Charlie Whiting, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg, Interlagos, 2016

The top team radio highlights of 2016

2016 F1 season review

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Team radio messages again provided some of the most dramatic moments of the season in 2016.

From Sebastian Vettel’s Mexican Grand Prix meltdown to the tense atmosphere at Mercedes during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title-decider, the radio traffic gave rare insight into the drivers’ real emotions.

During the first half of the year we didn’t get to hear much from them as Formula One Management drastically reduced the amount of radio material being broadcast compared to previous season. That changed heading into the summer break, in a move which coincided with some of the controversial restrictions on radio messages being relaxed.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from this year’s races on the team radios:

Australian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Albert Park, 2016
“I don’t understand why I was not the first one in the garage?”

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t the first driver in 2016 to be frustrated by Max Verstappen:

Lap*DriverMessage
10From Lewis HamiltonI can’t get past this guy.
10To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis you can just take it easy and we’ll extend the stint.
13From Lewis HamiltonThere’s go to be another strategy, guys, I can’t be stuck behind this guy for ages.
13To Lewis Hamilton

Yeah copy that Lewis we’ll try and go long on this stint.

But Verstappen had other problems later in the race:

Lap*DriverMessage
32From Carlos Sainz JnrSainz, who was running behind Verstappen, pitted before him which helped him get in front of his team mate.
Guys we need to stop, stop.
34From Max VerstappenThis message indicates some earlier messages were not broadcast.
How many times do I have to say I’ve got problems with my tyres? I wanted to pit first. [Censored by FOM]
38From Max VerstappenCan I try to get past?
38To Max Verstappen

Yes.
39From Max VerstappenLet me try because this takes too long.
39To Max Verstappen

Let’s do it.
39From Max VerstappenVerstappen was stuck behind Sainz who had Palmer in front of him.
Come on, we have to do something.
40To Carlos Sainz Jnr

OK Carlos, push.
40From Carlos Sainz JnrI am pushing, don’t tell me to push.
40To Carlos Sainz Jnr

Yes otherwise we will swap next lap.
47To Max Verstappen

Sainz overtook Palmer, as did Verstappen.
Always when I’m in front I’m pulling away, now you don’t let me past, it’s a [censored by FOM] joke, really.
VLFrom Max VerstappenUnbelievable.
VLTo Max Verstappen

Yes. Not very good but…
VLFrom Max VerstappenI don’t understand why I was not the first one in the garage for another pit stop. It’s unbelievable. I really don’t understand. It’s a [censored by FOM] joke. Seriously.
VLTo Max Verstappen

We discuss later.

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There was jubilation for Haas after a great performance by Romain Grosjean:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Daniel Ricciardo

Haas is sixth.
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoImpressive. Good on them. And fastest lap? I guess I got it?
VLTo Daniel Ricciardo

I can confirm you did get the fastest lap of the race.
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoWell that’s worth a drink.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Chequered flag Romain, absolutely amazing dude!
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanGuys, listen to me. This is a win for us. Unbelievable for everyone. I don’t even know where we finished! Unbelievable.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Amazing, dude. You finished P6. Thanks for an amazing debut for Haas F1 team.
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanOh my goodness! Welcome to Formula One, Gene! This is the day. This is history, guys.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Thank you brilliant mate, absolutely amazing job.
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanYeah fantastic for everyone. I don’t know how you did that job in such a little time. Well done everyone.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Well done Romain, happy days. You’re the man.

Bahrain Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016
“This is the American dream!”

Manor found themselves consistently at the top of the speed traps thanks to their new Mercedes power units:

Lap*DriverMessage
25From Kevin MagnussenThere’s no way I’m going to get past him, He’s like a rocket on the straights.
25To Kevin Magnussen

Okay understood, the Manor is like a rocket on the straights, understood.

The good times continued to roll at Haas but not all of Grosjean’s radio messages would be this positive later in the year:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Romain Grosjean

P5 Romain, P5. Amazing job!
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanUnbelieavable guys! This is the American dream. This is unbelievable. What a great job from all of you. Some places we can improve but what a job guys! I love you. Beautiful.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Amazing drive, Romain, amazing. American dream, you said it. Think you got enough passes in there. Brilliant job all race, amazing.
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanYeah I love that car, I love that car.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Romain, your overtaking was fantastic, thank you very much, we enjoyed that.
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanYeah well I’ve got brakes this year , that helps!
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Nice one.

Chinese Grand Prix

Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016
“I had the Red Bull coming up the inside like a madman and I hit Kimi.”

With Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne watching in the pits, Sebastian Vettel needed a good explanation for why he’d just crashed into his team mate:

Lap*DriverMessage
1From Sebastian VettelOkay I made contact I had no chance I had the Red Bull coming up the inside like a madman and I hit Kimi, I think my nose is damaged.
6From Sebastian VettelJust to copy you again, Kvyat attack was suicidal, there was always going to be a crash. No way with the speed he had he could have done the corner.
14To Sebastian Vettel

Good stuff Sebastian good stuff. Push hard.

Grosjean’s problems began at Haas:

Lap*DriverMessage
54From Romain GrosjeanThat’s what I wanted to ask, if you want to retire, there is a problem with the car, it is undrivable today.
54To Romain Grosjean

Understood but we do not want to retire the car, hang in there.

But after his third consecutive win Nico Rosberg was riding high:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Nico Rosberg

Well done excellent drive absolutely dominant. Brilliant.
VLFrom Nico RosbergWow thanks a lot everybody, that was the most incredible balance I probably ever had in a race, that car. Really spectacular.

And after a fine podium finish things were looking up for Daniil Kvyat:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Daniil Kvyat

OK well done Dany, P3 mate, well done.
VLFrom Daniil KvyatThank you. Thanks guys, excellent, excellent day. Thanks for my second podium, you’ve been fantastic.
VLTo Daniil Kvyat

Great job Dany, second podium of your career, that’s a brilliant drive.

Russian Grand Prix

Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2016
“What the **** are we doing here?”

Vettel did not conceal his disappointment at being rammed out of the race by Kvyat:

Lap*DriverMessage
1From Sebastian VettelOh for [censored by FOM] sake man! Who the [censored by FOM]? Oh I’m out! Crash! Somebody hit me in the [censored by FOM] rear, T2, Somebody hit me in the [censored by FOM] rear again T3, for [censored by FOM] sake, honestly. What the [censored by FOM] are we doing here?

A power unit fault hampered Hamilton in qualifying and more problems hit both Mercedes’ drivers during the race:

Lap*DriverMessage
32From Lewis HamiltonYou there Bono?
33To Lewis Hamilton

Affirm Lewis, we’ve got a bit on at the moment mate. so Lewis it looks lke we’ve got a water pressure issue, water pressure issue.
39To Lewis Hamilton

Lewis the situation has stabilised.

Spanish Grand Prix

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
“Unbelievable, Max. Unbelievable.”

The blue flag guidelines were toughened up later in the year as the front runners complained slower cars were holding them up:

Lap*DriverMessage
38To Jolyon Palmer

OK Jo we have solid blue for Ricciardo behind, he is the race leader, two seconds behind.
38From Jolyon PalmerI can barely see him in the mirrors.
38To Jolyon Palmer

I know, you’re doing same lap time as him.

Vettel didn’t appreciate Daniel Ricciardo’s attempt to overtake him:

Lap*DriverMessage
59From Sebastian Vettel[Censored by FOM] if I don’t avoid that. He’s just going straight to my car. Honestly, what are we doing? Racing or ping-pong?

In his first race for Red Bull, Max Verstappen scored a stunning victory:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLFrom Max VerstappenYes! Yes!
VLTo Max Verstappen

Unbelievable, Max. Unbelievable.
VLTo Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen you are a race winner. Fantastic. What a great debut. Great job.
VLFrom Max VerstappenThank you very much, Christian.
VLTo Max Verstappen

Max you nursed that tyre set home brilliantly, mate. Well done.
VLFrom Max VerstappenIt was like driving on ice the last ten laps. Unbelievable.

Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2016
“Save it. Nothing you could say can make that any better. Just save it.”

Felipe Nasr did not agree with Sauber’s call for him to let Marcus Ericsson by. His frustrated team mate then tried to pass at Rascasse, with inevitable consequences:

Lap*DriverMessage
49To Felipe Nasr

Just swap position, Felipe, just swap position.
50To Felipe Nasr

Felipe, if Marcus will not pull away you will gain a position.
50From Felipe NasrFor what reason, give me a reason.
50From Felipe NasrWhy, why him, why? Give me a reason why.
51To Felipe Nasr

He is much quicker at the minute, if he does not pull away you will gain the position.
51To Felipe Nasr

OK Felipe, this is from the top, we need to swap positions now please. Let’s do it, let’s get it done, turn one.
51From Marcus EricssonI guess there is something wrong with his radio.
52To Marcus Ericsson

Sounds like, sound like.
52From Felipe NasrWhy Marcus did that, why?

A frustrated Ricciardo saw victory slip away due to a fumbled Red Bull pit stop:

Lap*DriverMessage
37From Daniel RicciardoWhat the [censored by FOM] was that?
39To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate, let’s get your head together, you are quicker than him, let’s do it.
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoSave it. Nothing you could say can make that any better. Just save it.

Canadian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016
“I cannot take it easy and keep them behind at the same time.”

The unflappable Kimi Raikkonen gave his race engineer a dose of reality:

Lap*DriverMessage
21To Kimi Raikkonen

Take it easy Kimi, take it easy.
21From Kimi RaikkonenI cannot take it easy and keep them behind at the same time.

Meanwhile his team mate was getting increasingly agitated after losing the lead due to a questionable strategy call:

Lap*DriverMessage
21From Sebastian VettelGet this traffic out of the way!
35From Sebastian VettelMamma mia, what the hell is going on?
59From Sebastian VettelWhat the [censored by FOM] is this Manor doing?

European Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2016
“I may not finish this race because I’m going to try to change everything.” “Don’t advise that, Lewis.”

New regulations which prevented engineers from assisting the drivers became a hot topic when Lewis Hamilton spent a significant portion of the race stuck in the wrong engine setting:

Lap*DriverMessage
27From Lewis HamiltonDerates everywhere. I’m sure that’s not helping. Is there no solution for this?
27To Lewis Hamilton

We are working on it, Lewis.
27From Lewis HamiltonYou guys need to pick up the pace.
31From Lewis HamiltonCan I not reset this thing?
31To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis so the problem appears to be with the current mode you’re in.
31From Lewis HamiltonAh, I don’t know what you mean but I don’t know what’s wrong.
32To Lewis Hamilton

Copy that Lewis, hard to say what it is.
34From Lewis HamiltonThis is ridiculous guys, I don’t know, looking at my fricking dash every five seconds trying to find a switch that’s in the wrong position. I haven’t changed anything or done something wrong as far as I’m aware.
34To Lewis Hamilton

Yeah Lewis it’s nothing that you’re doing wrong, just got a setting that’s icorrect.
34From Lewis HamiltonIs it HPB?
34To Lewis Hamilton

I’m afraid I can’t say, Lewis.
35From Lewis HamiltonI may not finish this race because I’m going to try to change everything.
35To Lewis Hamilton

Don’t advise that, Lewis.
35From Lewis HamiltonCan I make a suggestion and you say if it’s OK or not?
36To Lewis Hamilton

No that’s not allowed. Let’s just get our head down and focus on the job.
44From Lewis HamiltonOK Lewis you’re the fastest car on the track.
44To Lewis Hamilton

No [censored by FOM] man, I’ve got my power back.

Meanwhile Raikkonen was experiencing a similar problem:

Lap*DriverMessage
46From Kimi RaikkonenIf the handle is normal, it is the same like last race, let’s say?
46To Kimi Raikkonen

I can’t answer Kimi, I can’t answer, I’m sorry.
46From Kimi RaikkonenFor sure you can say yes or no.
46To Kimi Raikkonen

I can’t Kimi, I can’t.

Austrian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2016
“It wasn’t me that crashed.”

More angst at Mercedes as their drivers collided on the final lap:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis well done mate not the race we were after but good result.
VLFrom Lewis HamiltonI was on the outside. It wasn’t me that crashed.

British Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2016
“Nico just try and avoid seventh. If it happens downshift out of it.”

With a lot of standing water at the start of the race drivers faced the tricky decision about which tyre to switch to after the Safety Car came in:

Lap*DriverMessage
5To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Daniel Safety Car is in this lap, what do you think about tyres at the moment. Inters or [full wets]?
5From Daniel RicciardoIf we can survive the aquaplaning I think the inters.

Sure enough the conditions quickly caught some of them out:

Lap*DriverMessage
7From Pascal WehrleinYeah I’m out. Aquaplaning first corner, No chance.

Rosberg was the first driver to fall foul of the team radio restrictions and receive a penalty. Mercedes only discovered he was under investigation when they heard Red Bull discussing it on their radio:

Lap*DriverMessage
47From Nico RosbergGearbox problem!
47To Nico Rosberg

Driver default 101, chassis default 01. Chassis default 01.
47To Nico Rosberg

Avoid seventh gear, Nico.
47From Nico RosbergWhat‘s that mean? I have to shift through it.
47To Nico Rosberg

Affirm Nico you need to shift through it, affirm.
47To Nico Rosberg

So Nico if it gets stuck again it will downshift out of seventh.
47From Nico RosbergWhat do I do if it gets stuck again?
47To Nico Rosberg

So Nico just try and avoid seventh. If it happens downshift out of it. You’re doing a really good job.
47From Nico RosbergI tried to downshift out of it last time but it didn‘t work
47To Nico Rosberg

OK copy copy.
49To Max Verstappen

OK Max Rosberg is under investigation for some of the comments made over the radio.

Hungarian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2016
“I’m driving like a grandma.”

Verstappen couldn’t resist pointing out how easily he was keeping up with his team mate:

Lap*DriverMessage
8To Max Verstappen

You are still within DRS of Ricciardo.
8From Max VerstappenI’m driving like a grandma.

Jenson Button followed Rosberg in receiving a penalty for receiving assistance on the radio, but this latest controversy proved the final nail in the coffin for this contentious rule:

Lap*DriverMessage
14From Jenson ButtonSo the brake pedal going to the floor isn’t classed as a safety issue. That’s quite interesting. Think someone needs to read up on what is safe and what isn’t.

Not for the first or last time, Mercedes became concerned Hamilton was compromising Rosberg’s race:

Lap*DriverMessage
33To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis so Ricciardo’s about to get onto the back of the train so we really need to open this gap up.
33From Lewis HamiltonWell I’m driving to the best of my ability on these tyres.
33To Lewis Hamilton

OK copy that Lewis. If these cars bunch up then we’ll be bringing Nico in first.
33From Lewis HamiltonWell why would they do that? It’s not like I’m driving slow, I’m trying.
33To Lewis Hamilton

Yeah Lewis just the risk is we’re putting the win in jeopardy.

Behind the leaders Raikkonen saw red as he tried to pass Verstappen:

Lap*DriverMessage
58From Kimi RaikkonenHe moved right and then back to left when I was going there. I took my [censored by FOM] front wing off.
58To Kimi Raikkonen

Copy, copy, keep pushing on the way in.
61From Max VerstappenKimi is going out of the track limits.
70From Kimi RaikkonenHe’s not stopping moving then we will hit each other.
70To Kimi Raikkonen

Understood.
70From Kimi RaikkonenBecause I move first so [censored by FOM] don’t move after that. I have nothing that I could do once I decided that I go inside and he turns after that in front of me.

German Grand Prix

Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, Hockenheimring, 2016
“Esteban is my favourite, I love this guy.”

From the British Grand Prix teams were able to listen in to all of their rivals’ messages in real-time, including everything not broadcast on television by FOM. At times they passed on what they heard to their drivers:

Lap*DriverMessage
3To Max Verstappen

OK Max solid couple of laps. Hamilton has also been instructed about looking after his tyres so we’ll do the same mate at this stage

Rosberg was the latest driver to come off second-best in a scrap with Verstappen, though only after the stewards intervened:

Lap*DriverMessage
30From Max VerstappenHe pushed me off the track.
35To Nico Rosberg

So Nico important you keep pushing. You’ve got a five-second penalty that we need to take at the next pit stop.
35From Nico RosbergCan you explain to them that I was full lock on the steering wheel and I couldn’t steer more. And he moved in braking, that was the big problem. That’s completely not allowed.

One particular driver distinguished himself by being a problem for the front runners:

Lap*DriverMessage
55From Daniel RicciardoEsteban [Gutierrez] is my favourite, I love this guy.
55To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Daniel you can rest assured he’s doing the same to everyone, he’s not just picking on you.

Belgian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
“He’s just fucking turning when I’m going full speed on the right.”

Raikkonen and Verstappen resumed their battle from the Hungaroring and the Ferrari driver’s wrath proved too much for FOM’s censor:

Lap*DriverMessage
13From Kimi RaikkonenDo I have to let the Red Bull past? Because it’s clear his only interest is pushing me off the circuit completely. If I wouldn’t go straight he’s just hitting me.
13From Kimi RaikkonenHey come on this is [censored by FOM] ridiculous now, he’s just fucking turning when I’m going full speed on the right.
13To Kimi Raikkonen

Copy, copy, ridiculous.

Despite the encouragement, Valtteri Bottas wasn’t able to get past Alonso:

Lap*DriverMessage
42To Valtteri Bottas

We can get him, he’s going to be a sitting duck, so let’s hunt Alonso down.

Italian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Monza, 2016
“I know you like coming from a long way back but that might be a new record.”

Alonso’s race was ruined by an unusual problem at his pit stop:

Lap*DriverMessage
18From Fernando AlonsoYeah the traffic light didn’t work, man. The [censored by FOM] traffic light. [Censored by FOM] hell.

Even Ricciardo’s engineer marvelled at his spectacular, long-range pass on Bottas:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Daniel Ricciardo

I know you like coming from a long way back but that might be a new record.
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoThat was good fun. Cheers guys.

Singapore Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Singapore, 2016
“What you want me to do on a pit lane? To go faster?”

Raikkonen sprang a surprise attack on Hamilton to take third:

Lap*DriverMessage
33To Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen passed Hamilton.
Awesome job, and all while we were having a chat as well!

But Hamilton regained the place by under-cutting the Ferrari driver with an extra pit stop:

Lap*DriverMessage
46To Kimi Raikkonen

OK Hamilton’s in, push push push.
46To Kimi Raikkonen

So we are boxing this lap?
46From Kimi RaikkonenI’ll let you know, I’ll let you know.
47To Kimi Raikkonen

We know how close it’s going to be, we need everything perfect.
47To Kimi Raikkonen

OK we’re racing, we’re racing. Come on, Kimi.
47From Kimi RaikkonenWhat you want me to do on a pit lane? To go faster?
47To Kimi Raikkonen

No, no. I know.
VLFrom Kimi RaikkonenIs that the finish to the race?
VLTo Kimi Raikkonen

Copy, copy. OK Kimi great drive from you. Sorry we didn’t make the podium. Was just leaving it to you the last few laps.
VLFrom Kimi RaikkonenWhat happened at the pit stop situation? I mean, I don’t know, I don’t understand how we lost position.
VLTo Kimi Raikkonen

Yeah we need to look at it in more detail afterwards, Kimi. Lap mode Safety Car In.

Without a trace of irony, Alonso was surprised not to benefit from a Safety Car in the closing stages:

Lap*DriverMessage
55To Fernando Alonso

OK Fernando we are still P7, seven laps to go. Perez is +6 so no threat from behind. Manage the tyres and dash target. Let’s bank this race.
55From Fernando AlonsoYep. I think we need. We are doing good. It’s the first Singapore that nothing happened in front. Unbelievable.

Malaysian Grand Prix

Start, Sepang International Circuit, 2016
“Really, Sebastian is crazy. He crashed into Rosberg like an idiot.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr lost his engine at the start but fortuinatley Ferrari’s power unit can be restarted using the MGU-K:

Lap*DriverMessage
1From Carlos Sainz JnrVettel hit Rosberg while trying to pass Verstappen.
The engine switched off. How is it possible? Engine off.
1To Carlos Sainz Jnr

MGU-K, MGU-K start.

Having been blamed by the Ferrari driver for a first-lap collision in Belgium, Verstappen made sure everyone knew who was at fault in Malaysia:

Lap*DriverMessage
1From Sebastian VettelI made contact with the Mercedes. I had nowhere to go. I think that’s it. Front suspension is damaged.
1From Max VerstappenReally, Sebastian is crazy.
1To Max Verstappen

Yeah, agreed.
2From Max VerstappenYeah mate I mean he [censored by FOM] crashed into Rosberg like an idiot.

Australia and Bahrain must have seemed a long time ago for Grosjean as a brake problem put him out:

Lap*DriverMessage
9From Romain GrosjeanOK I braked but the brakes ‘breaked’.

The engine failure which cost Hamilton victory struck while he was lapping traffic:

Lap*DriverMessage
41From Lewis HamiltonCharlie are you listening to me? Blue flags. Oh no! No!
41To Lewis Hamilton

Alright Lewis just find a fire marshal, jump out, jump out. You’ve got a fire onboard, jump out.
41To Nico Rosberg

Lewis is stopped, Lewis is out of the race. The two Red Bulls are leading now. Possible oil into turn one, OK.

Japanese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2016
“For pity’s sake make him go. I mean, what do you want to know? Suzuka is a quick track, it’s difficult to pass, you lose behind another car. I mean, it’s ridiculous.

Hamilton’s slow start eventually proved to be the final nail in his title hopes:

Lap*DriverMessage
3From Lewis HamiltonSorry guys.
3To Lewis Hamilton

No stress, Lewis.

A strong qualifying performance by Gutierrez was wasted when he spun trying to pass Sainz. Soon afterwards he lost his place at the team for 2017.

Lap*DriverMessage
21From Esteban GutierrezWhat the hell was he doing?
21To Esteban Gutierrez

What happened? We’ll report it.
21From Esteban GutierrezHe blocked me completely.
21To Esteban Gutierrez

OK, understood.

Late in the season Vettel’s radio messages became increasingly terse:

Lap*DriverMessage
30From Sebastian VettelBlue flag, honestly. It’s ridiculous, I mean, it’s ridiculous. Honestly. Lost a second. For nothing. For [censored by FOM] sake.
31From Sebastian VettelBlue flag, make that Sauber go. Make him go! For pity’s sake make him go. I mean, what do you want to know? Suzuka is a quick track, it’s difficult to pass, you lose behind another car. I mean, it’s ridiculous.
31To Sebastian Vettel

Copy that Sebastian. Keep your head down, it’s a long race.
42From Sebastian VettelBlue flag, I mean it can’t be true, can it?
43To Sebastian Vettel

Verstappen’s lap times 7.1. Hamilton lap time 6.6…
43From Sebastian VettelBlue flags. I get them always up the hill. Can’t be true.
43From Sebastian VettelBlue flag, come on, blue flag.
49From Sebastian VettelBlue flag.
49To Sebastian Vettel

Copy that, he has blue flag.
49From Sebastian VettelYeah but he doesn’t move. Make him move! [Censored by FOM] sake.

There were a lot of frustrated drivers by the time the chequered flag fell:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLFrom Romain Grosjean[Censored by FOM] I never had a 11th place that hurt that much. What happened the start was [censored by FOM] but what happened? Honestly, we had the pace to do better. [Censored by FOM] we have bad luck today.
VLTo Romain Grosjean

Yeah man. Palmer made it difficult for us. You did a good drive. Frustrating stuff. You gave it a go at the end, thanks for giving it a go.
VLFrom Romain GrosjeanWell that’s my job. Well done everyone. Sorry we couldn’t do better.
VLFrom Carlos Sainz JnrYeah what a waste of a race. What a horrible race. All the time behind cars, incredible. Impossible to overtake. I don’t know.

United States Grand Prix

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2016
“What happened, Max?” “I thought you boxed me, sorry.”

Perez was the latest driver to by hit by Kvyat at the start:

Lap*DriverMessage
5From Sergio PerezWhat an idiot, man. What a [censored by FOM] idiot. What he was doing?
17To Daniil Kvyat

OK Danny we will have a ten second penalty on the next pit stop for the incident lap one. Keep the head down we need to go as long as possible now and we change the strategy. Keep the head down.

Verstappen produced another of his radio gems:

Lap*DriverMessage
20To Max Verstappen

Max just make sure that we can complete the stint we need OK, mate.
20From Max VerstappenI’m not here to finish fourth.

Though perhaps he should have paid a bit more attention to what he was being told:

Lap*DriverMessage
27From Max VerstappenI’m boxing, I’m boxing, I’m boxing.
27To Max Verstappen

What happened, Max?
27From Max VerstappenI thought you boxed me, sorry.

Verstappen’s retirement caused a Virtual Safety Car period which scuppered his team mate’s chance of finishing ahead of Rosberg:

Lap*DriverMessage
32From Daniel RicciardoSo they got a free pit stop, basically?
32To Daniel Ricciardo

Yes mate, that is correct.
32From Daniel RicciardoThat’s so [censored by FOM] up.
44From Daniel RicciardoKeep me posted on Rosberg’s times. I would love to catch that [censored by FOM].
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoCheers guys. Not the most exciting but it’s a podium. Thank you.
VLTo Daniel Ricciardo

So we were obviously unfortunate with the VSC. It was due to Verstappen had a gearbox problem obviously and retired. So Rosberg basically would have been five seconds behind us at our pit stop but he got a free ten seconds, came out five seconds in front of us. I think you would have and should have beaten him. I don’t think he had any scary pace, you did a good job today mate.
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoYeah I don’t doubt it. Frustrating but what do you do? It sucks. Alright. Thanks anyways, guys. Appreciate it.
VLTo Daniel Ricciardo

Well done Daniel it was a good drive. I think Rosberg on a normal strategy would probably have put the softs on as well because he run that [medium] in the middle [stint]. And they did play out your nice message on the live feed so commentators trying to work out what a ‘mofo’ is.
VLFrom Daniel RicciardoIt means he’s a really nice person, one of my best mates.

A pit stop error at Ferrari was compounded by radio confusion which led to Raikkonen retiring:

Lap*DriverMessage
39From Kimi RaikkonenWhy there was sparks at the rear?
39To Kimi Raikkonen

K2 is available.
39From Kimi RaikkonenNo, why was there…
39To Kimi Raikkonen

There was a gun still attached as you left.
39From Kimi RaikkonenOK.
39To Kimi Raikkonen

Stop, stop Kimi. Stop stop stop.
40To Kimi Raikkonen

Sorry Kimi we think the rear’s not attached.
40From Kimi RaikkonenSo what do I do? Switch off or go?
40To Kimi Raikkonen

Can you come back to the pit lane? Roll back into the pit lane?
40From Kimi RaikkonenWhat you want that I reverse? I can just slide it down. It’s disallowed?
40To Kimi Raikkonen

Don’t reverse.
40From Kimi RaikkonenIf I let go the brakes it’s going to slide down.
40To Kimi Raikkonen

Just let go of the brakes, Kimi.
40From Kimi RaikkonenSo you want that I switch off?
40To Kimi Raikkonen

You can reverse back. OK we need to switch off. Switch off, Kimi, we’re too hot, I’m sorry. So switch off Kimi, we’re too hot.

Mexican Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
“Here’s a message to Charlie: **** off. Honestly, **** off.”

FOM experimented with talking to the drivers on the formation lap:

Lap*DriverMessage
FLTo Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban this is Juan Montoya. I hope you have a great day, how are you feeling?
FLFrom Esteban GutierrezI’m feeling great. Thanks a lot everybody. It feels great being in Mexico.

Nasr was again instructed to let Ericsson past and this time he complied – eventually:

Lap*DriverMessage
35To Marcus Ericsson

He’s been told again to swap positions.
35From Marcus EricssonAh he doesn’t give a [censored by FOM].
35To Marcus Ericsson

OK. Stay cool.
35From Marcus EricssonOK.
35To Felipe Nasr

Swap position now. Swap positions with Marcus now.
35From Felipe NasrMarcus is not even close to me.
36To Felipe Nasr

Swap position before turn one with Marcus. Swap position now.
36From Felipe NasrIf he doesn’t pull away I want my place back.
36To Felipe Nasr

Understood Felipe.

Vettel’s anger boiled over on the radio at the end of the race as he felt Verstappen needed to let him past and Ferrari incorrectly told him his rival had been instructed to. Vettel later apologised for his remarks aimed at race director Charlie Whiting:

Lap*DriverMessage
68From Max VerstappenOK give the position, I think you’re going to have to give the position, Max
68To Max Verstappen

Let me know.
68From Max VerstappenOK stay there.
69From Sebastian VettelHe has to let me go, he has to let me go.
69To Sebastian Vettel

OK copy, stay calm.
69From Sebastian VettelNo it’s not right. I don’t stay calm. Because he’s just blocking me into Ricciardo
69To Sebastian Vettel

Copy that.
69To Sebastian Vettel

OK Verstappen has to give you the position. Watch for Ricciardo behind. Three laps to go.
69From Sebastian VettelMove, move for [censored by FOM] sake.
69To Sebastian Vettel

He has been informed, he has to move.
69From Sebastian VettelHe is a [censored by FOM], that’s what he is.
70From Sebastian VettelI mean am I the only one or are you not seeing what I’m seeing? He’s just backing me off into Ricciardo. [Censored by FOM]
71To Sebastian Vettel

He has to fight within, you have to fight within. Charlie…
71From Sebastian VettelWhat the hell are you talking about? He cut the chicane.
71To Sebastian Vettel

OK copy.
71From Sebastian VettelAnd now he’s brake-testing me.
71From Daniel RicciardoHe moved on braking. I’d already committed.
71To Max Verstappen

Alright mate this is going to be investigated after the race so keep your head down. Two laps.
71From Sebastian VettelI mean honestly I think I’m going to hit someone. I think I have a puncture. Rear left.
71To Sebastian Vettel

Tyres are fine, tyres are fine.
71From Sebastian VettelHe has to give me the position. End of the story.
71To Sebastian Vettel

Charlie said that… Charlie said.
71From Sebastian VettelYeah? You know what? Here’s a message to Charlie: [Censored by FOM] off. Honestly, [censored by FOM] off
71To Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian, Sebastian calm down. They are under investigation I know that it’s not fair. But calm down. Put your head down and we will talk afterwards.
71From Sebastian VettelOK, copy Maurizio.
VLFrom Sebastian VettelI think I showed enough. I mean, overtaking is not a walk in the park. So to me it is clear. That’s the last what I’m saying.
VLTo Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian we understand, we talk afterwards and we are going to talk with FIA. You have done a great race, really, I am proud of you.
VLFrom Sebastian VettelGrazie ragazzi. The car was great, strategy worked well. Shame about yesterday because the pace was there to do more. Grazie.
VLTo Sebastian Vettel

Thank you and well done for the race.

Brazilian Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Interlagos, 2016
“Double yellow end of the straight.” “Yeah that’s me.”

In a new low for Haas, Grosjean crashed on his way to the grid in the very wet conditions:

Lap*DriverMessage
PRFrom Romain GrosjeanWhat happened? I crashed. The engine suddenly… I can’t believe it.
PRTo Romain Grosjean

OK copy.

The race was red flagged after Raikkonen lost control of his car on the straight. When Kvyat slower in avoidance he was hit by Palmer:

Lap*DriverMessage
21From Sebastian VettelI mean this is just mad, honestly, it’s just stupid. Red flag. That’s what it is.
21To Sebastian Vettel

Cool the brake and how about extreme, you think extremes?
21From Sebastian VettelYeah we need extremes, first of all, second we need to stop the race. It doesn’t work. How many people do you want to crash? I nearly crashed into Kimi in the middle of the straight. Couldn’t see anything.
21To Sebastian Vettel

Red flag, stay out.
21From Sebastian VettelYeah, finally.
21From Nico HulkenbergWoah big shunt on the straight. I have something hit in front of my chin, my front wing maybe. Some part hit my front wing, check that. The aquaplaning is not fun. These tyres are just not capable.
21From Esteban Ocon[Censored by FOM] hell. That was one millimetre close. Guys it is blind in the straight line now. Nicholas tell Michael that I have water coming in the helmet and I need the rain joint on the visor.
21To Esteban Ocon

OK, copy that.
26To Daniil Kvyat

Double yellow Danny, Raikkonen crashed in turn nine, Safety Car.
26From Daniil KvyatOh no, he crashed me. Check my sidepod, left. Car seems OK. [Censored by FOM] sake it was a big one guys. Keep checking rear-left. Palmer crashed.
26To Daniil Kvyat

OK at the moment everything’s OK we are checking.
26From Daniil KvyatYeah confirmed, puncture.
27To Daniil Kvyat

Yep. Take it easy.
27To Jolyon Palmer

Double yellow end of the straight. Double yellow. Be careful. Safety Car.
27From Jolyon PalmerYeah that’s me. I’ve had quite a lot of contact.

As if the conditions weren’t bad enough Gutierrez, who now knew he had lost his Haas seat, had car problems to contend with:

Lap*DriverMessage
47From Esteban GutierrezIt’s going on power when I brake.
47To Esteban Gutierrez

Understood, we are looking into it.
48From Esteban GutierrezOK something is really wrong.
48To Esteban Gutierrez

We are looking at it.
48From Esteban GutierrezFix this [censored by FOM] problem.
48To Esteban Gutierrez

Come on Mariachi, try to stay calm, we are trying to do our best…
48From Esteban GutierrezYeah but it is going crazy the car in the corners.
48To Esteban Gutierrez

I understand.

After much deliberation Verstappen decided to fit full wet weather tyres and drop to the rear of the field. It proved the prelude to an epic drive:

Lap*DriverMessage
54To Max Verstappen

Max, what tyre would you prefer to be on at this stage, mate?
54From Max VerstappenOne hundred percent the [full wet].
54To Max Verstappen

Copy.
54From Max VerstappenBut then we are dropped back in traffic and then you are [censored by FOM] slow.
54To Max Verstappen

Yeah but how much of an impression do you think you can make on an inter now?
54From Max VerstappenIt’s all in the last sector. It was the same before. Just no grip there. You lose all the time you gain before that.
54To Max Verstappen

So basically do you think you can get through a train of traffic on a full wet?
54From Max VerstappenPace is there. I can drive at least different lines. Here I’m just fighting the car.
54From Max VerstappenAh mate it’s like a boat in the last sector, I can’t do anything.
54To Max Verstappen

Do you want to pit for full wet Max?
54From Max VerstappenWe are waiting for a crash to happen like this.
54To Max Verstappen

OK understood.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016
“Right now I’m losing the world championship so I’m really not bothered if I’m going to win or lose this race.”

Jenson Button’s F1 career came to a less than fitting end:

Lap*DriverMessage
14From Jenson ButtonSomething feels a bit wrong with the steering. Yeah, we got a failure guys.
14To Jenson Button

Copy, Jenson, copy. We’re looking at the data. Yeah Jenson we can see a mechanical problem. Front-right wheel problem. Pull over where it’s safe. Jenson if you’re able to return to the garage that’s OK, just take care, take great care. You’ve got Palmer, Gutierrez close behind. OK Jenson Wehrlein’s the last car, once Wehrlein’s by track is clear, you can box.
14From Jenson ButtonI don’t think we’ve ever had a failure like this. Anyway it’s done now.
14To Jenson Button

Yeah Jenson that was going well I think. But just stop, we’ll put you on trolleys and wheel you back into thre garage.

The fight for the championship came down to a question of whether Hamilton could force Rosberg into slipping up and finishing outside of the top three. As he slowed down more and more, Mercedes grew increasingly fearful they would lose their shot at victory.

In a final escalation, executive director Paddy Lowe came on the radio and ordered Hamilton to speed up. He continued to ignore them, and Lowe later admitted he refused to repeat the futile instruction.

Lap*DriverMessage
32To Lewis Hamilton

Question: Just wondering why you’re so slow? Currently unsafe to Vettel.
33From Lewis HamiltonHow’s this pace?
33To Lewis Hamilton

We’d be happy with a 45.3.
33To Esteban Gutierrez

Good job, boy, come on. Next one is Ericsson.
34From Lewis HamiltonHas everyone stopped?
34To Lewis Hamilton

Negative, we have Vettel ahead, he’s yet to stop. 24-lap-old soft tyres.
34From Lewis HamiltonOnly Vettel ahead, yeah?
34To Lewis Hamilton

Affirm. And he’s just inside our Safety Car window.
35From Lewis HamiltonWhat position am I in?
35To Lewis Hamilton

Currently P2. So ned more management turn two, less in three.
35From Nico RosbergPace is very slow again. Not great for a late Safety Car.
36From Lewis HamiltonIs Vettel one-stopping?
36To Lewis Hamilton

We don’t believe so Lewis. But he may be a threat later in the race if he takes the super-soft.
44To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis really need to pick up the pace. Need high 44s. Vettel imminent threat.
46From Nico RosbergThis is really slow pace so maybe at some point invert the cars and if by the end of the race Lewis is still second I’ll let him by again. I know that’s a really stupid request but this is really slow at the moment. He’s doing exactly… he’s quick in sector one so it’s difficult for me.
47To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis this is an instruction. We need 45.1 for the win.
47From Lewis HamiltonI suggest you guys let us race.
49To Nico Rosberg

Seven laps remaining. Gap to Verstappen 1.5. He’s obviously backing you up.
49From Nico RosbergConsider doing something. I can go so much quicker.
49To Nico Rosberg

Yeah, copy that.
51To Lewis Hamilton

Lewis this is Paddy. We need you to pick up the pace to win this race. That is an instruction.
51From Lewis HamiltonPaddy I am actually in the lead right now I’m quite comfortable here.
52To Nico Rosberg

OK so four laps remaining. Remember we can afford P3, we can’t afford damage, so just be cautious with Vettel.
54To Lewis Hamilton

Lewis we need to target the 45s if we’re going to win this.
54From Lewis HamiltonRight now I’m losing the world championship so I’m really not bothered if I’m going to win or lose this race.

Hamilton won the race but Rosberg won the world championship:

Lap*DriverMessage
VLTo Nico Rosberg

Yes! World champion! [Censored by FOM] brilliant!
VLTo Nico Rosberg

Nico you are world champion!
VLFrom Nico RosbergThank you so much guys. That’s a childhood dream come true. Thank you so much,
VLTo Nico Rosberg

Amazing job I’m so proud of you, you’ve done amazing! Woohoo!
VLFrom Nico RosbergWe did it, we did it!

*Lap: Refers to lap message was broadcast on. There may be a delay between messages being said and being broadcast. PR = pre-race; FL = formation lap; VL = victory lap.

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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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19 comments on “The top team radio highlights of 2016”

  1. Grosjean: “Yeah well I’ve got brakes this year, that helps!”
    Oh the irony…

  2. Honestly, what are we doing? Racing or ping-pong?

    Best bit of the year, along with “Bwoah!”

    1. Yep. And Hulkenberg’s “See ya later” in Japan

      1. @saints That was definitely my favourite, along with “Oh no! No!”

        1. Either those or “Oh for [censored by FOM] sake man! Who the [censored by FOM]? Oh I’m out! Crash! Somebody hit me in the [censored by FOM] rear, T2, Somebody hit me in the [censored by FOM] rear again T3, for [censored by FOM] sake, honestly. What the [censored by FOM] are we doing here?

  3. Nasr really is bad at following team orders without kicking up a massive fuss from what I’ve read here.

    1. @thegianthogweed on pure talent he seems like a solid driver but he has quite literally disobeyed his team for absolutely no reason beyond pride, which is worthless when you end up colliding. That makes him basically unemployable by any team.

  4. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    22nd December 2016, 13:34

    Team radio of the year: “[Censored by FOM] if I don’t avoid that, he’s just going straight to my car! Honestly, what are we doing? Racing or ping-pong?

  5. Honestly! What the [censored by FOM] are we doing here?!

  6. Alonso finally finds out how traffic light problems can ruin a race. Where has that happened before?…

  7. “We can get him, he’s going to be a sitting duck, so let’s hunt Alonso down”

    Radio transmission of the year!

  8. You should also add that one before lap 1 between Romain and his engineer at Abu Dhabi GP. “Good job getting on the grid Romain”. “I am not going to respond to that”

  9. This is some of the most hilarious:
    “Well done Daniel it was a good drive. I think Rosberg on a normal strategy would probably have put the softs on as well because he run that [medium] in the middle [stint]. And they did play out your nice message on the live feed so commentators trying to work out what a ‘mofo’ is.”
    VL From Daniel Ricciardo “It means he’s a really nice person, one of my best mates.”

  10. And I’m certainly going to miss Button’s messages aka this one:
    From Jenson Button “So the brake pedal going to the floor isn’t classed as a safety issue. That’s quite interesting. Think someone needs to read up on what is safe and what isn’t.”

  11. To Keith: The section describing Max’s radio coms at the end of Your story of the Brazilian GP has slipped down into the Abu Dhabi GP section.

  12. I believe you have the conversation to Max Verstappen about putting on Wets in the Abu Dhabi race, obviously it was the Brazilian.

  13. “What you want me to do on a pit lane? To go faster?”

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