September 16, 2014

Radio Messages: an F1 sized mess in the making?

The FIA will start to clamp down on radio messages this week end in Singapore,  not just for the race but for every session.  The goal is to make life harder for drivers and the pretext is an article in the Formula 1 sporting regulation stating a driver must " the car alone and unaided"

So no more "Lewis is 1/10th faster in sector one, braking later in turns 2 and 5"  but also no more pit to car info on tire and brake temperatures (from the following race) and most crucially perhaps, no more info on fuel consumption.  

And no getting cute with coded messages either.

So yes,  life will be made harder but while the radio talk allowed or forbidden is specified and nothing but gap messages can be displayed on pit boards,  who's to stop teams from sending info to the display,  or work out some other code using the allowed messages?  

Sounds like a big mess?   You got it.

Below is a list of what teams can and cannot say on the radio to their drivers. (list FIA via Adam Cooper)

Messages not permitted (either by radio or pit board)

Sector time detail of a competitor and where a competitor is faster or slower.

Adjustment of power unit settings.

Adjustment of power unit setting to de-rate the systems.

Adjustment of gearbox settings.

Learning of gears of the gearbox (will only be enforced from the Japanese GP onwards).

Balancing the SOC ['State of charge', ie ERS battery charge level - AC] or adjusting for performance.

Information on fuel flow settings (except if requested to do so by race control).

Information on level of fuel saving needed.

Information on tyre pressures or temperatures (will only be enforced from the Japanese GP onwards).

Information on differential settings.

Start maps related to clutch position, for race start and pit stops.

Information on clutch maps or settings, eg bite point.

Burn-outs prior to race starts.

Information on brake balance or BBW settings.

Warning on brake wear or temperatures (will only be enforced from the Japanese GP onwards).

Selection of driver default settings (other than in the case of a clearly identified problem with the

Answering a direct question from a driver, eg “Am I using the right torque map?”

Any message that appears to be coded.

Messages permitted (for the avoidance of doubt)

Acknowledgement that a driver message has been heard.

Lap or sector time detail.

Lap time detail of a competitor.

Gaps to a competitor during a practice session or race.

“Push hard,” “push now,” “you will be racing xx,” or similar.

Helping with warning of traffic during a practice session or race.

Giving the gaps between cars in qualifying so as to better position the car for a clear lap.

Puncture warning.

Tyre choice at the next pit stop.

Number of laps a competitor has done on a set of tyres during a race.

Tyre specification of a competitor.

Indication of a potential problem with a competitor’s car during a race.

Information concerning a competitors likely race strategy.

Yellow flags, blue flags, Safety Car deployment or other cautions.

Safety Car window.

Driving breaches by team driver or competitor, eg missing chicanes, running off track, time penalty will be applied etc.

Notification that DRS is enabled or disabled.

Dealing with a DRS system failure.

Change of front wing position at the next pit stop.

Oil transfer.

Wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.

When to enter the pits.

Reminders to check for white lines, bollards, weighbridge lights when entering or leaving the pits.

Reminders about track limits.

Passing on messages from race control.

Information concerning damage to the car.

Number of laps remaining.

Driver instructions from the team to swap position with other drivers.

Test sequence information during practice sessions, eg aero-mapping.

Weather information.

Pit to retire the car.


  1. Admiral, if we go "by the book"... hours could seem like days. The situation is grave, Admiral. We won't have main power for six "days". Auxiliary power has temporarily failed. Restoration may be possible, in two "days". By the book, Admiral.

  2. OK, let's face it folks, the dominant news for the next several months will be about one team or another's "coded" messages.

    Will we see teams resort to encrypted messages on the radio, steering wheel and pit boards?
    Will the FIA or competing teams hire crypto nerds to break the encryption?
    Will smarter teams just use secret radio channel frequencies?
    Will the smartest teams use fans in the seats to spell out messages?

    They don't call F1 the travelling circus for nothing...

  3. I take it team orders will still be permitted, such as multi-21 and Fernando is faster than you, right???

  4. F1 has become a farce. Why can't we just hop into our little time machines and go back to 1992, the pinnacle of real Formula 1. Its good that it looks like attendance is down at the races. People are catching on. They aren't putting up with this childish BS. The greatest sport in the history of human existence is foolishly being destroyed by a bunch of imbeciles running the FIA.

  5. Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

  6. What do burn outs prior to the race have to do with all of this?
    Two things are clear from all this non-sense changes:
    1. FOM is worried about races being boring due to Mercedes dominance and TV revenue falling.
    2. They don't know their clients (viewers).

  7. Now we will see who the real driving talents are! Who can drive at 200 mph, figure out fuel, brakes, energy , tires.....AND send and receive text messages on their mobiles!! :)


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