Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Red Bull’s Halo version ‘unlikely for 2017’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull’s version of the Halo device tested by Ferrari is further behind in development and is less likely to be used next year.

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How easy will it be for teams to get around the FIA’s new radio restrictions?

It is comically straightforward to circumvent this plan. For a team and driver with decent information management skills, this should present no restriction to what can be communicated. Even subtle word choices, tone, timing and emphasis change what words mean, whether it’s in regular conversation or the restricted-etymology languages the FIA are imposing. There is no way that the FIA is going to be able to decode even a half-competently-done conversation with subtext when classic writings get academics arguing over subtexts for decades. (There is a rule that prevents rule breaches from being carried across calendar years, except under rare circumstances – all of which require the case to be opened and for the time since the case was opened to be short). The quiet of FP1 simply means teams don’t see the point of revealing how good they are at this while there is relatively little at stake and a very long time to provide a race-altering judgement.

The only plausible method of restricting what is said over the radio is to remove the pit-to-car connection. Keep them in if the FIA wants, but make it a one way race control-to-drivers channel. The moment pit lanes and drivers may communicate, it is possible (at least in theory) to communicate whatever is wanted in a way that would evade casual notice.

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Keith Collantine
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45 comments on “Red Bull’s Halo version ‘unlikely for 2017’”

  1. It’s unfortunate that so many appear to advocate doing away with team radio altogether, or something close to a total ban.

    I’ve been watching F1 for three decades, and I think the coverage has improved immeasurably over that time.

    One of the many factors contributing to that improvement has been the addition of team radio transmissions to the broadcast. It gives us an insight into the technologies and strategy that we’d never get otherwise. In some races it adds greatly to the drama of the contest – for example, if the driver and team can’t talk about a car issue, like a failing ERS, we’d often be ignorant of that development altogether.

    The ban on outright driver coaching is a good thing – these are the best drivers in the world, and they don’t or shouldn’t be told when to brake, steer, change gears or apply the throttle. I thought that last year’s mid season restrictions struck a fair balance, but the new rules seem to go too far, if yesterday’s broadcast is any guide.

    It would be a shame if the regular team radio transcript which is published on this site was discontinued, because the broadcast transmissions no longer held any interest to the viewer.

    1. Completely agree.

      I think the restrictions that were in place last year were fine & that the additional restrictions for this year are a couple steps too far because if yesterday was anything to go by were now getting virtually no team radio at all.

      On the F1 app for 1st practice for example there was only 4-5 radio messages. Last year there were many more including during practice a lot of very insightful messages with driver/team discussing setups etc… which were fascinating to listen to.

  2. Although I totally agree that hamiltons motorbike incident was stupid.. I can’t help but think if he was seen helping an old lady cross the road, the media would portray it as harassment.

    I can’t stand the media lately. Everything is wrong or bad. Change the record.

    On a lighter note.. Watching practice.. That Renault looks stunning on track in yellow!!

    1. Not much about the media when Hamilton himself sends something like this around the world. I have seen “normal” people get investigated for driving infractions after tweeting etc things like that.

      And especially when Hamilton himself likes to say how he feels like setting an example for kids etc @nemo87

    2. Technically Jackie Stewart is right, Hamilton should apologise, he did the wrong thing, but on the other hand I’m quite enjoying Hamilton’s wanna be bad boy attitude at the moment. Every sport needs a bad boy of sorts. It’s a bit interesting, even if his glasses look ridiculous.

    3. So the righteous Jackie Stewart – who once said Button was the first British WDC since Damon Hill, and complained that Hamilton hasn’t gone to him for driving advice – thinks Lewis should own up and apologise for something the police have investigated but said they lack evidence for?

      And the media are cross because he wouldn’t answer their questions about it and give them the copy they’re sooooo entitled to.

      1. I fail to see what the police not having enough evidence has to do with it. We all know quite well how easy it is (especially for people who can afford good lawyers) to find some technicality or a gap of sorts and slip out. The police often don’t bother to investigate if they feel that their hard work is likely not to pay off, even in cases when they are quite sure (as persons) about what happened.

        Having seen Hamilton’s video, I’d say there are things he should appologize for if he wants to be seen as a good ambassador for the sport. Or he should ditch this image and go for “bad boy” all the way. He can’t have it both ways.

        1. @ph how can he apologise for it without admitting he did it?

          1. @lockup He could say “What I did wasn’t safe, don’t do this at home” without going into detail and the cops would be exactly where they were before. I’ve seen politicians playing this game quite successfully :-).

            I actually don’t really care which way he wants to play it, I just appreciate consistence. Well, perhaps if he goes the bad boy way, it might be more fun in the long run, so I am mildly rooting for that.

          2. Hmmmm I dunno @ph that still sounds like evidence to me. And horribly politically correct! Anyway yes I agree committing to the badboy route would be best, and giving JYS the finger afaic :)

  3. I’m a big big supporter of the idea that F1 drivers (or any professional driver) should act responsably and ethically outside the track. As Jackie says, there’s an element of statement: they represent a select group of people that have influence over the public in general, for whatever they do.

    I’d even say that they should be penalized by the FIA (maybe a reprimand or a monetary fine), because the FIA not only organizes motorsport championships but it’s also a very powerful voice in terms of road safety, or at least they claim to be one.

    One thing is being the best at a track, another is to drink and drive and pretend you’re just another guy making a mistake, which is a fair argument. But actually, you’re not “just another guy”. People look up to you, they idolize you, and you just should act like a professional, on and off the track. Hamilton (and others caught doing similar offences) should know better…

    1. I agree, not that I’m all bent out of shape about it, not saying you are either. He sideswiped some cars in Monaco in his car last year too. Not trying to pile on, but I do believe he should be acting as a role model for young up and coming karters, at least when it comes to behaviour behind the wheel/handlebar, but to be consistent I always felt MS’s bullying tactics might have been potentially damaging to impressionable youth too. His whack on JV was a big low point imho.

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      19th March 2016, 1:35

      @fer-no65 That’s why decisions as the one of the Brazilian Transportation Office (or however it’s named) to make Nelson Piquet (3WDC) retake his driving lessons after accumulating so many fines set a good precedent. It happened in 2007.
      I agree with you, many people, especially teenagers, want to be cool and by that I mean they make wheelies with their bikes or do outrageous stunts in the streets. If they do it in a track where everyone is racing or showing off, that’s fine. But a selfie while driving (or riding a bike) is definitely a “don’t do this” thing.
      I won’t say Lewis should be in jail or extremes like that, but at least acknowledging it was wrong to do it would make him look better. Or is he afraid he would “cool down” if he admits it?
      Well, enough critics to Lewis for today, I start to sound like Jackie Steward always picking Lewis for everything.

      1. I agree with you guys here @omarr-pepper, @fer-no65, @robbie.

        Should at least admit, that it was a mistake and yeah, I do think the FIA should mention it too, what with Todt being hogo-fogo about road safety.

  4. Who the bloody hell cares about what Hamilton does during his off-track lifestyle? Let the man do what he wants- any person should be allowed to do what they want outside of their professional lives, no matter how serious the business they are in is. The more totalitarian F1 becomes- the worse it becomes, IMO.

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      19th March 2016, 0:51

      So you’re saying it’s OK to drive/ride dangerously on public roads if you’re the world champion?

      1. Get off it. He wasn’t “driving dangerously on public roads”. Even the Police said so by their lack of action. Stop being butt hurt over Hamilton. And Stewart needs to shut it, always trying to grab headlines that old codger is.

        1. No, Stewart is actually Mr. Safety and deserves great respect. If anyone has a right to express his opinion on this it is SJS. He’s a ‘Sir’ for goodness sake. What does a ‘codger’ have to do to earn respect? At a minimum just disagree with him respectfully and with a supported counter-argument.

          He’s talking about a WDC who has millions of followers, praised by BE as being a great ambassador for the sport with his exposure, and that F1/FIA can only hope is influencing many people to be fans of F1 for the future. I’m not losing any sleep over this, but I sure can see JS’s point, and I happen to think texting and driving is worse than drinking. Maybe that’s what he was doing in Monaco when he sideswiped those cars. In fact I’d put money on it.

          1. Savile was also ‘a sir.’

          2. RaceProUK (@)
            19th March 2016, 14:48

            Savile was also ‘a sir.’

            Are you really saying that everyone with a knighthood is a paedophile?

        2. The police just mentioned that they do not have enough evidence to prosecute “Daddy”. Because from the footage it is not 100% sure that he was filming it by hand (could have been on a stand or something at least in theory).

      2. I believe in freedom. I believe everyone has a right to make their own decisions in life. Personally, I would not do something like that, but if he wants to do something like that, then I wouldn’t stop him, and I don’t think anyone else should. If he gets reprimanded by Mercedes, then OK. That’s the American side of me talking.

        1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
          19th March 2016, 4:19

          If one day his freedom (or any driver’s freedom to text and drive) causes and accident WITH casualties, whay would you say then? Aren’t many pedestrian deaths caused by drivers’ distracted behavior? Lewis was lucky he could pay just some scratches made to the other cars.

          1. Then so be it. I wouldn’t like it, but maybe he will learn; no one else
            should be responsible for teaching him to do the right. He is an adult, you know.

        2. Well of course he has the right to make his own decisions. But people also have right to express their opinions regarding his decisions.

          1. Sure. But I don’t understand why people would even care to make opinions about his off track lifestyle.

        3. RaceProUK (@)
          19th March 2016, 14:50

          Personally, I would not do something like that, but if he wants to do something like that, then I wouldn’t stop him, and I don’t think anyone else should.

          So when someone is breaking the law, they shouldn’t be stopped?

          That’s the American side of me talking.

          Thankfully I know enough Americans to know that you are far from representative.

    2. I care. I get mad when my mates use their phone while driving so I don’t see any reason why I should feel any different if Hamilton does it.

    3. What Hamilton does in his off track lifestyle is really none of anyone’s business- he just chooses to let other people have the opportunity to make it their business. Quite honestly- what Hamilton does is nothing compared to what James Hunt did during his off track lifestyle. Hunt wasn’t so restricted by corporate commitments as Hamilton is- and Jackie Stewart has always been the clean-cut, ideal corporate face of the automotive world. A reaction like that from him is not surprising.

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        19th March 2016, 14:51

        What Hamilton does in his off track lifestyle is really none of anyone’s business

        Today I learned Hamilton breaking the law isn’t the police’s business.

    4. I generally agree, but this is different because driving is his professional life. I dont care whag he does with music or the jet set. But F1 and the public need him to be a role model when he is driving.

  5. from the COTD: “it is possible (at least in theory) to communicate whatever is wanted in a way that would evade casual notice”

    Implying that the FIA will only be casually noticing what’s said on each teams radio is laughable. Subtle subtext would be hard to get across over the quality of the radio they have and in the heat of a race. They can also go the backwards way and see if there’s any change in driver inputs, then look for a causation in the radio.

    Horner already stated their work-around, maybe they’ll send an SMS. There’s numerous methods one could use to get around this. A simple plant in the crowd at a certain turn waving a flag or not for the most important A/B strategy messages would be smarter than taking a risk on a codified radio message.

    1. the COTD does not imply that at all Tristan – the part where @alianora-la-canta mentions debates over the meaning of words in literature to compare how hard it is to be exactly sure (enough to penalize) clearly points to how hard it might be to “act” on any possible suspicious messages.

    2. By “casual notice”, I mean the sort of scrutiny given to a message which does not imply from its surface construction to be itself suspicious. It’s the sort of notice one gives when it’s “There is as much chance of this message being illegal as most others this race”, rather than “This message is suspicious – let’s look closer to see if that suspicion is justified” (or indeed “That message couldn’t have been more obviously against the regs if the engineer had said ‘Please give us a drive-through penalty’ at the end”). If the FIA truly believes a specific message carries a coded message, they will likely find one, even if no such message is present (this is the flipside of the problem in interpreting subtext in messages. There are simply too many messages in a typical race, even with the reduced number currently used, for all messages to get intense scrutiny.

      You need a lot of information to conclusively prove a message was carrying a code, let alone get a reasonable idea of what the code means and whether that meaning is permissible. Without both elements, it is impossible to penalise a message. This is especially so given that coded messages that are among the 25 categories that can be said openly are permitted. Note that this is the same FIA that could not figure out that “Felipe, Fernando is faster than you” was an application of team orders” in Germany 2010.

      The SMS strategy wouldn’t work as all frequencies between 2.0 and 2.7 Ghz (including the frequencies used for mobile phones) have to be cleared by the FIA before use on track. It is highly unlikely that the FIA would permit a device whose primary purpose could be interpreted as being circumvention of the rules applied to radios and pit boards.

      The plant with a flag (or other large waveable item) makes sense, albeit with some implementation issues, and I could see that being tried by some enterprising teams.

  6. Whiting is right to bring this up. I remember being surprised when I found out Hamilton wanted nothing to do with the GPDA, and then heard about missing meetings and the suchlike. It’s fine, if you’re like Kimi and you just go about your business, but if you then moan that the drivers are not having an input this is not correct.

    It’s funny, I was an out and out Hamilton fanboy from 2007 to 2014, but now I just don’t care. I can’t stand the guy’s attitude, and it has nothing to do with the ‘press’. I’m hoping Rosberg or Vettel can win it this year. Let’s see.

  7. I don’t blame lewis for not attending the drivers meetings, there seems to be no point. They never ask the drivers fro input on anything, they make rule changes that the majority don’t agree with.

    Lewis stays away because he knows (and has hinted) that no matter what he says he just gets in trouble. Even when he has really good points, he won’t say much. Especially when talking about Pirelli, he’s very careful not to say what he really feels.
    Remember last year Bernie gave the drivers a finger wagging for speaking out & saying what they actually felt about Pirelli.

    1. Can’t say I agree. Whiting says many drivers have attended several meetings, behind closed doors of course, and you don’t think the drivers get to have their say? I’m sure they do. Not that they have the final say, I agree, but I think it is a bit childish if indeed LH is simply pouting that he doesn’t get his way so therefore doesn’t go, as you imply.

      If he’s passionate about changes needed, all the more reason he should invest himself in the topics, be they with Pirelli, FOM, or FIA, or GPDA, or what have you. The drivers are only not to trash Pirelli publicly. Behind closed doors should be another thing. Not that his beef would be with Pirelli anyway. It is with the F1 for it’s tire/aero mandate. Is he frustrated? Sure I can see that. Many are. He has some chance to affect change…by going to meetings…and doesn’t, by avoiding them. They’re in the process of trying to improve F1 as we speak, for next season. Perfect opportunity to articulate well thought out opinions and at least in the end say you did what you could, no?

      1. Drivers are given the illusion of having their say, which is a subtly different thing from actually having a say. Lewis is correct, even he is not helping the cause by his lack of effort to bridge the communication gap.

    2. The point Whiting was making that several times when the FIA did ask the drivers for feedback, Hamilton showed no interest in proving his opinion. That is a very good point made, because to complain when he did not even use the opportunities to do so is sloppy.

  8. Again Jackie Stewart overreacting about Hamilton. You know, now that i watched Hamilton driving a bike with one hand, suddenly I have a need of buyng one and do the same! Pathetic.
    And about the meeting, what difference does it make if he goes or not? FIA will make a decision against the drivers will anyway.

    1. @edmarques

      They’re trying to point out Lewis’ hypocrisy. He complains about F1 being broken, lacking direction and not taking input from the drivers. Then he fails to attend any meetings where driver input does count.

      Regarding the selfie on a bike, I agree that Hamilton should apologise. With the amount of Road safety campaigns Formula 1 promotes, it is his JOB, just like any other driver on the grid to drive or ride responsibly. Using cell phones while driving is the largest reason for motor accidents in the US, so taking a selfie while riding a bike isn’t the most responsible thing for an ambassador of the sport to do. Get the point?

  9. I think it will be very interesting to see an actual tested (read approved) version of RBR’s halo. I’m envisioning something quite beefier than the drawing reveals. Still have questions too about visibility wrt curvature, dirt, rainwater, condensation, and what this added ‘wall of glass’ will do to the aero into and around the airbox and over the back wing. How much access would a medical crew have if the car was on it’s lid and they wanted to stabilize a drivers neck while they wright the car?

    1. Fully with you @robbie. The visualisation of the Mercedes Halo looked quite a bit more elegant than the “real thing” too.

      I think the RBR will have front supports that look more like the roll cage tested (quite solid) and then the visibility issues with the windshield as well as issues with extraction of drivers. And when we are there, we could just as well go straight for a canopy in a few years. In between, the Halo could be a good step forward for safety.

    2. Looking at old pictures I see that F1 used to have windshields for years, so rainwater and such should not be any more of a problem than it was before. I also think that it adds to the look of the car. I agree with you on some other concerns, though. One question mark I have is the positioning of pillars. While common sense suggests that a pillar in front is the last thing you want, driver’s reactions to Halo made me aware that for F1 drivers it is actually much more important to see appexes, which may be a problem with the Red Bull concept. After all, I just drive a lowly family shuttle, but get anoyed at times when I approach a crossing and the A-frame gets in the way.

  10. Referring to the Force India Ron Dennis caption. I also noticed at the start of FP1 yesterday that welcomed us to the 2015 Rolex Australian Grand Prix and that Christian Horner worked with Ferrari!

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