Wolff says F1 radio clampdown will work this time

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes a team radio clampdown coming in to Formula 1 will work this time around, despite a failed attempt to impose one 12 months ago.

As part of an effort to make the drivers play a bigger role, teams plan to strictly limit team radio communications from the Belgian Grand Prix so they are no longer given constant instructions.

Furthermore, the teams hope to be able to tweak dashboard designs so that information relating to car parameters – such as fuel use, tyre temperatures and brake wear – are left solely for the driver to judge.

No push back

Although a similar effort to limit radio communications was planned 12 months ago, it was eventually ditched after teams resisted its imposition because of safety concerns.

Wolff thinks that the situation is different this time around, because teams have understood that getting rid of driver aids for the good of F1 is more important than their own personal interest

"We pushed back a lot because of safety concerns and we didn't feel ready yet to implement them," Wolff told Motorsport.com when asked about why things would be different this time around.

"I think we all realise now that we need to do a step back and last year we tried to optimise it. And we had to try to make sure that all systems that we had available were used to optimise the car's performance."

Background to clampdown

Wolff says that a total ban on radio communications was ruled out because of the entertainment value of fans hearing what drivers say.

"There is the perception that the drivers are remote controlled because of the amount of data we are able to generate around the car," he said.

"It means the initial idea of many years ago of making radio communications open to the public and to the fans, which was seen as something interesting, has led to the false perception of us remote controlling them.

"We want more variability and less predictability. In order to achieve that, maybe there should be a less scientific approach to racing, and the race driver made more responsible for his racing."

Spa target realistic

Wolff reckons changes to procedures, and tweaks to software to improve the dashboard information display, should be complete by the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

"We want to introduce as much as possible for Spa, but we want to have the systems in place so the data is available for the driver.

"We don't want to rewrite all the software if it is not feasible for Spa. What is feasible for Spa we will do to reduce to the minimum, whatever is not feasible we will do properly for 2016."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news
Tags clampdown, radio