Toto Wolff has some arguments against the penalty Rosberg incurred at the British Grand Prix for breaking radio transmission rules.
This is already the second time the Mercedes team has landed in hot water for breaching the new radio transmission rules F1 passed this year. First, Lewis Hamilton struggled throughout Baku because he was unable to communicate with his team. Now, Nico Rosberg has incurred a ten-point penalty for making apparently unlawful communications with his team on a gearbox issue. Thanks to the penalty, Rosberg dropped from a second place finish to a third and now only has a one-point lead over Hamilton going into the Hungarian Grand Prix. So it’s no surprise that Wolff has an issue with the new regulations. Now, he’s only more convinced that they need to go or be drastically augmented.
“We said we are just about to have a failure, and we wanted to communicate it and we couldn’t. So you see those rules may need a rethink. Dry and clear between the FIA and the teams to maybe go into more detail on what’s allowed or not. Because not communicating at all when you could just block the radio off and throw it out of the car, I think this is part of driving for a long time, but it’s just to be discussed.
“I’ll read you the point no. 2, the driver aids – strict enforcements of article 27.1. The following is a list of permitted messages. No. 2: Indication of a critical problem with the car, any message of this sort may only be used if a failure of a component is imminent and potentially terminal. So in my opinion, that was the basis of the decision.”
It certainly seems like the rules are far less clear-cut and more of a hindrance than they could be. Driving’s not exactly the most contemplative sort of business, where you have time to think about a host of niggling little rules before making a split-second decision. So we see absolutely no reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Also, like it or not, driving’s as close to a team sport as it gets. This part’s easy to forget because you see just one man behind the wheel, not the multitude of parts and technicians needed to ensure a smooth ride. And these crucial components absolutely need to be in sync to cinch a race.