#F1 should learn from DTM Austria Scandal

Had that happened in F1 the Internet would have imploded. August 2nd was a rainy day at Austria’s Red Bull Ring and DTM was having a race. Championship leader and Mercedes energizer bunny F1 test driver Pascal Wehrlein was having a bad day with several off-track excursions having relegated him to 8th on the track with three laps to go. He was stuck behind two-time champion Timo Scheider and Mercedes Colleague Robert Wickens of Canada.

Mercedes played one of the oldest tricks in the book. Wickens braked early into a corner, blocked Scheider in his Audi and Wehrlein dived inside and overtook both of them. The resulting sixth position was enough to retain the championship lead. Unlike F1, the broadcaster, German channel ARD, has access to live pit radio and immediately switched to Scheider’s Audi. Halfway down the back straight the voice of Audi motorsports chief Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich, the counterpart to Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, comes on and calmly instructs Scheider “Timo, schieb ihn raus” (Timo, push him off).

The rest, as they say, is history. Scheider clattered into the back of Wickens, who then helplessly sailed into back of Wehrlein. Both Mercedes spun into the gravel trap. The Scandal was an instant affair. The stewards looked at the telemetry data, saw that Scheider braked too late and even released the brakes in order to hit the Merc and disqualified him immediately. A trial before the German sports court is pending against Audi’s director of motorsport for his order to deliberately wreck an opponent.

Now, that’s not what F1 should learn from – we already have Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado – but the fact that German TV viewers could watch and listen to it live, is something that F1 urgently needs to look into. We don’t need censored team radio, broadcast minutes after the fact. Just give the broadcaster live access as they do in DTM. Let him choose which channel he tunes into and the broadcasts will become a whole lot more interesting.

yours truly,

14 responses to “#F1 should learn from DTM Austria Scandal

  1. I betcha Lewis’ radio broadcasts would be the best ever! None of the other drivers would be as good.

  2. This is down to the merry old boys of England who consider them selves gentlemen and can’t stand it when someone uses a word like bloody or hell…

  3. Don’t see how it’s a good thing.
    I would prefer no radio.
    Since we have had the radio opened up, everybody has been whinging that the drivers can’t do anything without instructions from the pit.
    Yet they have no idea what instructions were given 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago because they were secret.
    But the drivers were definitely better back then and didn’t need/get any help from the pits.
    Now that the radio is open, they just have coded messages so it defeats the purpose.
    The broadcaster also just selects certain radio messages to suit their agenda.

    More freedom in press conferences, now that’s what I’d like to see. Say what you are thinking, not what you are told

  4. Now thats drama like the Rosberg-Hamilton incident last year. When I was watching the race live I could have sworn Scheider released the brakes a bit as to hit Wickens in the back
    but I dont think our broadcaster in Holland ever relayed Dr. Ulrich’s message to Timo.

  5. Well, if any of you watched the V8 Supercars (in my opinion one of the best racing series worldwide), you know what live radio broadcasting is. When Rick Kelly dropped out of the Queensland race in a mere 17th position, everyone in Australia (and whoever watched abroad) could hear him say: “WHY. WHY. WHY ME. F#CK! F@CK-F%CK-F$CK!!!” Now that is live television, people.
    Not saying I cheer on cursing on live television, but at least the raw emotions of a racing driver are shown without holding back. Also great is the continuous stinging and bad-mouthing the interviewer and drivers and teams do before, during and after the race. F1 is taking itself waaaaaaaaay to seriously.

  6. F1 should really take a page from NASCAR which allows fans to tune into their favorite teams’ radio. Everything is open and available. It’s great one can select between team radio or the official broadcast. Fans can either rent or buy their own headsets.

  7. lol that the lesson for Hippo is not anything related to cheating or unsportsmanlike behavior or sporting fraud, but rather, that we need a richer experience of live in-race content.

    I salute you, Sir!

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