Radio restrictions “really good” for F1 – Palmer

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In the round-up: Jolyon Palmer backs F1’s radio restrictions following Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen’s problems in the European Grand Prix.

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Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg, Pascal Wehrlein, Hockenheimring, 2016

Mercedes-powered German racers Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Pasca Wehrlein were at the Hockenheimring yesterday to promote F1’s upcoming return to the circuit.

Comment of the day

Ferrari wanted a third car for Valentino Rossi
I’m not convinced F1 should endeavour to attract more one-off drivers but @Mathers likes the idea:

I’d love to see drivers from of other forms of motorsports getting the chance in F1, but a full season would likely stop them from getting involved in other series.

I’d like to see a system with wildcard entries: maybe teams can bring in cars for races with the intention of putting someone well known in that country? Maybe give every team up to five wildcard spots every season for them to do with as they wish – many teams won’t use them for budget reasons, but I’d imagine it’d be possible to recoup an awful lot of money from sponsorship.

For instance, in the past, Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix could put Valentino Rossi in the car with a separate livery, or Red Bull could put Loeb in at the French Grand Prix – these sorts of deals would be invaluable in raising the profile of the sport, adding cars to the grid and giving fans a talking point which is positive for a change.

Of course, teams would try to get an advantage, but if it was done properly by restricting the number of times a single driver could take part, not awarding them championship points, or banning using wildcard drivers during the final three or five races in a season so they don’t get involved in the latter stages of a title fight. Plus, it can be used for young drivers to get experience before committing them to a full season, and that can only be a good thing.

It’s a very different idea which may not fit in with the image of F1, but I for one would really enjoy seeing more drivers getting the opportunity to show their skill.

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On this day in F1

Another thrilling close finish in the 1986 Formula 3000 championship on this day saw Pierluigi Martini, who had stepped down a category from F1, winning ahead of Michel Ferte by four-hundredths of a second at Mugello.

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Keith Collantine
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111 comments on “Radio restrictions “really good” for F1 – Palmer”

  1. The old Ferrari livery in that picture (just red white bits) was honestly stunning.

    I’ve not said much on the radio ban until now, but I feel I ought to express my views. I like it. I needs improvements, for example letting drivers know how to correct a fault, but it genuinely does make it a lot more enjoyable, which I am surprised about as I had expected the opposite. Maybe they could consider rebanning team orders, now that there are a lot fewer ways to go about coding them. Not something I’d like to see, but I’m curious to know if it would work.

    1. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
      29th June 2016, 0:18

      I’m not so sure. I always found the Marlboro barcode ugly. Having said that, I think that the rest of the livery is nice and simple, and is much better than the 2016 livery, which is a bit of a mess in my opinion.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      29th June 2016, 0:21

      I’m with you on the radio ban. Let the drivers read the manual, and if they don’t understand it, then they can come into the pit.
      I’d like to have all the communication available to us though. Now all the coded messages are gone, I’m sure there will some gems in the communications between car and pit.

      Team orders: as much as hated them in the past (I felt sorry for the guy with the short straw), I’m now a firm believer that F1 is firstly a team sport. The team wins a GP against the other 9 teams.
      Whereas the driver may provide some great moves during a race, in the end we can only measure him against his teammate. Now I think of it maybe we should have only one P1 podium for the whole team, and then 10 small 1-2 podiums for each team.

      1. I think you are assuming that the options displayed on those very small screens, whilst the drivers head is bouncing around, would actually make sense to the average non-engineer. The opions displayed would probably be considered a foreign language to an engineer from other teams that uses different power units. To expect a driver to remember all the screens and what each option means is IMO not feasible, let engineers engineer but not coach driving skills, and let the drivers drive and figure out the best way to get round the track and overtake the driver in front.

        1. I can not remember reading anything about all these options on the steering wheel. The teams chose themselves to make it so complicated. If their drivers cannot handle all the settings, they should make them easier. If F1 cars should be road relevant, that should also count for the controls.

          1. Good point, never thought about it like that … wouldn’t the standardization of the ECU limit the teams ability to do this though

          2. Should F1 cars be road relevant or should they be development vehicles for new technology?
            I would say they should be development vehicles, and therefore the man machine interface will reflect that and be engineering speak. There is more time later to decide what the final road relevant options are to be and to simplify the controls so that they are ready for the common man.

          3. @w-k F1 cars should be competitive racecars, and neither road relevant nor development vehicles. There is nothing road relevant about a racecar other than 4 tires and a driver, and “the common man” does not drive one. The nonsense about “road relevance” is 100 percent a creation of manufacturer public relations and propaganda departments.

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          29th June 2016, 10:05

          @w-k – That’s a problem for the teams. They’ve added millions of settings because they could tell the driver what to do from the pits but following the radio ban, it’s much more difficult. They either have to simplify the cars or ensure that their drivers know how to operate them! Hamilton has been going on about how he doesn’t use the sim and how he goes to America in-between races – perhaps he should be locked in a room in Brackley reading the manual?

          1. Probably another wrong assumption, that there is actually a manual. And even if there is a manual, how up to date is it. My extensive experience, as a retired h/ware engineer, with s/ware engineers is they are always a considerable time behind the hardware guys, they talk and write in gobbledygook (definition – language that is meaningless or is made unintelligible by excessive use of technical terms.) The last thing s/ware engineers do is update the manual, because if they did, they would have to admit, next week or next month, they got it wrong. Better for them, in their minds to delay writing manual until it is correct. Which in my experience if probably after the product has ceased production.

          2. Another point, we are always told F1 is a team sport. Plus the end of season payouts are to the team. Yet if we go down the route of not allowing engineering input from engineers, then surely as only two individual drivers are playing, and they are against each other, it is no longer a team sport for the period of the race.

          3. @w-k As a software engineer myself – and one that really hate to write a manual – it’s not about admitting I (we) get it wrong, but it’s waste of time that I can use to further improve the software. Also a good software doesn’t really require the user to read a bible to use it, just look at your most used apps and programs, have you actually read the manual for it? The problem is, with limited resources, the SW focus will be about enabling whatever the HW can do first and it will be in the most direct, logical approach but not necessarily understood by people who not involved in designing the system.

            For example, I bet how to change from mode 1 to mode 2, 3 etc. is easy enough and all drivers could do it. But the problem is what is all those mode means? Do you want a driver remember mode 1 has 10% more performance but uses 15% more fuel while mode 2 has 5% more torque in lower band and using same 15% more fuel, while mode 3 is dedicated for energy harvesting, etc. If, say, Hamilton problem is he need to use a mode that actually use 5% more fuel because fuel pump error or something, is it his fault not to have a clue if the pit doesn’t even permitted to give hints or even playing 10 Yes/No questions?

            Before you said the SW should put clear information on all errors there’s 2 things:
            1. We can’t realistically predict all errors before and put a contingency plan for it. That’s why all if you ask technical support, after the software error code itself, we still asks for lot of your data which typically consist of system info and memory dump. Even those are used to try to replicate the problem, not magically found the problem after analyzing it.
            2. Please consider the display most team used is McLaren’s PCU 8-D ( which has 4.3″ LCD screen with 480×272 pixels. Try to create that size in MS Paint and see if you can create a mock UI than could fill many information while not distracting to read in 300kph+.

          4. @petebaldwin, as others have said, there might well not be any sort of manual for Hamilton to read in the first place.

            It also assumes that the manual could have contained any advice to solve that fault in the first place. I might misremember what Wolff said, but I believe that he claimed that the fault Hamilton experienced was not one which Mercedes have come across before – so even if it existed, any such manual might well have been useless in that scenario anyway.

            Furthermore, I wouldn’t say that Hamilton is unique in having a disdain for the Mercedes simulator – when he tried it, Schumacher complained that all he got from the simulator was crippling motion sickness.

          5. You are aware that the teams effectively rewrite “the manual” for each track, yes?

            And all the manuals in the world won’t help you if the team screws up the programming, which is what happened to Nico and Lewis in Baku.

          6. I don’t know if anyone here is aware of it, but the controls on the steering wheel are merely the endpoints and modulators of an information system that includes hundreds of sensor outputs (telemetry) conveyed to big data computation systems (sometimes in the UK) where analysis is performed (also sometimes in the UK) and then back to the circuit for use by engineers and strategists (who might also be in the UK), who then use the “human component” in the racecar to manipulate settings on the steering wheel and – at the same time – to pilot the race car. That’s not really my kind of racing.

            The way to reduce this and put the driver back in control while on circuit – my preference – is to stop the realtime on-circuit telemetry feeds, except for clearly defined safety monitoring. That will reduce the covert coded messaging to almost nothing. The teams can retrieve their telemetry during pits or post-race, and provide instructions on pit-in.

          7. Geeyore, There has been a ban on teams transmitting data to the cars for a long time, therefore the data supplied to the driver on his display is directly from the sensors on the car.

      2. What about keeping the ban as is on the track, but allow them some additional information to be transmitted when the driver is in the pit lane? Then he could take a drive through or stop at his pit box if necessary, reset the switches they need to and relative silence back out on track again?

    3. @strontium For me, the favorite livery was the one from around 95 when they had more black and yellow to go with red, instead of just white. Still, this 2008 car looks much better then current livery, there’s no doubt about that, I have to agree.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        29th June 2016, 7:59

        For me, the best livery of the past 20 years is the Brawn car. Simple, great with neon stripe and a stand out sponsor logo on side pod. Elegant.

    4. @strontium Instead of Ferrari, I really dig the McLaren MP4/13 livery. If it has the West typed instead of the logo it will be perfect. Looks better than W05 too!

  2. Palmer has a point, a driver who fully knows how to control their car without assistance has an advantage over a driver who doesn’t. But do we as fans care? I mean my dad knows how to set the timer on a VCR better than I do, but I still spank him at Mario Kart.

    Are they skills that we really want to celebrate in the pinnacle of motorsport, remembering the various engine mode settings and being able to set them on the fly? I’m pretty sure Hamilton would destroy Palmer in a raw go kart, Palmer being able to remember more engine mode settings isn’t really a skill I care for.

    The fact is knowing all the engine mode settings in the world wouldn’t have helped Hamilton, it was a setup error by the team which he would have no way, regardless of how much technical knowledge he would have of how the settings work the only way to solve it from his end was trial and error.

    Rosberg wasn’t smarter, or quicker to solve it, he had the good fortune to start in a different mode and switch to it to realise the error, the challenge Hamilton was faced with was not something you can reasonably expect a driver to just know. The team having that data in front of them, but being bound by the letter of the rules, not even the spirit of them added nothing to the show.

    1. Mercedes said it took them a few laps to figure what was causing the problem, because at first they weren’t aware is was to do with the mode he was in

      1. yeah– and that was a team of several dozen engineers, with multiple HD screens worth of telemetry data, and they still took awhile to figure out the problem.

        Expecting a single driver, with a 6″ LCD, to debug the car’s programming while driving around a track at an average of 130+ MPH is just a bit too much, I think.

    2. jimmi cynic
      29th June 2016, 2:51

      Agree. Not in favour of corner by corner coaching, but, telling a driver a method to fix a glitchy engine mode is better to my ears than an engineer saying “Can’t answer that”, for lap after lap.

    3. But if we compare it to something like flying a plane, the pilot needs to know all the stuff. It is a requirement.
      What I’m saying is that if the equipment is too complicated then either the driver need to adjust to the requirement of understanding the equipment or the equipment itself should be made simpler. In F1 case, if you want to blame something, don’t blame it on radio ban but blame it on the complicated controls. Personally, if Ham or Rai thinks it is too much, then they should request for a simplified control, but the downside of it is that they can’t adjust small details thus might lose a bit of advantage.

      1. Frans, that isn’t a good comparison given that the pilot of a plane will be flying with a co-pilot and, on long haul flights, there will often also be two pilots working in rotation – he is working as part of a team, not just on his own.

      2. I think the simplified controls would make a lot of sense, for teams and drivers, but that is going to require some logic from the system (if in L6, Battery low, wheel spin happening … turn R to 4 and H to 1) which would surely start to fall towards the “traction control” ban and away from the standard ECU that (I think we have at the moment)

        As for the airplane allergy, I don’t agree, Pilot has ho pilot, manual, can say what he likes over the radio .. Rolls Royce run real time engine managment and will contact if problem starting to show up

        1. I was thinking of a fighter pilot that need to be able to fly the plane alone. But point taken.

          1. Still not a good analogy I’m afraid. By the time a fighter plane is in service it is a finished product with a huge manual and a very low rate of change. Part of the appeal of F1 (for me at least) is that the cars are all prototypes, changing from race to race, and these days that probably means software as much as, if not more than, hardware.

            The current cars started their design lives in an era of unlimited radio communication so there was no need to simplify things or have the drivers know every intimate detail. The systems may be so complex by now that there is no one individual who knows all about it, let alone one who can troubleshoot it all while driving at racing speed!

            Hopefully the teams are now spending more effort to simplify the drivers’ controls but like everything else it will take time.

            Right now I think that the radio restrictions are too tight. To find out after the race that Lewis had been hamstrung by an issue like this was annoying enough for me, let alone how he must have felt!

      3. Also the thing with simplified control is that whether it needs to be enforced for all drivers or driver can chose more control (thus possibly able to extract a bit more performance) over simplified control? The thing with simplified control is that from what I know, they don’t allow automation as in leaving the computer to decide the setting, thus we have this complicated control. If someone chose to use simplified control, in current reg, it will probably make them slower.

      4. True but if a fighter pilot set off and his air craft turned out to have had a setting set incorrectly and couldn’t understand the crafts behaviour, and his ground control had the telemetry to see what was at fault they would radio that back to him to allow him to solve the problem.

        Besides something like the Eurofighter Typhoon has so many pilot aids the craft would be unflyable without them. I can appreciate the skill of a driver in a car with no traction control and no ABS, and I do think there should be an element of driver decision on the use of electrical power deployment and harvesting so that they are the ones making tactical decisions but a balance needs striking for overcoming a performance problem.

    4. @philipgb I think Rosberg luck is not because he start in different mode, but the problem could be solved by going back to his previous mode. If that wasn’t the case I doubt Rosberg will know which mode he had to go to.

      1. @sonicslv

        Starting in a different mode and changing to the incorrect mode for Rosberg was why he knew which setting was at fault and could easily change back. Hamilton started in the mode that was faulty so hadn’t changed any settings which gave him no idea where to start to put it right.

        So I think we both actually are in agreement with each other, but you’ve misunderstood what I’ve said that you think you’ve disagreed with :)

        1. @philipgb I think I understand you, but I trying to say if Rosberg start in mode A, problem in mode B, but to get rid of it, he need to change to mode X (and going back to A won’t fix it), he won’t be able to figure that he should go to mode X. It’s difference thing from what you suggesting IMO (mode A, to mode B, back to mode A as guaranteed fix) even though the end result is the same ;)

          1. @sonicslv

            I believe Rosberg explained that he realised the problem happened when switching from ‘mode a’ to ‘mode b’ and just switched back to ‘mode a’ as he knew that mode still worked even if it wasn’t the optimal race mode. No ‘mode x’ involved.

            Hamilton starting on ‘mode b’ had no way of knowing it was even the ‘mode a/b/x’ dial that would fix it or that ‘mode a’ would be the solution. He was way more in the dark than Rosberg.

          2. That’s if you believe that Hamilton stayed in the same engine mode from the start of the race to lap 15 or whenever it was that he had the problem. Personally I find it very unlikely and that the explanation offered by Mercedes was more the team trying to protect it’s driver from criticism than anything else.

    5. BJ (@beejis60)
      30th June 2016, 0:05


      lol vcr? what year is it

      1. 2016

    6. “being bound by the letter of the rules, not even the spirit ”

      You race with the rules that brought you to the circuit.

  3. I’m with Jolyon on this one. If mapping issues as seen in Baku make the top runners slower or retire, then so be it. At least we had something to talk about in Baku! Mercedes (and other teams) being so well prepared there’s no surprises, that’s what makes races boring. Remember last year’s US GP? It was a cracker. Why? Because no one had any reliable performance data from practice due to the bad weather. Teams were totally unprepared. And that’s what made a great race possible. Errors and failures spice things up, so there’s one thing that F1 doesn’t need and that’s perfection.

    1. @wallbreaker But did the radio restrictions help make Baku a better race or a worse race?

      I’d argue that had the teams been able to tell Lewis & Kimi how to resolve the issues they were having we would have had a better race towards the front with Lewis having the pace to catch Perez & the Ferrari’s & Kimi potentially been closer to Vettel.

      All these absurd radio restrictions do is give us fans less information as were no longer getting to hear as much team radio communication which is something many fans used to love & with drivers unable to fix certain problems its making the racing worse rather than better if its preventing drivers from been in the mix.

      F1 is over regulated as it is with ensconce tyre pressure restrictions never seen in any other category before, Stupid bans of drivers changing helmet colors & now these dumb radio rules that are again not a part of any other racing category on the planet.
      Let teams push the boundaries, Let drivers express themselfs by running whatever helmet colors they wish on any given weekend & let the team help drivers fix problems with the car….. Lets get rid of the dumb over-regulation & let teams innovate & drivers race.

      1. I would say that not the radio restrictions made the race worse, but having all those engine mappings on the steering wheel. Hamilton spoke of 12 different engine modes, with each of them having several options. Well, that feels like an overcomplicated interface.

        If an engine itself decides to enter a glitchy engine mode, there should be an easy reset button to enter a defaultmode, a mode a driver knows how to manipulate. The interface on the steering wheel should be easy to manipulate in all circumstances. I presume the teams didn’t invested enough in this after the radio ban.

      2. First, had Kimi and Lewis not had their problems, Lewis would’ve stormed through the field (or rather make everyone look like a sitting duck on the straight), we wouldn’t have seen Perez pass Kimi for position and we would’ve ended up having the same podium we’ve had so many times since last year. A Merc 1-2 and a Ferrari in 3rd. I’d take an underdog podium over that anytime. F1 does well with some unreliability for the front-runners. Makes the races unpredictable.

        Second, I agree with @favomodo. It’s not the radio restrictions that are ridiculous but the way these cars build. The teams should rather adapt to these restrictions and have fewer engine modes instead of revert the radio ban. It’s there for a reason. If they reverted that ban, we would be arguing the next race that the engineers shouldn’t tell the driver how to operate the car. We were there before, no need to go back to that.

        1. @wallbreaker But this isn’t what people were complaining about before.

          The thing that fans were complaining about was banned from the start of 2015 & that was the radio messages that were coaching the drivers on how to actually drive/race (Brake later, turn in here, more/less throttle, manage the tyres more/less etc…..).

          The restrictions that were in place through last year were fine, The additional restrictions introduced this year are just plain dumb & Have added nothing to the show/racing (They have actually taken away as we now get less radio/information).

          The radio free for all seen pre-2015 was too far in one way but the new for 2016 restrictions have gone way, way too far in the other direction. They should just go back to what we had last year as that was a perfect middle ground.

          1. @PeterG I don’t really differentiate between saying how to drive and saying what switches to use on the wheel. I’m perfectly fine to see drivers operate the car all by themselves, without any help. That’s why I think that there’s too much complexity on these cars in terms of mappings etc. and that they should adapt to the rules by simplifying them. I also think (before someone accuses me of putting the blame on the teams again) the FIA should support a move like that.

        2. You do understand that the teams you so happily criticise build the cars, steering wheels and interfaces to a specific set of rules the FIA mandates?

          And then homologates so they cannot be changed!

          Thus for all those arguing make them simple or change the screens or make fewer switches and knobs.


          And now the rules stop them using them too.

          A complete joke frankly – the FIA made the complexity, now want teams to not use that complexity and when some fans get fed up with say, Rosberg being told how to drive faster, they ban all radio communication rather than the engineer spying on his team mates runs thus making the complexity impossible to use. It is truly insane and frankly insulting to any intelligent viewer.

          Yet still there are many that think it’s all the teams (read Merc) fault

          Spare me please!

          1. @drg Are you sure about that? Are you sure FIA mandates the amount of complexity on a steering wheel? You must have ‘X’ knobs and ‘y’ settings? And that is homologated? I don’t know…I’d like to see where the rules state that.

            And even if the rules require that, the rules do not stop them from using them. They only stopped two drivers from getting a little assistance. The joke is that of what little radio comm we get to hear anymore, that has to be it, to create manipulative drama.

            Thankfully the cars are theoretically heading toward being more difficult to drive. If that becomes the case, then I wouldn’t mind the odd bit of assistance the drivers get if they were to relax this rule. As it stands F1 has probably never been easier for the drivers as they drift around doing delta times to conserve everything, on more and more forgiving tracks, which makes further assistance harder to stomach.

          2. @drg Wow, didn’t expect my comment to cause so much offense. I hope this clears some things up:

            As far as I know, the FIA only homologates the engine hardware. The software and everything included (like engine mappings, buttons on the wheel) can be changed at any time in the season. If I recall correctly, several teams have done that in recent seasons. If there is a rule that specifically states my assumptions are wrong, feel free to correct me on that.

            I also didn’t specifically blame the teams but rather suggested a solution without having to revert the radio ban. If I had to blame someone, I’m sure both the teams and the FIA take a fair share of blame for the complexity of these engine rules. I’m still of the opinion, that there shouldn’t be a million settings that a driver has to engage by buttons on his wheel. This would also make team radio as we heard in Baku non-existent and we wouldn’t debate the complicated engines.

          3. @Drg what a load of nonsense!! Only the engine HARDWARE is homologated, the switches, steering wheels, engine maps can be changed as often as the teams want. The teams can run as many engine maps and settings as the McLaren ECU will allow and DO change them every weekend.

            Mercedes made a SET-UP error and should have been forced to carry it during the race as with any other fundamental set-up error (Suspension, Brakes, Aero etc.). If the driver is capable of driving around the issue then fair enough, but the team shouldn’t be able to tell the driver how to do it like they shouldn’t be able to tell the driver how to drive around any other issue. It wasn’t a safety issue or an engine problem so no the Team should not be able to tell Hamilton how to correct it. The same with Ferrari and Raikonnen.

  4. Palmer. THANK YOU!

    Finally someone saying the right things. Reacting to a problem in the correct way is a skill. Remember 2 years ago at Canada, when both Hamilton and Rosberg suffered MGU-K failures, Nico managed the problem better and he went on to finish the race while Lewis retired. They had to manage the rear brakes and Lewis just overheated them.

    If the cars are so complicated that the drivers cannot fix any problem that appears, then tough luck. Maybe the teams will have an extra incentive to make the cars more user-friendly.

    1. What you are forgetting is that Hamilton suffered his problem before Nico, so they had an idea what he needed to do. He moved his brake bias more forward and that made it easier for him to work with.

    2. @fer-no65

      And back then the team could instruct drivers on settings and lift and cost points etc… Rosberg saved his car through more cautious inputs (cutting that final chicane may have helped a little as well maybe?), not memorising dozens of engine settings.

      The problem is I’m all for not telling drivers braking points and racing lines. But if the team cocks up a power unit setting, not being able to tell the driver ‘this dial setting has been programmed incorrectly, we need you to change to this one to fix the issue’ is just not in the spirit of the ‘drivers drive the car alone and unaided’ rule.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        29th June 2016, 10:28

        @philipgb – I agree – the different modes and settings were used before the radio ban. What happens when we have a major crash because one driver was staring at his wheel attempting to spot which one of the 30 dials is incorrectly positioned?

        Something needs to be agreed with Charlie whereas he can approve messages if it’s something wrong with the car or it’s settings. If a drive isn’t saving quite enough fuel or isn’t pushing hard enough, that is one thing. They shouldn’t be told how to drive the car.

        If a driver is screaming at his team saying “why is the car so slow!?” and the team are saying “one of the dials on your steering wheel is set wrong… can’t say any more!”, it’s slightly different. The drive hasn’t made a bad decision, they have simply got a setting wrong. Surely they should be able to ask which setting is wrong – it’d still be up to the driver to fix it!

        1. Wrong. The driver should pit-in and get his team to correct the setting, just as he would for a leaking intercooler or a leaking tire. The rules and practices should be the same for any team intervention for racecar problems. You pit-in, you get it fixed. You lost 10 seconds? Sorry, that’s racing.

        2. @petebaldwin the problem here though is that there wasn’t anything wrong with the car, it was a set-up mistake and like @geeyore says, he could pit to solve the problem, or change the settings (like Rosberg did) or even stop looking at his steering wheel getting more and more lost by just randomly trying settings and concentrate on driving the car and accept the fact that you are only losing 0.2s a lap to your ultimate pace which was still faster than most of the other cars in the field.

    3. @fer-no65 Remember that back in Montreal a few years ago the drivers were both been coached on how to manage the problem by the team which is something they wouldn’t be able to do now.

      And as far as Lewis’ brakes running hotter goes, because he was in the turbulent air coming off Nico’s car which lets not forget is also hotter having come from the exhaust or run through the radiators of Nico’s car. Nico been the leader able to manage things easier as he was running through cooler undisturbed air.

      Looking back with todays silly radio rules in place that back us fans would have been far more in the dark as we wouldn’t have been able to hear what was going on as much of the information we were hearing that was letting us into what the issue was back then is now banned so again it shows that is taking info away from fans.

    4. If Hamilton overheated his rear brakes, then isn’t that a problem with the information being fed to a driver via his dashboard or driver’s console? He should have received an alert of some sort saying his rear brakes were hot, or at least some brakes were hot, and know how to respond to that situation, part of which is to drive slower. Maybe that’s not the answer Hamilton wants when he is wanting to win the race, but he isn’t going to win anyway, so completing the race is becomes the priority.
      But really, it comes down to how much complexity can a driver cope with? Today no one expects the driver to be constantly adjusting the ignition advance, but at one time that was an essential skill. When you look at the amount of switches on the driver’s steering wheel, how many of those have to be there? Saying “All of them” is nonsense if the driver doesn’t know what each one is for. If the team aren’t allowed to tell Hamilton how to adjust it, and it is too complicated for him to understand, then why not remove it? Say it is something that needs to be adjusted before a race … why remove that setting from the steering wheel and include it in the software updates that are loaded into the computer before the race starts?

  5. I thought these radio restrictions were dumb when announced & I think there even more stupidly absurd now.

    I used to love hearing team radio, I used to always have the pit lane channel open on my ipad to hear all the team radio that used to be played in there & now thanks to these dumb rules we hardly get any because the teams aren’t allowed to say anything.

    On top of that there hindering the racing as we saw in Baku where 2 drivers were unable to actually be in the race due to problems that they couldn’t fix & couldn’t be told how to fix. How is it a race if a driver like Lewis Hamilton is running around a second or more off the pace unable to get upto the cars ahead & make a race out of it because he can’t be told how to fix an issue that the team created pre-race?
    Baku wasn’t the best race of the year but maybe Lewis having the full potential of his car & been able to close he gap & fight the cars ahead would have given us a bit more racing during a phase of the race where there wasn’t really anything else going on.

    I was in America over the weekend & was able to use the Verizon Indycar app & they were playing out tons of team radio & a lot of it was drivers been given instructions on changing settings on the wheel, To save a bit of fuel, Tyre wear data from the set that was taken off at there last stop & how to better manage tyre wear on the current stint & you know what nobody ever complains about the teams giving drivers any of those instructions even though you have far more radio traffic available via the app, scanners at the track & on the tv broadcasts.

    And its the same story in WEC & every other series which allows radio’s to be used so why should F1 be any different?

    1. @PeterG Not for the sake of argument, just discussion, as I am fairly indifferent to this issue, but I think you can’t compare Indycar and what they do, to F1 and what they do. Indycar is much more a spec series, and they don’t seem to have to coast around running delta laps toward ultra conservation like F1 does. F1 already appears too easy lately, so adding radio assistance on top of everything just seemed too much. I think (well, we know) Indycar is nowhere near the level of F1 and yet has very close racing due to it’s format, so for me all that radio comm you enjoy seems more understandable. I would understand lightening up on the radio restrictions in F1 particularly if the cars are to become harder to drive beasts that actually tax the drivers physically and mentally, at which point a little radio assistance would be easier to take.

      I’m sure once you decide to limit radio comm assistance then it’s hard to police and allow for some level of assistance, but not too much, so whereas Indycar allows it all, F1 has decided otherwise. And I blame that on the current format of F1 already being way too much about conserving and way too easy for the drivers as it is, even without radio assistance.

      F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle but is in this awkward phase where it is not, but things are about to change. First and foremost the cars need to become much more difficult to drive so we get a sense that they are performing great feats out there, and then perhaps a little radio assistance on technical issues might be completely understandable while they’re wrestling beasts around the tracks.

      1. “Indycar is much more a spec series, and they don’t seem to have to coast around running delta laps toward ultra conservation like F1 does.”

        From what I was hearing on the Indycar radio communications over the weekend they do just as much management & running to time delta’s as F1 does, In fact if anything there’s more of it because teams are always telling drivers to hit specific fuel numbers in order to stretch out the stints as long as possible.

        I’d also point back to the Indy 500 where Alex Rossi was told to be doing a certain lap speed to hit a certain fuel mileage number & was been coached around how to do all that constantly & that won him the race. If there had been the sort of radio restrictions we currently see in F1 its doubtful Rossi would have won because it’s clear from the radio traffic & comments from team/driver post race that he didn’t know how best to go about hitting the numbers he was been told to hit.

        1. Fair enough. I probably could have worded some things better there. I’m not denying that there is a lot of communication in Indycar and was just saying it’s perhaps more understandable in that series than in what is supposed to be the pinnacle, which is not actually acting pinnacle-like lately, and that as a bandage attempt to make it harder for the drivers has banned much of the radio comm. I’m indifferent but would be fine with a little technical assistance like LH wanted, especially if the cars were much harder to drive. I’d at least feel like there job was still difficult even with some radio help.

  6. Regarding the radio restrictions…. How would people feel about going back to what was allowed in 2002 with teams been able to change settings on the car from the pits?

    Take that years Monaco Gp as an example; David Coulthard was leading the race when the car started smoking due to an oil leak. The team found the issue on the data & sent an instruction to the car from the pits telling it to switch to a backup oil pump which solved the issue & allowed DC to go on & win the race. Throughout the period where the car was leaking oil CD didn’t have to do anything & was able to focus 100% on driving the car while holding off the cars behind.

    1. As much as i love DC, I would have preferred a dramatic blow up, or even better, an engineer to design a clever intuitive user interface that allows DC to effortlessly engage the aux oil pump….. they are not there yet…

    2. @gt-racer I prefer if the team tell DC he got oil pump problem and assist him on how to switch to backup pump. However if I had to choose between this year radio restrictions and then, I prefer 2002 situation.

  7. Have to agree with the Lauda M’sport Mag. article and i think last weekends Assen MotoGp was a perfect illustration of why MotoGp is never boring but F1 can be, in the Assen race 2 of the leaders and several others crashed out due to wet and slippery track conditions and a privateer came from behind to pass the (multiple champion) points leader for the win. No one was injured but the smallest error either literally or virtually was a race, and possibly championship, ending event, it was definitely not all over until it really was over, unlike many F1 events.

    1. Wet and slippery? You see all sorts of interesting things happen in F1 due to a wet and slippery track. One of the top rated races last year (COTA) was due to a wet and slippery track.

      I think a wet and slippery track in MotoGP has very little to do with Lauda’s argument, at least provides a poor point of comparison.

    2. Luke Harrison
      29th June 2016, 20:19

      Was that not also Red Flagged at one point?…

  8. Who is he again?

    1. you are probably trying to belittle Palmers opinion, but look at the comments above, so many agree, and he is an F1, incase you don’t know who he is and don’t follow the sport and only care for drivers in the top 2 teams.

  9. With the way Massa is talking and the rumours of Button going to Williams. Now imagine a driver swap in this scenario. Hahaha.

    1. So Button to Williams, Vandoorne to McLaren and Massa to Super Formula? :)

      1. “not a small team, so maybe teams like the ones I raced for but maybe also teams that are pushing to be better.

        Sounds like he’s going back to Ferrari!

    2. Interesting comment from Massa. He has spend most of his career in Formula 1 driving for Ferrari. But he also drove for Sauber, which at one point of time (early 2000 if I am correct), had a sort of partnership with both Red Bull and Petronas.
      Sauber, Red Bull and Petronas are still in the sport.

  10. Well, this Mercedes tire trick… How long was it in place, why is it not banned? Why FIA fails to spot gigantic heat in the wheels? It is probably easy to sense…

    And how many races did it ruin for us?

    1. As far as I’m concerned, it’s yet more of the fantastic spirit of F1.

      If someone finds a way to gain an advantage within the rules, they’ve done a good job and should be applauded for it.

      If the other teams haven’t figured it out, that’s their loss.

      1. As the pics indicate, this is being done out in the open not just by Mercedes but Ferrari, RBR, and Renault, so nothing to see here. Of course it’s catchy to make the storyline seem like it is just Mercedes and that they are doing something covert, but that is immediately obvious once you go a little further and see the pics. Yes it’s true Mercedes are doing this…and so are others.

  11. says palmer.. the guy who has never made it into the top 8 finish of a race. drivers are drivers. not engineers.

    1. no f1 driver would get a top 8 in that lotus, not even Hamilton, infact Hamilton would have lost 8th place because of rado ban, as he would have been fiddling with the steering wheel for 30 minutes trying to find an engine mode ;)

    2. I kind of agree; there are too many articles like “Palmer said …”
      I just ignore those for now; and i think i’ll keep doing it at least until he’ll be on Kevin’s level in race and qualy.

      It looks like he’s gonna be the only rookie who did not delivered.

  12. The fact that palmer knows how to change the engine settings will hopefully be redundant soon when Renault replaces him….

  13. I would love to see another for and against article for F1 safety. Lauda at least seems vehemently against the continued push.

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes the main reason for a breakaway eventually. A more purist series with less focus on electronic technology, big, loud engines, faster and more dangerous without the Halo that will be introduced etc… I think F1 is too far down the rabit hole now.

    1. The FIA (and other) governance of F1 is inherently bureaucratic, and this is a virtual guarantee that it is on an irrecoverable trajectory toward more blandness and politically-correct rulemaking, at least when it comes to strategic “big picture” problems.

      It’s proven and addressed by a simple question: what do Le Mans, Dakar, WTCC and V8 Supercars all have that F1 does not.

  14. Nobody read the article about the Mercedes-tyre-heating trick?
    Executive summary is this: with a special external device, pre-start, Mercedes manages to heat the air inside the tyre (indirectly, from the suspension) that the pressure just reaches the Pirelli-set minimum.
    As soon as that device is removed (right after the Pirelli guy has measured it whilst on the grid), the device is removed, temperature drops and therefore pressure.

    Are any other teams doing this? They must have noticed it as it happens so overtly on the grid…

    1. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
      29th June 2016, 8:50

      Actually if you read the article and look at the Amus photos, you’ll see at least Merc, RBR and Renault use the same heating device. It’s called Leister Hotwind System and can blow max 800 Celsius deg.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        29th June 2016, 10:36

        Which pictures? I couldn’t see any with other teams….

        1. there are 30 pictures in the Amus article, just click the first one or the camera icon.

  15. The google translations from the German suck, but I expected a lot more comments on the Mercedes tyre “trick” to be honest. Surely other teams would copy it if it gives an advantage (presuming it’s legal) or trigger a ban if not? However, I seriously doubt that everyone else was oblivious to it.

    1. >”The google translations from the German suck”

      I just want to comment on that and say, really? I think instant translations like these show what an amazing time it is to be alive.
      While a lot of the specifics and context are lost, it’s amazing how much of the general gist can be understood.

      1. Tristan, you like arguments don’t you? I think you know exactly what I meant, or would you rather I started off by saying “thanks to technology, we are now able to… bla bla bla”? On the other hand, I can follow your line of argument and say “By the way, the “context” is not lost at all as you claimed; and yes, we can get the gist… however, we would be completely off on a tangent. This is F1, not semantics.

        1. I do like arguments actually. I think contrasting opinions, provide interesting opportunities to learn from. Not to say I’m stalwart in my opinion, quite often I find it being changed by a good argument.

          And nope, I had no idea what you meant. I thought you were genuinely unimpressed by the translation… Which is why I made my comment :) Certainly no malice was intended.

      2. ” think instant translations like these show what an amazing time it is to be alive.”

        Its impressive tech yes, but the translation that comes out still sucks compared to what you would want it to generate.

        1. Oh sure, let’s give it another 10 years though, maybe another 40 or 50 for voice translations. Looking at how far it’s already come in that time, we’ll get there.

  16. Mercedes cheating tyre pressures, well that is no surprise. If they want to stamp this out they should measure tyre pressure AFTER the race and make sure THOSE measures are within the tolerances. Better yet, place active pressure sensors that can be remotely monitored. Shame on you Mercedes!

    1. @aliced You didn’t read the article did you? You read the title and jumped to the comments.

    2. @aliced

      They aren’t cheating, the rules state that tyres must be a minimum pressure when checked before the race, and Mercedes pass that check.

      Measuring it after the race is meaningless, so much can happen to the car during the race, and measuring during the race is also a difficult matter. If a car picks up a slow puncture then technically it wouldn’t meet minimum pressures, is that a penalty?

      Tyre pressure rules are a dumb solution to a problem of inadequate tyres. Proper testing and a proper tyre are whats needed, not another set of bodged rules.

    3. You are either of school age or have absolutely no idea how tyre dynamics, wear rates, aero or pressure calculations work.

  17. Given that there’s been very little radio communication broadcast, if the FIA hadn’t broadcast those conversations ( other than maybe the start) – especially all of the “can’t tell you” ones, would we have even known about it. Didn’t broadcasting it sort of ruin the race, not the problem itself.

    Sometimes I think the selectiveness of the conversations broadcast are deliberately trying to annoy the viewers.

    1. @dbradock

      We’d still have witnessed the same dull race, but now we understand why Raikkonen and Hamilton weren’t on maximum attack.

      1. they were on maximum attack, there engine settings were not. bad luck.

    2. @dbradock I bring this up frequently. I think unquestionably FOM cherry picks the communications we get to hear during the race, to create drama/controversy. I think that is how people decided erroneously that NR needs help from LH’s data but that LH doesn’t use NR’s.

      As to Baku, I’m indifferent. On the one hand I think F1 already appears too easy for drivers as they coast along conserving everything, on tires that can’t be pushed out of their prime operating window. So I can understand the radio ban from that aspect. F1 needs to show us it is a great feat, and these days it is not.

      I don’t believe assistance to LH earlier in his 12 lap strife would have made that much difference. And I’m all for F1 simplifying and getting back to racing, and cars being in the hands of the drivers again. If the cars/tires were faster and drivers were actually pushed to some limits along with the cars, such that they are mentally and physically drained after a race, then during a race I would mind a lot less a little technical assistance here or there.

    3. They are – FOM is Bernie managing the show to suit his particular focus.

      If we complain about something he takes it all away through spite (say the radio messages) and if he wants to cause inter team conflict or create some click bait he will release stuff that say, makes Merc look bad or one of the drivers look a bit silly.

      He has been doing it since the messages were first released.

      No – it’s not funny – it’s megalomania.

  18. Is it Haas Massa is talking about? Or Sauber? But sauber is not a “big” team at this moment.

  19. Lauda talking about f1 keeping its DNA, then he should support getting rid of bad sounding engines and getting rid of Tilke designed tracks, he has no idea, f1 has been the pinnacle of motorsport safety for many years now, so that drivers don’t have the scars like Lauda has, safety updates are the DNA of F1

    1. @kpcart Not everyone thinks they’re bad sounding, but maybe Lauda does. Do your know where he stands on them? Do you think he’d complain if they made the engines louder? Same with the Tilke tracks? Has he said they’re better? Perhaps it is because of a few factors like these that you have chosen to highlight that he talks of F1 not losing it’s DNA in general, by looking for even more ways to change it. To say he has no idea is ridiculous. If he has ‘no idea’ then none of us in our armchairs have a clue.

    2. “safety updates are the DNA of F1”


  20. Hulk gets to drive a single seat Silver Arrow (W25), even if it is from 1934.

  21. Jolyon Palmer: Radio ban is a good thing for Formula One (BT)

    IT is easy to agree. Despite HAmitlon and Raikonen heartbrake in Baku.

    Make cars easier to drive, make designs more tested, get drivers who are able to cope better.

    Maybe bann some functionality.

    Having 194 engine settings might be excessive.

  22. I disagree with Palmer. Drivers should know how to operate the cars in normal condition as a user not as the engineer or designer. When a technical problem arises which not the driver directly induced, it’s the job of the engineer to provide assistance on how to fix it. Also his comment sounds like Hamilton and Raikkonen didn’t knew how to change switches on the car, which is false because the problem is they don’t know which switch should be changed to which position, and it already outside the scope of routine mode switch. Hamilton already asked if he could try to change various switches with the risk of car failure and the team advised not to do that. But when he asked for directions/hints instead, the team said they cannot told him. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    As an analogy, I bet all the people here use a computer and smartphones, and they should responsible for how they operate it including installing / operating the softwares (drivers). However, when something broke that doesn’t result from direct user error (faulty hardware, sudden electricity spike, etc.) then it’s not the user responsibility anymore to fix it, its the authorized technicians job (pit crew). Of course user who also have the necessarily knowledge to fix it has advantage than user who didn’t, but it never expected for the user to have this knowledge in the first place.

  23. @sonicslv Unfortunately your analogy is massively flawed. no-one is expecting Hamilton to be able to change faulty hardware which in your analogy would be an engine engine change or reprogramming of software. But they DO expect him, as a specialist user, to be able to change software settings.

    The analogy with smart phones/computers would be more accurate if Hamilton were an extremely high level user and employee (paid multiple millions because he is such a specialist user) of Microsoft/Apple/Google and the firm did an update which, for example, accidentally turned off something like haptic feedback. It is well within the rights of that employer and anyone else to expect such a highly trained specialist user to be able to turn haptic feedback back on!

    1. @asanator You misunderstood what I’m saying. Hamilton is perfectly capable of changing the modes, but that’s not the problem. The problem is he doesn’t know where to change it into because it’s not normal operations or even a common error. The situations is more like on Windows, you have a problem that need to be solved by manually changing a registry entry. Hamilton know how to open registry editor and how to perform the changes, but he doesn’t know which key need to be changed into what. That’s already beyond expectation for the capability of the user. This is not a simple “go to phone setting and toggle the haptic feedback option” expectation.

  24. Agree the radio ban should stay as it is. I like that cars are difficult to handle and feel driving excellence should be as much about the mental capacity as the physical one. Managing your machine is, and has been a big part of that.

    The ‘drivers not engineers’ -argument I find silly as it’s obviously not about engineering, but operating. Like anybody can troubleshoot and reset something as complex as a computer for example. If you’re a top sportsman and paid millions, you can even do more advanced stuff while driving a car fast. Just look at fighter pilots how they’re as much admired for their multitasking and managing very complex systems as actually flying the plane.

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