The controversial radio restrictions that held Lewis Hamilton back at Baku were no problem at all to Nico Rosberg, who enjoyed the challenge they posed.
Voices were raised in outcry at Baku when Lewis Hamilton missed out on a very important victory at Baku. Thanks to new restrictions placed on pit-to-car radios this season, he was unable to receive crucial information about his steering wheel settings from Mercedes. When Fernando Alonso complained and Seb Vettel called the ban a “joke”, Formula One began to sit up and pay attention. However, Rosberg really doesn’t see what the big deal is. In fact, he’s convinced that they’re an improvement from what used to be, allowing drivers to really be drivers instead of, ahem, puppets.
“The fans were complaining that we were puppets on the track, and we were just doing what the engineers were telling us to do. This is why the rule changed, and they are OK the way they are now. It is more challenging for us out there. You need to make sure as a team and as a driver that the driver has all the options to handle everything on his own.
“Of course, it’s not easy to get it 100% perfect, so that is why there are going to be problems, and that is what we got in Baku. That is what we wanted to achieve with these rules.”
We see his point, but only kind of. It’s clear that the driver’s behind the wheel in every sense of the word, being the main player on which teams are betting those essential victories on. But we also know that F1 racing is really a team sport. We’ve seen too many fall out of the running because a tiny part failed or because the mechanics weren’t quick enough at the pit stops. He’s an important component in a well-oiled machine that needs all its parts to work together to cross the finish line. When these parts aren’t in communication with one another, we don’t see how that can happen. Perhaps Rosberg’s lucky this time, but he could soon be joining the chorus of indignant voices after the Austrian GP’s well and done.