Formula One’s top people have left a meeting today in Geneva and emerged with something that the fans actually want!?
There has been unanimous support from Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone and the six teams who sit in on the strategy group to remove the current radio restrictions with immediate effect.
This means that we’ll get to see the team aspect of the sport as early as FP1 on Friday. After too many occasions where the race stewards intervened and added nothing to the sport, Ecclestone and co have made the right move here.
“We’ve decided to open up radio communication again. Everyone will again be able to say what they want.”
– Bernie Ecclestone
The biggest two events this season that have been affected by the radio restriction have involved both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg was demoted from 2nd to 3rd after receiving instruction from the pit-wall about fixing a gearbox issue during the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton found his Mercedes W07 in the wrong engine mode in Baku, and wasn’t allowed to receive the solution from his team. All the rule did was deny us a fight between the Silver Arrows.
Race starts remain heavy on radio restriction, but this is a good thing because this regulation has added something to the sport. Drivers still won’t be able to be given information on engine mapping or clutch biting-points for when the lights go out. This means that the race-start will remain manual.
The official statement that emerged after the strategy group meeting was as follows:
“At the request of the teams and the 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 their cars are out of the garage.”
Progress at last!