More limits on ‘driver coaching’ in 2016 and 2017

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The FIA will expand its efforts to prevent drivers from being ‘coached’ by their teams during races in the next two seasons.

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FIA details restrictions on driver aids from 2016 (ESPN)

"Engineers will still be able to talk to their drivers about certain aspects of the race (listed below), but 'driver coaching' as it has become known will effectively be outlawed. Messages relating to the degradation of tyres and fuel saving via lifting and coasting, for example, are not on the list of permitted messages and will therefore be banned."

Lewis Hamilton column: Summer break, losing weight & Spa 'lottery' (BBC)

"The record books say I have only won here once - in 2010 - but I always think of it as twice, as I 'won' in 2008 as well, only to be demoted to third after the race when the stewards decided I had broken the rules concerning gaining an advantage by leaving the track."

Button ups personal security after midnight raid (The Telegraph)

"Button confirmed he had taken a blood test, altered his security arrangements and that in future he and Michibata will only post on social media at home in Monaco for fear of disclosing their location to thieves."

Jenson Button: 'It's scary knowing someone's going through your drawers 8cm from your sleeping wife's head' (Daily Mirror)

"Jenson, who is worth an estimated £130 million, said: 'I thought, 'Strange, I thought I closed that'. Then I noticed that the outside doors were open and stuff was ­everywhere.'"

Bottas says Ferrari rumours hurt Williams relationship (Reuters)

"For sure it doesn't do any good to my and the team's relationship, so it is not fair for us - those kind of rumours."

Daniel Ricciardo Q&A: Start changes could help Red Bull (F1)

"We did a few little things in Budapest and tried to do some little things on the simulator as well, but in reality for us it can’t be worse. Our starts haven’t been really good and I think the new procedure employs some new variability, as the teams will find it hard to get the optimum settings in terms of clutch temperature and so on."

Romain Grosjean says he spoke to Ferrari about 2016 drive (Sky)

"Asked specifically whether his management had spoken to Ferrari, Grosjean said: 'The paddock is small so you always talk. They're not too far away,' he added, pointing towards their motorhome located opposite Lotus's."

Mark Webber sounds warning about F1’s new start procedure (The Guardian)

"The worst nightmare is a stalled car. If you do have a stalled car, which is a possibility, then it can create a start-line crash."

Vettel doesn't 'get' start changes (Autosport)

"There are a lot of smart people in Formula 1. Drivers are capable of doing a lot of things, so I think two or three races down the line nothing changes."

Faster than an IndyCar? Its computer instructions (IndyCar)

"In Formula One (and also in many LMP1 cars), the TAG-320 ECU processes 7,000 MIPS, the TAG-400i for the Verizon IndyCar Series processes 600 MIPS and the TAG-400N in NASCAR processes 87MIPS, which differ due to the amount of parameters a driver and team are allowed to control within the car and the amount of technological freedom allowed thanks to the technical regulations in force in that series at any given time."

Kimi's 2004 Spa Day (McLaren)

"At the last restart he put in the fastest lap on the penultimate lap, and I think that’s the moment when Michael settled for being World Champion, and not winning the race."

Focus on... Belgium 1993 (Renault)

"Alain (Prost) kept the lead at the start from Ayrton (Senna) and Damon (Hill). He was far from at ease with all the complicated electronic systems in the car, but he wasn’t called The Professor for nothing: he drove round his worries and could pull out a lead when he needed to."

Jenson Button Talks Teammates (Mobil 1 The Grid via YouTube)


Some time ago…

A photo posted by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial) on


A new 30mm high kerb has been installed at Raidillon corner, turn four, after Eau Rouge. Team managers have also been given instructions what their drivers should do if they run wide at Les Combes (turn five):

“If a driver overshoots the corner at turn five there is a small road along the front of the tyre barrier which leads back on to the track at turn seven, please ensure that your drivers use this when necessary.”

Comment of the day

If Alonso had left Ferrari two years early – as he recently said he should have done – what would have been the best move for him?

Should Alonso have left Ferrari 2 years earlier? Ideally, yes but only to Mercedes and allow Hamilton to go to Ferrari or Red Bull but realistically, no as the tifosi were committed and promising the performance of early 2013 for the full season. Should Alonso have left at the end of 2013? Certainly not. McLaren were a customer team, Red Bull and Mercedes had no vacancies and Williams who were the surprise package were at the back of the grid.

The problem with Alonso’s decision making has been that F1 has been in periods of such dominance that there has only really been one car to be in for many of the seasons since he left McLaren. If we assume Red Bull will always promote internally and that Alonso wanted to be loyal to his dream of Ferrari in 2012 then there isn’t a great deal he could have done differently.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

This first Turkish Grand Prix was held on this day ten years ago at the Istanbul Park circuit. F1 last visited the venue in 2011.

Author information

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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64 comments on “More limits on ‘driver coaching’ in 2016 and 2017”

  1. Two years ago Alonso was in no position to choose where to go. At least last year he could choose a terrible team like McLaren is right now, but it beats the likes of Force India and Williams which were the options in late in 2012.

    1. i remember McLaren then boss whitmarsh openly saying they wanted to sign him at the end of 2013, he even attended his museum launch.

      1. @f1007 Aaaaand he got fired a couple of days after, heh.

        1. (That was tongue-in-cheek btw)

  2. On the further radio bans: great news, keep them coming, the more the merrier and all that. It may not make a huge difference, but the addition of minor differences is reason enough to be excited, even if they aren’t all that evident.

    On Bottas’ comments: can’t help but feel it for him. This could have been the chance. I wonder if he simply wasn’t good enough to beat Massa convincingly or Massa chose the worst possible time to return to his best form. If it’s the latter, what a shame.

    On Webber’s comments: of course he would be worried about the starts, heh heh.

    1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
      21st August 2015, 6:19

      He is fan of stall mode at starts

  3. The Mercedes special rear wing looks pretty awesome. I love when teams surprise people and bring something different.

    1. @woodyd91, agree. Will probably double as their Monza Spec wing also.

      1. @sudd If the results are good from Spa there is a good chance of that I would say.

  4. Mclaren are on top!

    (Sure, it’s most components used but I’ll take it!)

    Mclaren lead SOMETHING!

    1. Wonder what shade of red Mclaren will have in that table by the end of the season?

      1. It will be flashing and making sounds:)

      2. Black. 😉

  5. Mark Webber is afraid, Ricciardo also. ;)
    From Vettel’s interview: “I don’t think it will change much; maybe it will be a bit chaotic on Sunday – and maybe the next Sunday.
    Oh boy, Seb’s going to win Belgium and Italy ;)

    1. Don’t get your hopes up. You’ll just get disappointed. Unfortunately.

    2. You never know Vettel might be the one having problems come race start…. Just sayin’.

  6. I read 926 F1 races have been held: so which ones have Ferrari missed?

    A selection of some some “did not starts”/”failed to qualifies” plus not travelling to some of the early F1-Indy 500s?

    1. By some back-of-envelope reckoning and far from exhaustive research (statsf1, Wikipedia, half remembered factoids about the 70s), these are – I think – the 26 World Championship Grands Prix Ferrari have missed, or failed to start:

      1950 British GP
      1950, 1951, and 1953-60 Indianapolis 500 (Ascari did attempt the 1952 race with little success)
      1950 French GP
      1957 Pescara GP
      1959 British GP
      1960, 61 and 62 United States GP
      1962 French GP
      1966 British GP
      1967 South African
      1968 Monaco GP
      1969 German GP
      1973 Dutch GP
      1973 German GP
      1976 Austrian GP
      1982 Belgian GP

      The reasons given vary from money and travel issues (most of the early American ones, and they missed the first World Championship race due to a dispute over start money) to ‘metalworkers’ strikes’, which coincidentally happened a lot in Italy during a lull in the Scuderia’s form…others include safety (1968 in Monaco, the year after Bandini’s harbour crash, and the entire idea of the Pescara race) and more recently after driver deaths or injuries (as with Lauda and Villeneuve).

      Someone more knowledgable than me will be able to verify this, but I don’t think the ‘works’ Ferraris have ever failed to qualify for a race – there were a few independent DNQs in the 50s, but the only times the works cars failed were withdrawals or driver deaths it seemed?

      1. *Bandini hit some hay bales, Ascari crashed into the harbour. I blame insomnia and Monaco pre-70s having far too many things to crash into!

      2. (and of course Ferrari have failed at qualifying lots of times. Honestly it’s a wonder I don’t break both legs getting out of bed in the morning)

      3. I see you managed to beat me to it – as for works Ferrari’s never qualifying, that has happened a few times.
        Cliff Allison, 1960 Monaco GP – he crashed and was seriously injured during the qualifying session whilst trying to set a better time.
        Mario Andretti, 1971 Monaco GP (due to a quirk in the way that they held the qualifying sessions back then)
        Jody Scheckter, 1980 Canadian GP – this was particularly notable since Scheckter had won the title in 1979.

    2. @calum as usual, wikipedia provides some answers ;)

      Technically I don’t think DNS or DNQ qualifies here – they in fact have 900 entries and 898 actual starts. The 26 non-entries are mostly overseas (500 but also South African, Mexican and USA GP’s) but there are a few European races as well.

    3. Strictly speaking, I suppose that you shouldn’t count the Indy 500 races – whilst they formed part of the World Drivers Championship, they never ran under Formula 1 regulations and were therefore never classed as such.

      I have the following instances where Ferrari either withdrew their entry or were otherwise unable to attend due to external factors:
      1950 British GP
      1957 Pescaran GP
      1959 British GP
      1960 US GP
      1961 US GP
      1962 French GP
      1962 US GP
      1962 South African GP
      1966 British GP
      1966 Mexican GP
      1967 South African GP
      1968 Monaco GP
      1969 German GP
      1973 Dutch GP
      1973 German GP
      1976 Austrian GP

      For a double DNS, I have the following instances:
      1982 Belgian GP – whilst Ferrari entered two cars and participated in the qualifying session, they withdrew following Gilles’s fatal accident and did not participate in the race itself.
      1982 Swiss GP – Tambay was able to qualify, but then withdrew from the race on health grounds.

  7. The James Moy tweet made me smile.

    Though looking at the responses he got, it seems that Lewis’ fans don’t care about copyright much 😀

    1. @tdog….wow!

    2. On the replies James Moy got, there’s a lady on twitter, quite passionate about her support for Lewis, might even call her a fanatic :)

    3. Be interesting to note how much F1 Fanatic has to shell out for all the great photos it publishes. The fee for a pic in a UK national paper is up to £200.
      Can’t help but think James Moy – who is completely in the right here – might have dealt with this differently, by seeking his money or a credit privately. Wouldn’t he lose out if Hamilton denies him access? It’s interesting how a few of the pro photographers who blog seem to loathe Hamilton despite pics of him clearly being the biggest sellers.

      1. James Moy isn’t on the right. Hamilton wasn’t trying to make money out of the guys photo.
        Also if this guy wants to be so anal then Hamilton can claim he should pay him for the photo too since he took a photo of him without asking permission.

  8. Ricciardo should have said “my starts haven’t been really good”, not “our”. I mean people were saying Kvyat’s starts are rough before, but now he looks brilliant compared to his new teammate Daniel lol.
    On another note, apparently Ricciardo thinks at least they will be comfortably alongside Ferrari in the second part of the season. Well then, good to now, if they are not matching expectations we’ll know where to look at.

  9. I don’t understand the turn 5-7 thing. Is there simply a separate road between the track and the barrier which they are expected to use for the entire straight?

    1. I think they are talking about the corners at the end of Kemmel Straight – is it a bit confusing the way it is written.

  10. I just saw an old article for the first time and I’d like to share it with everyone. It’s a funny one as it was written before the Brazilian GP of 2008 and considering what happened during the race lol:

  11. So Button’s wife’s head was 8cm from his drawers at the same time as they were being burgled.
    An intriguing scenario indeed…

    1. intriguing is not the word i’d use.

    2. It seems the 10cm became 8 from one article to the other.

  12. Of course, the Hamilton penalty at Spa seven years ago became a wash after Massa’s refuelling disaster at Singapore.

    1. Not even close to being the same thing

    2. What about the unfair Japan Hamilton penalty?

  13. Formula 1 be like… smarter than NASCAR

  14. I am in favour of the radio bans being instated. I just wonder about the ban on tyre and fuel saving issues. Is this to spice up the ‘show’ or put more of the emphasis back onto the driver as many of the bans are supposed to bring about. Are we, the viewing public, supposed to be duped into thinking tyre and fuel saving will no longer be needed just because we no longer hear messages about them?
    The sadist in me looks forward to the first car that runs out of fuel!

    1. Thank you for this. This is exactly my point. Tyre saving and fuel saving will still be there, just that we won’t hear about it. And we are supposed to think it is not happening, may work for casual fans.

      For the record: I am not against tyre saving & fuel saving. I am against this policy of treating the fans as idiots (as these radio bans will achieve). I am perfectly fine with the excess radio we get now. More things to look forward to after an F1 race for me.

    2. I agree, I doubt “the professor” would be called that in this day and age, where every driver has the optimal strategy in their ears at all times

    3. It’s more about putting tire and fuel management back into the hands of the drivers and out of the hands of the engineers.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      21st August 2015, 12:05

      @arki19 – No I think we all know that tyre and fuel saving take place. Lots of things take place in F1 that we don’t hear about but we still know they happen.

      The difference is that drivers have to control it now which will lead to mistakes. Someone will be chasing another car and will push their tyres to hard and require an additional pit stop. Some will use too much fuel. Some will save too much fuel… It creates variables but not in an artificial way and bring a whole different requirement to the sport.

      Remember when everyone used to comment on how intelligent Button was in an F1 car and how he always knew when to push, when to hold back, when to change tyres etc. That hasn’t been the case for years now because a computer does it instead.

      1. Drivers won’t have to figure it out themselves though. It will just be read out on the dash now.
        If my car can tell me how much I can travel till my tank is empty, I am sure an F1 cat should be able to as well.

        1. But the driver will now have to decide how and where to save fuel, unlike the current system where the pit wall tells them where to lift and coast, and how early they should do so (often to the metre).

  15. Looking at the list of permitted radio messages for 2016, I don’t see anything which would allow the “brake coaching” which has gone on this year. So it would seem they’re going to crack down on that.

  16. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
    21st August 2015, 6:18

    Fernando and that pic showing a reliable engine. I guess he got more mileage in that cart that in his mp4-30!

  17. There is nothing worse than when the privileged moan about work which isn’t really hard work anyway.

    Some of us haven’t just had 4 weeks off Lewis from driving a F1 car. Have to say, my support for Hamilton since 2007 is waining for the first time this year.

    1. Think you are missing the point, he’s not saying its hard work, he’s saying it boring, and it is the drivers sit there like robots and only say what they have been told to say. I don’t believe they drive the cars on a Thursday, if I had that job, I would hate Thursdays too.

    2. @john-h What, you only just twigged that the rich and famous define ‘hard work’ a little differently than the rest of us?

      It’s all relative. My first job was hard work. Shifting scrap metal from one place to another, in crates, with a trolley. Nowadays I find myself sitting in front of my computers complaining of ‘hard work’ (I try and think back to when hard work was actually HARD work, but no longer relevant.)

  18. In this whole Ferrari 2016 driver line up saga, I completely forgot about good ol Romain. If Ricciardo was too much of a threat to Vettel, and Hulk was never the ‘engineer’s data’ favourite, Romain should have actually been a great option. Personally, I rate him higher than Bottas and I think he would Vettel honest in qualifying for sure.

    I can’t remember the last time there were so many strong drivers on the grid, and yet 2 underperforming drivers have 2 of the 4 most envied seats on the grid.

    If they want to spice up F1, they need to have evenly matched teammates in the front running teams. Unfortunately, all front running teams always prefer a #1 driver and a not so good #2 driver even though they don’t admit it openly.

    1. Grosjean is a good qualifier compared to Maldonado. I don’t think he’d bother Vettel.
      Imo people underestimate just how good Hamilton and Vettel are. Rosberg and Raikkonen would still probably beat half the grid or more.

  19. ColdFly F1 (@)
    21st August 2015, 8:40

    I hoped silly season was over but F1CSI keeps on sharing prominently the stories about Button’s burglary!
    @Keithcollantine, you mentioned before that your interest in a story can be gauged by how high it appears in the round-up. I must say that I’m a bit disappointed that these ended up above genuine SPA and F1 stories!

    (but other than that this is a great site – thanks)

  20. If Ricciardo was too much of a threat to Vettel

    I don’t think Ferraris decision had anything to do with this. Ricciardo was never a realistic option for 2016 as he is on a long term contract with Red Bull. The BBC say he signed a four year contract in the winter so he is contracted for 2016, 2017 & 2018 and Christian Horner has also said that he has a contract until 2018. Red Bull don’t need the money so (unlike Williams) would not consider releasing him early.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      21st August 2015, 13:22

      I doubt Vettel would be keen on having a driver who beat him last season join Ferrari now. On top of that, they’d be basically admitting that their Young Driver Programme is useless as both of their drivers came from Red Bull’s.

  21. Sky didn’t mention how the guys from Ferrari were falling about laughing after Grosjean spoke to them…

  22. ColdFly F1 (@)
    21st August 2015, 11:07

    I never realised that the slope up l’eau rouge was 16%. This picture in the ‘build-up in pictures’ shows it nicely though.

    1. @coldfly it is a good picture. I imagine it still doesn’t quite do the incline justice, sometimes pictures and videos can’t quite convey the real thing. I’m still waiting to win euromillions so that I can follow the F1 circus around the world and witness all these fantatic locations in the flesh ;-)

  23. From 1992 till 1997, and then from 1998 on, there also was a period of incredible dominance of a single team, that appeared to be machinery-wise so superior to any other, that it seemed like the only team to be. And yet, a certain driver came and with his smaller team and still inferior car has beaten an unbeatable team twice in a row, and then spearheaded the dominance of another team that was in much poorer shape than the same team in 2012.

    So, the problem with Alonso is not his decision making, it’s the simple fact that he was inherently not capable of emulating Schumacher’s achievements and through hard and often unrewarding everyday labor bring Ferrari back to its glory days.

    1. Manuele, I think the era’s are polar opposites and it is ridiculous to compare. In 1994 the rules were changed effectively to negate Williams advantage acquired by manipulation of driver aids. Then their number 1 driver was killed and the ultimate winners, Benetton, were accused to cheating regarding pit stops, launch control and traction control. This team of Schumacher, Brawn and Bryne then moved to Ferrari to a colossal budget in an era of unlimited testing where Ferrari were the only team with use of their own track, Fiorano. McLaren’s success can be attributed to securing Newey’s services after poaching him from Williams. In 1998 Williams were using the Mecachrome engine and had certainly lost their way following another rule change.

      The races were also completely different in that Schumacher was a sprint race specialist in an era where a subserving team-mate was beneficial given points only went down to sixth place and there was 40% points difference between first and second. There were typically only two top teams per season as oppose to the three or four in the early 2010s.

      So I don’t think Alonso failed through lack of graft. I think Ferrari had become complacent and not invested in their wind tunnel soon enough, were hampered by lack of testing and continually produced poor cars that they could not develop. I’m not sure how much criticism we can attribute to Alonso for that.

  24. Thank you to the people yesterday that posted videos of f1 2004 to demonstrate the old “bus stop” layout, the videos of Montoya overtaking Schumacher at the bus stop were particularly good. One thing that really struck me is how fast the cars seemed to be in 2004. I started watching F1 in the mid to late nineties when I was in my teens. I have felt over the last few years that the modern F1 cars don’t seem as fast when I’m watching them on TV as they had in the past and attributed this to my being an adult now (certainly while I really appreciate the talent of elite sportsmen and sportswomen in several sports, their feats seemed more unbelievable and gladiatorial when I was younger), and I thought it was also possibly my subconscious, after a few years of drivers stating that the tyres don’t allow them to push 100%. But when watching those aforementioned videos and comparing them to free practice today, I have to say that the 2004 cars looked considerably faster.

    When the regulations changed to remove downforce from the cars and ultimately make them slower, I’d heard that although the cars would be slower, that we fans shouldn’t be able to see the difference, I now feel foolish for having believed that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people that think that the current formula is all doom and gloom, I’ve loved some of the races (Bahrain 2014 and Hungary 2015 being my personal favourites). However, I’m really looking forward to the cars becoming quicker when the regulations change again. And after reading on autosport that, as many of us on here had hoped, they’re seriously considering increasing the proportion of downforce generated by the floor of the car so that dirty air has less of an effect and we can get closer racing and faster cars, I’m really excited by what the cars (and the racing) could be like in the future. I just hope they get it right

  25. Who cares what the failure Webber has to say? I swear, each day he gets more and more like JV. I.e. completely irrelevant!

  26. Piercarlo Ghinzani
    22nd August 2015, 5:36

    A lot of us will care about what he is saying if we get an accident like Paletti’s in Canada 1982. We seem to have forgotten already our recent outpouring of grief for Bianchi.I Let’s hope that we are not creating opportunities to mourn more of our drivers.

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