The powers that be decided last year, the fans were hearing too much car to pit wall radio chatter that revealed the drivers were being consistently coached by the team.
The number of radio transmissions broadcast on the world feed was cut and certain instructions to the drivers banned.
Yet the radio messages during the Canadian GP this year, continued to portray the sport in a bad light. Lewis Hamilton was told to lift and coast to save fuel on more than one occasion.
The first instruction was to ‘lift and coast 50 metres early’ of the normative braking point. The second time Lewis was told this should now be increased to 100 metres.
Christian Horner commented, “If you are a fan sitting at home watching that, you want to see the guys going flat out racing each other.
“It is something we need to take on board and react to.”
Red Bull and Horner have persistently complained about fuel flow regulations and the reduced fuel allowance since the introduction of the new F1 V6 Turbo hybrid engines.
“I think it [Formula One] should be a sprint race,” adds Horner, “and lift and coast doesn’t belong in a sprint race. That is not the message that F1 should be putting across.”
The F1 strategy group is currently brainstorming big new ideas to make F1 more attractive to the fans and the GPDA recently launched a survey to canvas the fans for their ideas.
This survey is believed to be the largest ever conducted of sport’s fans with some 200,000 respondents so far from over 190 countries.
However, the competing ideas from the survey of how to ‘fix Formula One’” may in fact cause even greater confusion, because understanding what the fans say should happen and delivering this will be no easy task.
A survey in 2009 was conducted, and the fans said they wanted more overtaking in races. The result? DRS, which is not universally loved. The real solution would be to reduce the aerodynamic wash of ‘dirty air’ the cars create on those behind.
Even ‘the professionals’ recommendations need closer scrutiny. Christian Horner believes there are solutions to the ‘lift and coast’ fuel saving issue. “Shorten the race by five laps or whatever it is. Either a bit more fuel or a bit less distance. It needs to be a flat out sprint race from start to finish.”
Yet these solutions are rather disingenuous, because it doesn’t solve the age old problem of teams ‘short fuelling’ their cars, something Colin Chapman was infamous for doing.
The 2015 race in Montreal saw most teams ‘short fuel’ their cars in anticipation of 84% probability of a safety car. Despite fuel saving, Lewis Hamilton finished the race with 2 kilograms of fuel to spare.
The simple solution to reducing fuel saving during F1 races would be to make each car start with 100 kilograms of fuel. Yet to date, this suggestion has not been forthcoming from anyone in Formula One.