The FIA have performed a dramatic U turn over the restrictions on pit to driver radio communications.
The strategy group met on thursday to discuss numerous issues of late, and the radio restrictions was one of them. There has been some negative feedback lately on the radio ban , with some unpopular penalties being handed out to the drivers for receiving instructions over the air waves. Jenson Button’s brake issue in Hungary being the latest one.
During the meeting which was attended by the top 6 constructor teams along with Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone, the key aspect was to deal with the criticism from the fans about over-regulated racing.
Moving forwards towards this weekends German Grand Prix, radio communications will be totally free. The only exception being the formation lap, when no communications will be allowed. This is aimed at preventing the drivers from receiving help with the clutch settings and general pre race procedures.
A statement issued by the FIA said: “At the request of the Teams and Commercial Rights Holder, the FIA has agreed to adopt a more liberal approach to the interpretation of Article 27.1 (that a driver must drive the car “alone and unaided”).
“With the exception of the period between the start of the formation lap and the start of the race, there will be no limitations on messages teams send to their drivers either by radio or pit board.
“This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide the Commercial Rights Holder with unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times that their cars are out of the garage.”
A rule change does not need to be passed, the previous radio restrictions were based on a technical directive as opposed to a specific rule.
So popular radio chat is back! More interestingly is the fact the top brass and the teams are listening to the moans and groans of the fans. Radio chat brings the fans closer to the action, and enables the racing to continue full tilt. Unlike Baku, when power unit problems robbed us of a Lewis charge through the field, and a Kimi fight back.