The FIA has recently announced a series of restrictive rule changes regarding radio communication on the track and in the pits. There are now certain communications between drivers and the pits which are no longer allowed, mostly relating to car and driver performance.
The move to ban communication regarding driver and car performance arises from the fear that academics and engineers were governing the driver’s decisions inside the cockpit and not the drivers themselves. So, in a move to place the onus of decision making and driving back on the driver, the FIA instituted the rule changes. With many already speculating the that teams will merely develop codes to convey this sort of information, it has been made clear by the FIA that any massage coded in any way is not allowed and that communications having the appearance of such will be strictly monitored and screened for.
Among information that is no longer allowed to be conveyed is: information on brake balance, information on clutch maps, information on power unit settings, information on battery unit settings, information on differential settings, information related to fuel saving or fuel flow figures, as well as a host of direct questions from the driver related to performance. Information on the driver’s wishes for the next pit-stop, safety information, and information regarding the performance of other drivers is still allowed to be conveyed via radio.
These changes will go into effect before the Japanese Grand Prix, in order to give the drivers ample time to prepare. Many in the Formula 1 world have given the new regulations the name, ‘Radio Ga-Ga.’ Some have accused the FIA of only working in half-measures. Many say not enough communication was banned, while others contend the FIA has no business intervening at all.