter)
      – This can be packaged to give a voice prompt – Think Siri on your iPhone, eg. “your front brakes are too hot – suggest two clicks rearwards on bias”
      – As this feedback is coming from on board, I don’t see any reason why, instead of actually having to input complex combinations of button presses and clicks on the wheel, that the driver can’t actually provide voice input to their car to make the correct adjustment for them, eg.
      Siri: “your front brakes are too hot – would you like me to adjust bias two clicks to the rear Kimi”;
      RAI: “Leave me alone Siri, I know what I’m doing”;
      Siri: “OK, Kimi, you won’t hear from me again until I have something too Important for you to ignore”

      My humble opinion… I would LOVE to see F1 Cars, in fact many new cars, evolving with this level of feedback directly to the driver instead of computers off-site, human analysis and audio feedback from pit wall. Also gets rid of the cumbersome menu options drivers have to deal with via mechanical input to change software settings and chances are can more easily be policed by stewards and the FIA if necessary.

    32. Formula Indonesia (@)
      16th September 2014, 15:30

      brake wear, tires temperature radio are banned??? what about if Canada Mercs issues.

    33. Didn’t all the teams have to agree, before a rule-change can be made mid-season?
      Why hasn’t double points been dropped then?

      1. No because the rules did not change, the interpretation did…

      2. this rule has been in place, but is now going to be “enforced” as the FIA got sick of hearing the drivers asking for help from their team on where to be quicker. the original rule says the driver must drive unaided at all times. to be honest, the enforcement should have can earlier, but I am glad it is now being put in place.

      3. @ringridder As it says in the article, no new rules have been created.

    34. Just a point for those who seem to think teams will now be adding different information to the displays & adding new displays to show more information.

      Don’t forget that teams are limited to just the 2 types of display which come with the standard issue ECU which every team must use. And every team is then also limited just to the information which the ECU is able to display.

      If there is no option to display brake wear data then there is nothing any team can do about that, If McLaren electronics do not reprogram the ECU/Display to show brake wear data in the car then no driver will be able to have that bit of data.

    35. If a driver cannot get instructions to adjust the power unit or transmission during a race, there will be failures. At best there will be cases where the performace of the PU degrades dramatically in terms of charge and discharge behavior. Same goes for braking systems, which are integral to the PU. How many times this season have the MB drivers alone had to make critical adjusments to get to the end of the race? Should the driver also guess when to switch over to an auxilliary oil tank to prevent a failure? When cars perform poorly or fail for lack of engineering support, this is not Improving The Show. This is not going to last. I predict that there will be a raft of “exceptions” for reliability or safety reasons, which exceptions will soon swallow the rule, or at least make it impossible to administer.

      And in terms of information on driving performance, why not let a driver know the times and splits of competitors? This was done via pit boards for generations. Similarly, I find the excuses of people who say, let them read it on the dashboard, ridiculous. Certain information should be forbidden if sent via the dark sorcery or radio waves, but it is fine if done by pit board, or if sent by the same radio waves but converted by additional technology to a LED display? There is no sense or coherency to this rule at all, except that it satisfies some narrow, rose-tinted idea of what racing was at some point in the past. Apparently, approximately 1970. If anyone supports the banning of driving information by radio by is happy to see it via pit board or steering wheel display, one can only assume they have something against Marconi or follow some secret luddite cult that fears the sound of voices via radio as the work of the devil.

      1. no, they can run the power units at a setting that will last the whole race – so no changes needed during races. also every team is in the same boat – so no advantage to any team with this rule enforcement/change – ie every team can run at lowest setting to see out the race and there will still be competition.

        1. “no, they can run the power units at a setting that will last the whole race – so no changes needed during races.”

          But thats not how these new power units work, There is no 1 setting that will work for a whole race.
          You leave the power settings on max then you will run out of fuel, You turn it down & your too slow, You leave it in the middle you may not get enough charge so will again be slow.

          The reason they are constantly been told to adjust stuff is because to get everything working at the optimum performance, To ensure the ERS charge is as it should be, The brakes (Now electronically controlled remember) are working correctly etc.

          Thats the problem with this absurd rule, This isn’t the old days & the cars are not so simple to drive that you just need to brake/accelerate/steer with no other settings to change. These cars are far more complex, The systems in them are the most complex in F1’s history & the way the power units work, The energy recovery systems & the brake by wire are not so simple that 1 setting will do.

    36. In for a penny, in for a pound. They might as well ban team radio altogether. Anything to do with car safety or circuit safety could be relayed through one-way race control radio. Just a thought.

      1. this is actually a good idea. the yellow flags are enough and do not need radio. look at motogp.

        1. Yeah why not take F1 even further back into the dark ages.

          1. While we are at it, let’s ban variable valve timing, fuel injection, disc brakes, sequential gear boxes, and LCD displays. In fact, let’s take the cars off them and make them drive around in chariots.

    37. Good implementation of the existing rule that the driver should drive his car unaided.
      With all the information coming from the pit the unaided part was long gone, and it enabled young guys with hardly any experience to come into F1.
      With this rule drivers need to know an feel what is going on in the car and adapt there driving style accordingly.
      Drivers whom are quick only when there hand is held by the pitcrew will fail.

      1. +1
        It baffle me to see all negative comment about this.
        Maybe if HAM or RAI adapt better to this radio clampdown we’ll see different fan reaction.

        1. It’s more the crazy lengths needed to enforce this new interpretation more than the fact they are doing. And the effort behind this very minor problem when there are so many more things they shoud be looking at instead.
          A sledgehammer to crack a walnut springs to mind.

    38. I can sort of sympathies with FIA’s reason to do this, but this is simply way too impractical. If it was a major issue. Fine. This however is a minor issue. I simply don’t think that, this is worth it. Not so much the sheer economical waste, but more importantly, the thousands of possibilities for debate about what is and what is not coded. A lot of slang aren’t in the dictionary. Does that make it a code? If not, then what is a code? I can see an endless number of silly debates about this.
      For what gain? the drivers “get help driving the car” between sessions, when they analyse lines and throttle maps of team mates etc. Why not give them the same info on the fly and avoid another risk of a massive soap opera when Lewis Hamilton is excluded for being told that that it is “hammer time” or a similarly silly scenario.

      1. This is just stop gap of something that is out of control. Next season a definitive solution will probably be introduced.

      2. the FIA is looking at ratings, and they see F1 is becoming less popular. they also read have feedback that many people consider modern f1 drivers “monkies” – that anyone can drive them, including teanagers which are coming into the sport – so it is fair for the FIA to try to change the conception in a huge majority of peoples minds about f1, these changes are a step in that direction. as f1 fans, we should appreciate this is not as big a change as the formula change, which has effected the sport dearly – bland sounding v6 turbos are more the culprit of f1s popularity demise then radio communication.

        1. “bland sounding v6 turbos”

          The same V6 turbo’s that have actually made this years F1 cars harder to drive?

          And having actually heard them in person 3 separate times, They actually don’t sound that bad, They are a big improvement over the bland sounding V8s.

          1. “bland sounding v6 turbos”

            The V6 turbos sound anything but bland!

            There are nuances to the sound, every different setting for each different engine produces a slightly different sound.

            The old V8s were an electric guitar with a large amp set on max volume (and no effects peddles): Able to make a very loud noise but with very little variation.

            The V6s are a symphony orchestra.

            1. ‘The V6s are a symphony orchestra.’

              Oh come on! They sound awful. The first time I heard them live, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

            2. Oh come on! They sound awful.

              I think that about the V8s. They are just a loud whine, with no variation, which hurt the ears.

              I love the V6s. Heard them live at Spa, and thought it was wonderful. The GP2 cars, on the other hand, just make noise.

              However, just like music, everybody has their own taste. Some like a symphony, some like rock. Some even like Justin Beiber, for crying out loud!

    39. this whole thing will be a non-issue in a couple of races. teams wont got to the extremes of secret coding, they will seek to work to the rules given and in a quick timeframe so they can get on with the job of racing. so many people commentating are being paranoid about what will happen from here, but in reality, every team is in the same boat, and the status quo will likely remain the same, only the drivers will have to fend for themselves more – so this is better for f1, more driver input into the final result. go and watch a motogp race to see that pit-to-driver communication is not needed – and like I said, every team is in the same boat, and everyteam will work around this. I for one am sick to the guts of hearing Hamilton and rosberg asking where their teammate is faster, and then improving their laps with the other drivers data — that is just plain wrong – it is driving with driving aids, like launch control, tractional control and stability control – and driving aids are banned. this should have been implemented sooner, but it wasn’t a problem until this year, as the drivers weren’t such pansies as they are this year (Mercedes drivers).

      1. I still think coaching of competitors should be allowed in practice sessions. Every other sport allows it and it does not spoil the show.

    40. Isn’t the real answer here just to reduce the amount of data the pits can see in real-time so they can’t see the data the FIA doesn’t want them to tell the driver.

      Let the pits see basic engine data, fuel load, sector and lap times only during the race. The rest of the data can still be collected, just not available until after the race.

    41. If the fia has spare manpower to monitor all these messages in real-time, why does it take 6 hours to work out who crashed into who?

    42. MotoGP and F1 are so far apart in complexity it’s laughable that anyone would use the two to compare whether or not radio is valid in providing ENTERTAINMENT. We seem to forget that the Circus that is F1 is an entertainment venture.

      If you want the drivers to do everything, then have them change the tires too!!!

      I want the drivers to lap as fast as they can, so I am in favor of all communication. It leads to faster laps for everyone, and better entertainment for the fans. I don’t see how team playing it safe is good for the fans.

      The radio is as much of a drivers aid as the material on the palm of the driver’s glove. It only communicates, it doesn’t do ANYTHING unless the drivers HAND is involved. —The radio simply allows the drivers to continue on the track when otherwise they would be forced to pit and have a face to face chat with the engineers.

      Do we really want to watch FP sessions where it’s 3 laps, one hot, and into the pits to chat about the changes, then back out to try a new setting for 3 more laps? I have enjoyed FP2 and FP3 much more than in previous years, in part because you can see the cars getting faster and faster and the drivers work out new strategies. The same goes for the strategy of the races…what made Bahrain so great WAS the communication between the drivers and engineers. The radio chatter is what made Lewis’s decision to pressure Rosberg good entertainment. Without Hamilton’s engineer telling him to try to win in the last 5 laps, we’d never had been primed, same for Rosberg asking his side of the garage to stop telling him the gaps. That’s GOOD racing drama, not contrived like Pirrelli does with the tires or Bernie’s Double Points, –just good honest teamwork.

      Unless the radio has some direct control over the controls of the car, it’s not a driving aid, it’s communication which is resold as entertainment.

      1. If you want the drivers to lap as fast as they can, FIA should stop with limiting the tires, engine, fuel flow, refeuling and airo dynamica. That is where they make the big gains, pit communication is there because FIA forced them there as all other areas are forbidden.

    43. I think, it will be very hard. The teams will use different codes.

      1. @saubers1 In which case they can expect a penalty as the FIA have expressly forbidden that.

        1. Yes, I know. Otherwise I think so they can use the original allowed messages for this. For example if I talk about weather and I begin this sentence with determinate word, you have to switch up something. And if I say to you number of the laps with an also determinate word, you have to swith down this thing.

    44. The problem will be that some “listeners” may be more strict or lenient than others regarding the grey areas. And the other thing that bothers me is that this radical view of the rules is applied midseason. I would have said it is ok if they had started next year.

    45. Were they not monitoring it in real time before? lol

    46. @keithcollantine – Why didn’t the FIA just tell FOM not to broadcast any of the “objectionable” messages, while commencing work with the teams and broadcasters to 1) figure out if it’s really a problem and, if so, 2) implement a reasonable non-knee-jerk solution to eliminate the most obvious and egregious comms, like the ones where the engineers are basically telling the driver how to steer through a corner?

      Instead they make this ham-fisted guaranteed-controversial ban-it-all (pretty much) decision that only makes the look stupider and brings sport into greater disrepute than the actual messages originally deemed to be making the driving look kinda ‘fake’…

    47. So the teams can not advise their drivers on the settings needed to maintain the engine life.

      That’s going to mean more engines. That in turn will mean more costs, hurting the poorer teams most. They can not afford the engines, nor the grid penalties. Lewis has alread shown that a grid penalty does not stop Mercedes getting on the podium.

      More silly grid penalties is going to further confuse new or infrequent spectators, hurting the all-important viewing figures.

      F1 finances lose all round. Earlier this season the FIA was trying to reduce costs and increase audiences. Now it is doing the opposite. Is this because of the return of Ecclestone’s mate Briatore to the sport following his ban?

    48. Following RIC’s disqualification in Australia the FIA made it clear that only it’s own fuel usage calculations are relevant for the purposes of the Technical Regulations, even if the car’s indicator is more accurate. Teams are now forbidden from communicating the FIA’s figures to the driver, who will only have the more accurate (but possibly lower) onboard figures.

      That seems harsh. The driver is not allowed to know whether he is using too much fuel, unless the FIA choose to tell him.

    49. Considering the team as a whole, the people who must be most fed up with this dubious initiative are the race engineers. Their part in the whole process has potentially been severely downgraded and I can see their stress levels being sky high as they watch a situation develop over which they could rectify but are not allowed to.

      But… so far as I can see there is nothing to stop the engineers watching what is going on, then telling their drivers to select and permanently display the parameter they may be most concerned about. Can’t see anything forbidding that in Keith’s list of do’s and don’ts. It wouldn’t be advice, just a heads-up surely?

    50. Is saying ‘tell him to get out of the F*ing way’ or “i know what i’m doing so just be quiet” or “give me full power then” still permitted?

    51. OK, I have read a krillion comments/replies etc., BUT I have not seen anything relating to a penalty for mentioning something WRONG or out of place in a transmission from the pits…. What are the ground rules for passing the FORBIDDEN info to a driver???? GO Nico thanks, Ray PS the old WHAT IF there is an emergency in the cockpit …. e.g. driver says smelling smoke … is there a problem or should I just ignore it????

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