Team radio: What will and won't be acceptable?
The FIA has chosen to enforce a ban on performance related team radio between team and driver in an attempt to remove the stigma that drivers are simply 'puppets' controlled by higher powers within the team.
The ban, which comes under Article 20.1 of the sporting regulations which states: "The driver must drive the car alone and unaided," will see a drop in the number of radio broadcasts simply because the majority of messages at present are performance related.
But under this ban, what exactly can they say, and what can't they?
Note: This list provides a few examples and is in no way exhaustive.
Banned Team Radio
- Fuel: If a driver is low on fuel, using too much or too little, then this information must be displayed on their steering wheel.
- Brakes: Too hot or too cold? Would a driver benefit from moving the balance forward/backwards? Well this can't be communicated via the team radio.
- Tyres: If the driver is wearing the rears/fronts too much compared to a rival, tyre pressures are dropping or they're too hot/cold, then the driver should identify the problem and report it to the team.
- Codes: Mix 5, Hammer Time, Map 2, etc. These will also be banned.
- Formation Lap: The team cannot request a certain number of burnouts, start procedure, brake/tyre warming etc, this should all be agreed beforehand.
- Timing: How often have we heard, driver X is quicker through turns 7 and 8, try saving ERS for this section. This won't be allowed.
Allowed Team Radio
- Team Orders: As team orders are allowed under the regulations and not considered performance related, but strategic, they can still be communicated.
- Traffic: The team can still inform a driver if they're approaching traffic or if they need to open a gap - this happens mostly throughout practice and qualifying of which the team radio limits remain in place.
- Pit Stops: The team can call a driver in for a pit stop, or communicate a certain lap to stop on.
- Safety: If a radio call is for safety reasons, this is allowed. For example if someone has stopped on the circuit, or if there is debris, the team can pass this information to the driver.