Radio clampdown will not stop clever strategies, claims FIA

The FIA insists that Formula 1's radio clampdown will not bring about the demise of teams being able to use clever strategy to help win races.

Ahead of a much tougher stance on team communication to drivers, there have been some concerns that the new limits will mean that there is no opportunity any more for mid-race strategic changes to be discussed.

Fernando Alonso was one driver who suspected that the rules tweak would not be a good thing.

“You will follow what the team information was given to you two hours before the race,” he said. 

"With stopping laps, the managing of the tyres, the managing of the brakes, whatever you need to do – there is no more time to talk about that and you will follow that distraction like a robot. So I don't think that is the aim of the thing.”

Strategy change

But F1 race director Charlie Whiting thinks the door is still open for clever thinking and believes there will no less chance of teams doing something different once the race is underway.

“They [the teams] can tell the driver to come in, as long as he comes in on that lap that they say come in,” said Whiting in a video posted on the FIA website.

“Then they can put on what tyres they like on the car. They will be the ones knowing what they feel is a good change of strategy, so they will put what tyres they feel is right on the car. 

"So I doubt it will change much to be honest in that respect.”

"Intolerable" influence

Whiting said the decision to go further with the radio limits this year was prompted because the influence of teams from the pit wall had got too much.

“I think the main point is that the driver should be doing things,” he explained. “He should be driving the car and he should be doing the things a driver normally is expected to do.

“But over the last few years, there has been so much information given to the driver by the engineers to manage every aspect of the car. And we really honestly felt it had got to an intolerable level.”

Qualifying action

Whiting added that he also believed the new elimination qualifying format would help deliver more action throughout the session – and increase the chance of a mixed-up order.

“The main reason for doing it is to keep it exciting all the way through, so there is always something to talk about with a driver being eliminated every 90 seconds after the first elimination,” he said.

“There will always be action and always something to see what happens next, and there will always be a talking point. That is the main reason for doing it.

“The knock on effects are that it will be more difficult for teams and drivers to perform perfectly, and that could throw up the odd surprise or two.”

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news