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 forbidden||Messages 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|
2014 F1 season
- Fear of rules change led Mercedes to run dominant 2014 engine in “idle mode”
- Bianchi’s fight for life ends nine months after Japanese Grand Prix crash
- Mercedes’ Bahrain battle “too dangerous” – Warwick
- Streiff’s comments on Bianchi crash investigation prompts legal action from FIA
- Is stewarding improving? Analysing 2014’s penalties
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