Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2014

2014 Japanese Grand Prix team radio transcript

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2014The taxing conditions were a constant source of discussion between drivers and their teams during the Japanese Grand Prix.

This was the second race since the FIA imposed restrictions on what drivers were allowed to be told on the radios. This included corner speeds relative to other drivers, however judging from a series of messages between Lewis Hamilton and his performance engineer Jock Clear it seems drivers are allowed to receive that information during race suspensions.

The conditions during the race proved very tough – Kimi Raikkonen (lap 33) and Jean-Eric Vergne (laps 18 and 27) were among those to complain about a lack of grip.

Here is the transcript of all the radio messages which were broadcast in the coverage during the race. No messages were broadcast relating to the serious accident which befell Jules Bianchi, and nothing involving his car was heard earlier in the race either.

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2014 Japanese Grand Prix team radio transcript

Lap*FromToMessage
PRPeter BonningtonLewis HamiltonThe track was already wet and more rain was falling as the pit lane opened for drivers to head to the grid.
Look out for the rivers through the Esses.
PRNico HulkenbergBrad JoyceClutch was way too engaged. A lot of initial wheelspin.
PRMark TempleKevin MagnussenTemple to Magnussen: OK Kevin and once again after the pit exit on the right hand side stop, five second hold and launch.#F1
PRSergio PerezGianpiero LambiasePerez spun off during a reconaissance lap.
I aquaplane but OK.
PRJenson ButtonTom StallardThere’s a lot of spray on the straights, you can’t see anything. He reports tyres and brake are OK.
PRNico HulkenbergBrad JoyceAre people on inters or not?
PRBrad JoyceNico HulkenbergAs far as I know, no one. Do you want to try inters?
PRNico HulkenbergBrad JoyceNo.
PRPeter BonningtonLewis HamiltonHow was your start?
PRLewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonInitially under-engaged.
PRDaniel RicciardoSimon RennieSeemed like the rear dropped off. Probably a little bit too much front wing.
PRSimon RennieDaniel RicciardoYeah understood. We lost rear temperature and pressure driving through the pit lane.
PRDaniel RicciardoSimon RennieIn terms of rivers I did think about putting intermediates on the second lap.
PRCraig GardinerEsteban GutierrezGo to grid and two rolling bite point before stopping.
PREsteban GutierrezCraig GardinerOK [unclear].
PRMarco SchupbachAdrian Sutil15, 15 minutes.
PROn Alonso’s radio.
Fernando was suggesting to take half a degree off and go to diff position one.
PRLewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonSo my front brakes, if I’m set at 54, 53% B-bal, I can’t keep the temperature in the fronts, struggling, and the rears are getting too hot. At least from what I can see on my dashboard of minimum temps, particularly with the brake warming up.
PRPeter BonningtonLewis HamiltonYep I’m sure the rears is down to the brake warming. If you have a look at your front barkes, might need a bit more blanking.
PRLewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonAlso Jock the car generally feels a bit understeery. Good support on the way into the corners but I feel like the fronts are graining already. Witgh the wing I felt it was a little too much, maybe half a hole down on that, maybe fixingthe diff to help get the car turning a bit more. I’m getting out.
PRJock ClearLewis HamiltonAffirm.
PROn Gutierrez’s radio.
So we have ten minutes to go. The race will start behind the Safety Car so wets must be used, wet tyres.
PRAndrew MurdochFelipe MassaOK just letting you know it will be a Safety Car start. That’s why we’ve gone back to torque position seven and engine mode five. So we still need to have the pit speed limiter on. When you cross the chequered line there you’ll be into lap one of the race.
PRDaniel RicciardoHi Paul, can you just check the drink tube? Just feels like it’s caught a bit behind my shoulder.
PRGary GannonMax ChiltonChilton thought the conditions were too poor even for the race to start behind the Safety Car.
Just one minute away from firing up now, Max. It’s raining even harder now, so I’m not sure what action they’ll but at the moment we’re prepared to go under the Safety Car.
PRMax ChiltonGary GannonI’ll be amazed if they start this under Safety Car.
1Mark TempleKevin MagnussenLaunch map off and let’s generate some brake temperature, please. Warm the brakes.
1Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo it is much wetter than before, Lewis, much wetter than you had before. It’s been raining heavily while you’ve been on the grid. Be very careful.
1Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonThe Safety Car needs to go faster.
1Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinI am aquaplaning, going 80 kph I’m aquaplaning.
2Angel BaenaMarcus EricssonEricsson spun off at the end of the first lap behind the Safety Car.
Is the engine running, Marcus?
2Marcus EricssonAngel BaenaYeah but I can’t get reverse.
2Angel BaenaMarcus EricssonSelect first gear and brakes on. Don’t release the clutch paddle, select neutral and reverse,
2Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonMake sure Nico doesn’t do any dramatic stops because I can’t see him.
2Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonRoger, copy that message.
2Tony RossNico RosbergLewis is saying the conditions are so poor he can’t see you.
2Nico RosbergTony RossI might have to drop back a little bit more from the Safety Car because I can’t see where I’m going either.
2Jenson ButtonTom StallardYeah I mean it’s… You can’t see anything at this speed, we’re almost… Well, we are going very slow. A lot of standing water now and obviously visibility is very poor. Let’s see what happens.
2Bernadette CollinsJenson ButtonOK Jenson we can see that.
3Tom StallardJenson ButtonThe race was red-flagged and the drivers returned to the pits to wait for better weather.
And Jenson you just quewue up at the end of the pit lane in the order you stop. Do not turn the car off. Shut off the engine but leave the car switched on.
3Jenson ButtonTom StallardOK engine off, car switched on.
3Nico RosbergTony RossRosberg felt the best way to warm up the brakes involved doing something Mercedes wouldn’t permit.
So the big problem is I can’t… It’s easy to get the rear brakes up, but I can’t get the front brakes up. So I think ideally I would like to do brake warming off, and then do brake/throttle overlap with brake warming off, but I’m not allowed to do that, am I?
3Tony RossNico RosbergThat is correct, Nico.
3Peter BonningtonPeter BonningtonYou are free to get out.
3Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonHow long is the break?
3Jock ClearPeter BonningtonNothing broadcast yet, Bono.
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearOK Jock just a question. The drive-ability is very important. So I just want to make sure firstly I’m in the right torque mode. Secondly diff exit, just then for example wheels spinning up, aquaplaning, this kind of thing. What can help that most?
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonAffirm let me take a look at the data.
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearAnd also please give me some feedback on the laps to the grid compared to Nico if you can.
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonI can give you that already. Very, very similar. There’s wasn’t really… I mean the setting you had, I’ll have a close look at his brake balance on his laps to the grid. But in terms…
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearI was referring to pace.
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonYeah exactly in terms of pace very, very similar. You looked to be quicker in places like into 13 [Spoon] you were quicker. He was quicker through 8 [Degner 1]. You’re both very similar through the Esses.
3On Kobayashi’s radio.
OK Charlie, and for Kamui as well, we should have at least a ten minute signal so we should get a ten minute warning at the very least. So we can wrap these tyres on the car, we will have time to change to another set before we go again.
3Nico RosbergTony RossSo they’re going to give a ten minute warning. Is that correct?
3Tony RossNico RosbergThat is correct Nico, you get at least a ten minute warning.
3Nico RosbergTony RossDo you suggest I should jump out of the car?
3Tony RossNico RosbergAffirm, I think you should.
3Jonathan EddolllsValtteri BottasBottas wasn’t sure is his wing settings were correct as they were going very slowly behind the Safety Car.
Valtteri do you require any adjustment to the front wing or just happy with the bars?
3Valtteri BottasJonathan EddolllsJust happy with the bars, I really haven’t got a feel of the flaps so just see how it goes.
3Gary GannonMax ChiltonHi Max. They’ve just started the ten minute clock so we’re ten minutes from restaritng. It’ll be under Safety Car, obviously. So Max the only switch changes you have to do is before the restart is we’ll have to go from Eng 2 to Eng 1. Otherwise it shuold be in race start-able settings. Torque 12 is the wet map. Should be fine.
3Max ChiltonGary GannonQuite hard to pull away in torque twelve. Or is it the clutch setting? One or the other.
3Gary GannonMax ChiltonIt will be that torque is harder to control the revs. If you want to do a pull-away in torque two and then go to torque twelve, that’s fine. Torque two will be a more normal start map.
3Max ChiltonGary GannonI was keeping it in gear two for most of the time, revving it quite a lot, because I was worried about the engine temperature. I don’t know, is that a worry or not? Sometimes it is in those conditions.
3Gary GannonMax ChiltonI think the guys will tell us if we need to worry, Max, don’t worry about it too much.
3Nico HulkenbergBrad JoyceWhat’s the forecast for the next 30 minutes?
3Brad JoyceNico HulkenbergWe’ve got a relatively dry patch for 30 minutes, then further showers behind that.
3Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK so we’ve gone up on the rear wing gurney flap, we’ve balanced out the front. Cars are now running effectively the same front wing angle. The forecast is clear for the next 20 minutes at least.
3Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelWhat we see on the radar is the rain is going to calm down, probably stop in a little bit. [Unclear]
3Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinAnd then after that do you have more rain on the way, or you don’t know?
3Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelYeah there is more rain on the way. As and when it’s coming, quite difficult to tell.
3Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelNormal procedures Sebastian, same thing. We will drop the car with one minute to go. Limiter on, toggle torque, do static.
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonWe have a driver in the car, do we not? Lewis can you just check where diff init is and tell me?
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearSeven.
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonOK that’s good. And diff exit I suggest we go to diff exit eight. Looking at the data Nico’s locking quite dramatically on exits and looks to have less snaps.
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearOK. They’re still quite aggressive though, right?
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonLooking at the data it looks like you want to get the diff locked as soon as possible because it looks like your snaps are when the diff’s going through the locking phase.
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearOK. Is that something you went to during the laps to the grid, or?
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonIs that something ‘he’?
3Lewis HamiltonJock ClearYes
3Jock ClearLewis HamiltonWell, I don’t know.
3Nico RosbergTony RossObviously keep a close eye on the weather for the call going to inters, you know. I mean if we start seeing inter conditions but there’s a big front coming in, maybe it’s no point going to inters.
3Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonThe Williams behind Hamilton actually belonged to Bottas, who had Massa behind him.
So the gap you have is fine at the moment. Remember lots of running water, lots of rivers going across the track. And the Safety Car will stay out more than one lap. Constant speed, no stop-starting. You have Massa right behind you, he keeps coming close and alongside so be careful of him.
3Tom StallardJenson ButtonI’m sure you saw but Alonso has stopped, he’s currently in the exit of turn five, and has got out of his car.
4Tony RossNico RosbergSo we’re not able to give you much information, Nico, we’ve got poor telemetry. So just don’t do too much brake/throttle overlap, don’t want things to get too hot.
4Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonCan’t get my right brake temperature up.
4Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSome of that looks like a sensor issue so don’t focus on it too much.
4Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonTrack’s drying up a lot.
4Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonCopy
4Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonIt’s definitely not a sensor problem, my brake is running cool.
4Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK, roger.
4Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoLatest information: Expect light rain for ten minutes now. After that, should not rain for one hour.
5Daniel RicciardoSimon RennieIf the rain doesn’t get heavy, think we’ll be good to go soon. Visibility’s not great but guess it’s the same for everyone.
5Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelAll your maps are good for the restart at the moment. The only thing we need to do at some point is keep an eye on charge. But charge is good for now.
6Jonathan EddolllsValtteri BottasFor info the band of the rain that we spoke about, in half an hour, that’s not going to happen, it’s going to come later. We expect to have around 35 more laps. So it’ll be a race to lap 40. Currently on lap five.
6Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo looking at it, looks like the offset is real, it’s real, but they are both in the working range.
6Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonThe track is as good as it’s going to get. Puddles are not a problem.
6Jean-Eric VergneXevi PujolarVergne, eighteenth in the Safety Car queue, believed the conditions were good enough to race in.
Conditions are fine, no? It’s perfect to drive, no?
6Mark TempleKevin MagnussenKevin we expect the next 10 or 15 laps to be similar conditions to this. We’re not sure what will happen after that yet.
7Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinVettel, eighth, was concerned about visibility.
Just an update on track conditions. To be fair the last two laps it didn’t get any better. Equally it didn’t get any worse. But even if the rivers are slightly improving visibility, as soon as you’re higher than 140, very poor.
7Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonHamilton, second, was eager to get going.
Charlie, the track is fine. We’ve already done two more laps already. The track is good.
7Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonIt’s not far off intermediates already.
8Tom StallardJenson ButtonAnd Button, seventh, was ready to switch to intermediate tyres.
I know it’s difficult for you to tell, it’s not raining here and we’re not expecting rain still for a half hour or so, so I’ll need you to let me know if you think inters are a possibility soon after a possible restart.
8Jenson ButtonTom StallardYep, soon I think, yes.
8Tom StallardJenson ButtonThank you.
8Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonThe track is fine.
8Antonio SpagnoloKimi RaikkonenIf we want to pit when the Safety Car comes in on the same lap, we can follow the Safety Car, we can overtake from Safety Car line one everybody including the Safety Car. So you come in and you can overtake the Safety Car basically from Safety Car line one.
9Tom StallardJenson ButtonJenson if the Safety Car came in we think people may follow us in for inter tyre.
9Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoDo you think the conditions are suitable for extreme [full wet] tyres? Is it getting close to inters?
9Daniel RicciardoSimon RennieNo, still extremes.
9Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoOK, understood.
9Daniil KvyatMarco MatassaI think as you can hear me now anyway, because the radio is living in its own world, but we stick with it.
9Marco MatassaDaniil KvyatYes.
10Gianpiero LambiaseSergio PerezButton and Maldonado have pitted for intermediate tyres. Do you want to switch.
10Sergio PerezGianpiero LambiaseNo, wait. Don’t talk to me. I think it’s OK now.
10Felipe MassaAndrew MurdochIt is so bad, so bad.
10Andrew MurdochFelipe MassaCopy that, limited on visibility.
11Tom StallardJenson ButtonAnd Jenson you are matching the Mercedes. This pace is good, this is a good move.
11Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoRicciardo pitted for intermediates two laps after Button.
Daniel other people are stopping for inters, they look quick, what do you think?
11Daniel RicciardoSimon RennieYep. Happy to stop.
12Tony RossNico RosbergThe quicker Mercedes still had a performance advantage over those on intermediates.
Inter tyres are slower at the moment.
12Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelVettel pitted for intermediates three laps after Button.
Button is doing good sectors, we’re keeping an eye on him.
12Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinWell if he’s in clean then copy that, because here I’m stuck.
12Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelUnderstood.
13Tony RossNico RosbergSo inter tyres are slower at the moment. Gap to Lewis 1.9 seconds, you’re doing a good job to pull away from the rest.
13Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoSome people have stayed out, we need to be quick now.
13Tom StallardJenson ButtonJenson that’s effective P3.
13Tony RossNico RosbergBox for inter tyres.
15Brad JoyceNico HulkenbergHulkenberg pitted for intermediate tyres on the lap after Kvyat and Perez.
So that’s us P11, we jumped Kvyat and Perez in the stop.
15Tom StallardJenson ButtonYou are P3, the car behind is Bottas, you are one second per lap faster than Bottas.
15Nico RosbergTony RossLot of oversteer.
15Tony RossNico RosbergCopy.
15Jean-Eric VergneXevi PujolarI have so much understeer.
16Daniel RicciardoSimon RennieThis is the maximum I can do for traffic. Would be quicker in clean air.
16Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoYeah, understood.
16Tom StallardJenson ButtonOK Jenson pace still really strong, you are one second faster than all cars behind.
16Kimi RaikkonenAntonio SpagnoloIs it raining?
16Antonio SpagnoloKimi RaikkonenIt’s very, very light, it started now.
17Nico HulkenbergBrad JoyceI think the fronts are starting to grain slightly now.
18Felipe MassaAndrew MurdochI’ve got graining on the front tyres.
18Andrew MurdochFelipe MassaOK Felipe copy, understood, we need to sit out this one for the minute.
18Tony RossNico RosbergExpecting light rain in eight minutes.
18Jean-Eric VergneXevi PujolarIf there is more rain expected come in for the full wet because I cannot drive this car like this. I’m so slow.
18Xevi PujolarJean-Eric VergneUnderstood. There is more rain expected.
19Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelGood job, Sebastian. Button 54.3.
19Tom StallardJenson ButtonThe car behind is now Vettel. Vettel has good pace, Vettel may be capable of matching your pace.
19Antonio SpagnoloKimi RaikkonenWe don’t expect rain at least for the next 30 minutes, apart some very, very, very light.
20Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonForecast is no more rain to the end of the race but low certainty.
20Xevi PujolarJean-Eric VergneBox now, box.
21Tom StallardJenson ButtonJenson pace still really strong you’re matching Vettel, only a second off Mercedes.
22Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoPace is good, you and Sebastian are quickest cars on circuit, half a second quicker than everyone else.
23Brad JoyceNico HulkenbergWhen you catch Massa again, just choose your moments to follow him. So final sector’s the best place.
23Pastor MaldonadoMark SladeWe don’t have more tyres.
23Mark SladePastor MaldonadoOK Pastor, so your tyres are in bad shape.
23Tony RossNico RosbergLet us know on your scale how much you are pushing.
23Nico RosbergTony RossI’m flat out.
24Xevi PujolarJean-Eric VergneOK, busy ahead now, time to gain positions.
24Tom StallardJenson ButtonThe Red Bull behind did 1’53.0 but your pace is very strong compared to all other cars.
24Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelGood job Sebastian. Rosberg 54.2 and he’s pushing,
25Craig GardinerEsteban GutierrezFor info Esteban some other cars come in for new inters and are not going faster so stay like this.
25Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonThere is every possibility this could transition to dry. So we just need to manage this tyre, make sure we make it.
26Mark TempleKevin MagnussenTry and cool tyres.
26Kevin MagnussenMark TempleWe are already slow. I can’t cool the tyres now.
26Mark TempleKevin MagnussenOK, understood,
26Tony RossNico RosbergSo much oversteer.
26Nico HulkenbergBrad JoyceActually now the rears are degrading. Getting no grip on the traction.
26Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonWe need to go HPP1 position one when you can.
26Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonIn a turn, man.
27Jean-Eric VergneXevi PujolarGuys the car is a nightmare to drive. I don’t know what to do.
27Xevi PujolarJean-Eric VergneOK Jev is the same for everyone at the moment.
28Tom StallardJenson ButtonPace still very good.
29Andrew MurdochFelipe MassaCan you estimate how many laps you have left in these tyres?
29Felipe MassaAndrew MurdochIn terms of the pace, I think this pace, maybe another three laps.
29Andrew MurdochFelipe MassaCopy that, three laps, understood.
30Marco MatassaDaniil KvyatKvyat passed Gutierrez for ninth.
Well done mate, well done. Scenario two, keep pushing. We are currently P9. Next car in front: Hulkenberg.
31Jonathan EddolllsValtteri BottasTry and keep your tyre temps down by finding water offline if you can.
31Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelOK Sebastian the undercut should be very powerful so you don’t need to push too much.
31Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonGap to Nico four seconds. Ricciardo P4, 24 seconds behind, he’s doing 52.7s. That’s just information.
32Tom StallardJenson ButtonMcLaren’s attempt to keep Button ahead of Vettel through a pit stop is impaired by the fact they need to repalce his steering wheel.
Vettel has pitted, we think we should cover Vettel, box this lap, Yellow G1.
32Jenson ButtonTom StallardAnd Jenson we need to change the steering wheel, no launch map, neutral button before you stop and pass the steering wheel to the right. Remove the steering wheel yourself and pass it to the right.
33Tony RossNico RosbergStrat five, box box box.
33Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoRicciardo P3 still in out pit window, he’s doing 52.7s, same age tyre.
33Kimi RaikkonenAntonio SpagnoloI have absolutely no grip from the tyres.
33Antonio SpagnoloKimi RaikkonenOK, OK, understood.
34Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelWe think the track’s going to dry more and more.
34Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonMy tyres feel OK still.
34Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonCopy that. Thanks for the info.
35Tom StallardJenson ButtonButton dropped behind Vettel in his pit stop and his concern is now Ricciardo.
Pit gap is clear of Ricciardo now. Pick up wet patches where you can.
36Tony RossNico RosbergSituation: There are 18 laps remaining. Bianchi lapped car ahead. Ricciardo is nine seconds ahead, he’s not stopped yet but could go to the end, so we expect you need to overtake him.
36Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoHeavier rain in the pit lane. More rain in the pit lane.
37Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonHamilton had just lapped Grosjean and Ericsson.
Just let me know if that guy touched me behind just now.
37Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK copy that, we’ll keep an eye on it.
38Sergio PerezGianpiero LambiaseAre we waiting to see more rain?
38Gianpiero LambiaseSergio PerezFifteen minutes of rain, Checo.
38Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonJust be mindful of these backmarkers, they may not know you’re there.
39Tony RossNico RosbergWe are expecting to take the inter tyre to the end of the race. There are 16 laps remaining.
39Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonIt is raining more.
39Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo we need to keep these tyres in as good a state as we can. This rain looks like it may build. And caution turn one, some cars running wide.
40Nico RosbergTony RossShould I take it easy on the tyres at the moment?
40Tony RossNico RosbergMost important thing is we get to the end Nico. Light rain at the moment. Light rain is building up.
40Romain GrosjeanAyao KomatsuGrosjean was behind Ericsson’s Caterham.
Guys for some reason I lose all the downforce behind this car.
41Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonIt’s raining more. Seems like it’s getting heavier and heavier.
41Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonYeah copy that Lewis, that’s what we see. Seems like it’s just getting heavier. OK Lewis you’re still the fastest man out there. So just keep it on the black stuff.
41Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonGap to Nico ten seconds, 52.9 last lap for Nico so we can back it off a bit, mid 52s.
41Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonThis is the pace I’m comfortable at. I think it’s looking after the tyres as well, so…
41Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK copy that. 14 laps to go.
42Tom StallardJenson ButtonIs this the right tyre?
42Jenson ButtonTom StallardFor now, yes. For now, yes.
42Xevi PujolarJean-Eric VergneTrack condition at the moment?
42Jean-Eric VergneXevi PujolarStill OK.
43Tom StallardJenson ButtonKevin is on full wet tyres.
43Jenson ButtonTom StallardShortly after saying he was happy on intermediate tyres, Button decides it’s time to switch to full wets.
OK let’s pit for wets, pit for wets.
43Marco SchupbachAdrian SutilSutil crashed at Dunlop Curve.
Are you OK, Adrian?
43Adrian SutilMarco SchupbachYes I am OK.
43Marco SchupbachAdrian SutilOK remember switch off if you can’t continue and do the ERS jump.
45Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoSafety Car, Safety Car. Ten laps remaining. These tyres will be good to the end on wear. Other people are on extremes [full wets].
45Daniel RicciardoSimon RennieIf the rain’s going to keep getting heavier, something to think about. But I’m happy as it is for now, though. I think extremes.
45Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoI’ll keep you updated, mate.
46Tom StallardJenson ButtonThe four cars in front are on inter, the six cars behind also on inter.
46Jenson ButtonTom StallardHow is the rain?
46Tom StallardJenson ButtonStill raining, steady rain.
46Jenson ButtonTom StallardOK. And the first four laps behind the Safety Car in the race?
46Tom StallardJenson ButtonWe think it’s comparable to those four laps.
46Jenson ButtonTom StallardOh, so it was raining on those four laps, was it?
46Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonThe race was red-flagged and then abandoned following Bianchi’s crash.
Red flag, red flag. Same again, it’ll be into the pit lane. Red flag. So just follow the Safety Car into the pit lane, stay in the fast lane.
47Xevi PujolarJean-Eric VergneSo drivers stay in the car for the time being until we get more information.
47Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo that’s it mate, that’s a result.

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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Japanese Grand Prix data

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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30 comments on “2014 Japanese Grand Prix team radio transcript”

  1. “No messages were broadcast relating to the serious accident which befell Jules Bianchi, and nothing involving his car was heard earlier in the race either.”

    Does this mean Bianchi may have been under the impression he was still defending from [a now absent] Sutil? Or are some messages not published? Did he have a radio fault?

    Bianchi’s pace was increasing whilst the rain was getting heavier from lap 39, probably because he was defending from Sutil. If the team didn’t feel they were allowed to tell him Sutil had crashed and he could slow down it puts whole new safety perspective on the team radio clampdown.

    1. I think that it means that none of Bianchi’s messages were played on the FIA Team Radio Channel. Every driver will have been receiving details from their pit wall, especially in those conditions.

      1. You would hope they were being well briefed.. but he didn’t slow down after Sutil disappeared, did he?

        Actually Bianchi’s radio must have been working because Marussia said they were alerted to his injury by a lack of radio response after the accident.

        1. WRT Bianchi’s lack of a reply, I’d be staggered if the radio was still functioning given the state the car was in following the crash.

    2. @frasier @kodongo I’ve altered the text above to try to make it even clearer that these are only the radio messages which were broadcast during the coverage. The fact that only some of the radio traffic between teams and their drivers gets broadcast is something I thought was a matter of common knowledge and common sense.

      Previously we’ve seen new team radio messages have appeared in FOM’s race highlights or season review videos.

      Furthermore I don’t understand why anyone would assume that every message to every driver gets broadcast in the coverage. That would mean there is never any overlap between the messages to 22 different drivers, even when something happens which affects them all, such as a Safety Car deployment. It would also mean some drivers regularly go through races with no radio communication whatsoever, which is obviously not the case. It strikes me as an extremely unrealistic assumption.

      There will likely have been a large number of messages involving all the cars which were not broadcast. For an idea of how many, see this earlier article:

      How F1 will sound with new team radio restrictions

      So to be clear, there is absolutely no reason to infer from the above that Bianchi (or anyone else whose name doesn’t appear) had no radio communication during the race.

      1. @keithcollantine & @petebaldwin thanks for the clarification Keith. No I didn’t believe all messages were transmitted over the air, but equally didn’t know how many of the messages the person who produces this transcript was privy to. So it’s ‘longhand’ from the TV and therefore a fine job, like the rest of the site.

        But I still don’t see why Jules didn’t slow down after Adrian Sutil crashed. On his last timed lap he was 4 seconds faster than his team mate and only 4 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton. He was going faster than on lap 39 when the rain started to get heavier. Where was the need for that level of ‘outperforming the car’ and taking chances with the ‘yellows’ if he knew his nearest competition was out of the race? Ericsson was 8 seconds behind and not an immediate threat and he was 13 seconds behind the cars in front [Maldo/Gros], so they were probably out of sight too.

        1. @frasier, maybe he was attempting a fast inlap to change to full wets, maybe without having to defend against Sutil he was able to take faster lines, le’ts hope he can tell us, soon.

          1. @hohum yes I join everybody else in wishing Jules well.

            Regarding his pace, it was matched to that of Sutil for the seven laps where Jules was directly in front of the Sauber. The last four laps for both cars were within a few tenths of a second of each other and getting faster not slower. Adrian, on fresher tyres lost the Sauber on the lap before Jules.

            Surely the Marussia pitwall team must have..

            a) noticed that Jules and Adrian were two of the only three drivers going faster not slower in heavier rain, ie on the limit.
            b) noticed that Jules came past alone and unchallenged on the 8th occasion and surmised that the crash shown almost instantly after it happened was the Sauber of Sutil?

            They would have had about 30 seconds before Jules too crashed at Dunlop to tell him that Sutil wasn’t there any more and to take it a bit steadier.

            Crucially though, would they have hesitated thinking it might be regarded as telling their driver the whereabouts of other cars on the circuit, think this is one of the banned radio comms. They had a bare few seconds to make up their minds, no pressure then…

            Would Jules have seen the Sauber wasn’t there? Well, Mercedes told Lewis to take it carefully lapping backmarkers because they probably wouldn’t be aware of exactly where he was on account of the spray.

            The point I’m labouring a bit is that the radio restrictions may have claimed its first real victim. There’s been a lot of discussion about the aftermath and the dangers of the Cat recovery machine so close to track side, but relatively little about why Jules was still so far out on the limit when unchallenged on track.

      2. So who is it who actually decides which messages are broadcast and which are not?
        I seem to remember that Ferrari have an agreed ‘restriction’ on their messages being broadcast, but who makes the editing decisions as the race goes on?

      3. Further to the above, here’s the FOM highlights video with some new radio messages including Vettel being told “Daniel has overtaken Massa”, Magnussen saying he’s “being overtaken by a Lotus”, Sutil being told “keep pushing, defend as much as possible”, Vettel saying “OK, there’s a lot of rain now” and Kvyat exclaiming “where the [censored by FOM] did Massa come from?”:

        http://www.formula1.com/video/race_edits/2014/japan/

    3. The teams would have known what we did which was very little. Even when the red flag came out, it was unclear that Bianchi had even gone off!

      In terms of Bianchi slowing down – why would he? It was starting to rain and people were considering pitting. Slowing down could have cost him positions.

      1. After Sutil crashed, he was relatively alone – about 10 seconds ahead and behind of the nearest cars.

        1. @sharoncom – He was relatively alone but if his plan was to pit for full wets and others were going to stay out on inters, you have to go as fast as you can and hope for the best.

          Look at Hamilton vs Glock at Brazil when Hamilton pitted and Glock stayed out. If Hamilton had slowed down in order to be safe, he may have caught Glock too late…

          You never know what’s going to happen and with nothing to lose, why not put your foot down. Frankly, the last thing Bianchi would have been worried about was crashing into a JCB that he probably wasn’t even aware was on track.

  2. Nico’s comments regarding brake warming were interesting to me. It seemed complicated enough that he had to consult someone about the system; all he wanted to do was lightly apply the brakes while accelerating to keep temp in the brakes. I suppose the regen system would have to be off so the rears would apply the mechanical brakes instead of use the energy harvesting. And enough bias would go towards the fronts to keep those warm as they do the most braking. But the system they have wouldn’t allow what Nico wanted.

    Why on earth had they not practiced this(built the procedure in) as it is a basic method used in rain and cool conditions? imho

    1. He wanted to do throttle/brake overlap. On these cars I imagine the software frowns on this, as you are subverting the whole logic of the recharge and discharge protocols, and could lead to some failure modes.

    2. @motor I perhaps might have another theory on why Merc don’t allow it. Perhaps this is only relevant to the Mercedes car, and, in a way, they use the software harvesting to assist with braking in such a way that other teams haven’t worked out…
      This potentially could explain the massive brake failures we’ve seen on the Mercs this year. In a very round about way, I think this is almost an abs system, without being a full 100% guaranteed abs system.
      Maybe, just maybe, this is the big innovation that Merc have discovered….

      1. @dragoll Good thinking. That software innovation might be the advantage that Ron Dennis thought wasn’t included in being a ‘Merc customer’.
        Toto also seemed to imply that they were aware that McLaren were going to Honda and they wouldn’t want to give away all their secrets.

  3. I found Grosjeans comment about Ericsson really interesting.
    Could the aero on the Caterham be such a mess that it creates noticeably more dirty air?

    1. possibly, however, the Lotus is a particularly bad car to begin with… I’ve read some articles, can’t remember where, probably in round-ups from here, that the Lotus front wing creates a lot of imbalance in the car under braking. So maybe a combination of the 2 bad aero packages led to Grosjean’s comment

  4. I wish FOM would release the entire lot of radio after the race. Why not?

    Some of the insights are so interesting, but as things are we don’t know if other drivers and engineers are doing the same things, or not.

    1. The FIA haven’t embraced transparency yet. The whole world is moving in that direction.

  5. A possibly important nugget buried in here is the information that Hamilton got a gurney flap change during the first stoppage. That could be one reason that he was better in these conditions than Rosberg. Obviously not every message is broadcast, and given what we know about how this team works, it would be strange if Hamilton got his flap switched out, an obvious and involved process, without someone on Rosberg’s side looking on with keen interest. But Rosberg got his front wing reduced at his stop, which suggests that he did not have a surfeit of rear wing at that point. Rosberg claims he had the same set up as Hamilton to start the race. But maybe not after the restart.

    I’m not shading Hamilton’s incredible performance, because you can only gain so much performance by adding DF to one end of the car. I think that speed comes as much from marginal improvement to balance as to total DF, at least when comparing similar cars. In these conditions, it has to be about confidence in the car as much as anything.

    1. To be honest, when the race was originally red flagged after 3 laps, I thought to myself, now’s the time to do some changes to the cars to make them cope with the rain better. I wonder how many actually did.

    2. The way I understand it, Nico initially complained of oversteer, & he requested a front wing adjustment to try & balance it… Lewis initially said his car felt understeery, & they went up on the Gurney flap @ the rear & compensated at the front (“half a hole” down was what Lewis suggested) to balance it. After that, Jock said both cars had pretty much the same amount of wing on the front. Maybe Nico already had his flap @ the rear adjusted, but I don’t know. What’s obvious is that Lewis definitely wanted a pointy car, while Nico wanted his less pointy, but either way, based on Nico’s own admission & the teams, it seems they had a similar setup in the end, but Ham liked it more.
      What’s telling for me is that Lewis was a lot more specific on what he wanted from the car, both in terms of aero (how much adjustment on the wing) & driveability (torque modes, diff settings, etc). He also seemed more on top of what was going on with the brakes. Are we starting to see the effects of the radio restrictions? Does Ros need more help/suggestions in how to tweak his car “on the fly” than Ham? We’ve always heard it said that Nico’s more “cerebral” (gleaning info from telemetry/data) while Lewis drives by the seat of his pants & is better at “feeling” what the car is doing. It seemed to ring true in Japan, at least.
      And once again, both drivers had braking issues: definitely Merc’s Achilles heel this season.

    3. To be honest, both drivers reported over steer during and after the race however Nico is known for not liking that, he prefers the much safer understeer in the car to oversteer, However Lewis is the opposite, he prefers oversteer to understeer.

  6. Lap23
    Brad Joyce -Nico Hulkenberg :When you catch Massa again, just choose your moments to follow him. So final sector’s the best place.
    Coached him about how to overtake?

  7. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    8th October 2014, 19:56

    Although at times it has sounded a touch tetchy, at the Spanish Grand Prix especially, I am increasingly thinking that Hamilton has struck a positive and productive relationship with Peter Bonnington. In 2014 I think “Bonno” has realized that Lewis’ feel for the car is so sublime that he need not tell Lewis how to drive a Grand Prix, merely, as was the case in Monza, present a open-ended but strategically optimal option that in Italy Lewis promptly ignored. Jock Clear also must be given credit for the array of consistently excellent performances in 2014 from the 2008 champion, a driver formerly infamously prone to off colour weekends. With reference to Sepang, his most dominant Grand Prix weekend ever, I think Mercedes have realized the true value of Hamilton appeasement, and that Hamilton is invariably untouchable when the balance is to his quite specific requirements.

  8. 3 Lewis Hamilton Jock Clear And also please give me some feedback on the laps to the grid compared to Nico if you can.
    3 Jock Clear Lewis Hamilton I can give you that already. Very, very similar. There’s wasn’t really… I mean the setting you had, I’ll have a close look at his brake balance on his laps to the grid. But in terms…
    3 Lewis Hamilton Jock Clear I was referring to pace.
    3 Jock Clear Lewis Hamilton Yeah exactly in terms of pace very, very similar. You looked to be quicker in places like into 13 [Spoon] you were quicker. He was quicker through 8 [Degner 1]. You’re both very similar through the Esses.

    I thought this was exactly what the FIA wanted to stop?

    1. Karthik Mohan
      9th October 2014, 9:01

      Doesn’t apply when the cars are not running.

  9. Lap 26, the message “so much oversteer” was from Rosberg to his engineer, IIRC, not from his engineer as listed above.

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