Toro Rosso radio buttons, Monza, 2014

Would banning team radio improve the F1 show?

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Toro Rosso radio buttons, Monza, 2014

The team radio messages in the Canadian Grand Prix revealed just how preoccupied drivers were with nursing their cars: saving their brakes, tyres and above all fuel.

It’s led some to suggest F1 would be greatly improved by the simple step of stopping teams from communicating with their drivers – or at least banning the type of messages that some people don’t want to hear.

When Formula One Management first demonstrated their team radio broadcasts to journalists in 1999 they played audio of Michael Schumacher being told by Ross Brawn how to manage his pace and, at one stage, to hold back from passing another car. Sixteen years on, would banning messages like these satisfy F1’s quest to ‘improve the show’?


‘Save your fuel’, ‘save your tyres’, ‘look after your brakes’, ‘don’t lose time trying to keep him behind’ – these are things which no motor racing fan wants to hear. And the solution is simple: unhook the team radios and force drivers to cope by themselves.

Or, as doing so might raise legitimate safety concerns, expand the list of subjects which engineers are already banned from discussing with their drivers, such as how to alter their racing lines or gear shifts to improve their performance. Even if it doesn’t stop drivers from nursing their cars, at least we won’t have to hear about it.


Do we want to reduce the amount of fuel, tyre and brake saving that goes on, or do we not just want to hear about it? Banning team radio will fix the latter, but not the former, and that is arguably the greater obstacle to good racing in F1.

It would be a shame to lose the insight into drivers which team radio gives us. It lets us hear them when they aren’t in ‘PR mode’ – arguing with their engineers, venting at their rivals, and celebrating their triumphs. Team radio adds far more to F1’s entertainment value than it takes away.

I say

James Allison, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2015Banning or restricting team radio is the same kind of ‘sticking plaster’ thinking which has lumbered F1 with dubious ‘solutions’ like DRS. The amount of fuel saving and tyre saving which goes on in F1 today may be tedious, but banning teams from talking about it isn’t going to make it go away.

I also think there’s something self-serving about journalists arguing for a team radio ban. If fans can no longer hear first-hand how a driver’s race is going, the post-race media coverage suddenly becomes more important.

Instead of banning team radio we should go to the opposite extreme – make all the communications available for everyone to listen to in real-time via an online platform. Let fans choose which drivers they want to listen to and social media will be abuzz with them sharing what they heard.

Ban team radio? That would be the ultimate example of shooting the messenger because you don’t like the message.

You say

Would you change how team radio is today? Do you enjoy hearing it during the races and look forward to the race radio transcripts?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should team radio be more tightly controlled in F1?

  • Yes, team radio should be banned completely (15%)
  • Yes, more but not all messages should be banned (20%)
  • No, team radio should stay as it is (15%)
  • No, team radio should be freed up completely (48%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 351

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 86 comments on “Would banning team radio improve the F1 show?”

    1. I’m kind of 100% with Keith on this one.

      1. I’m for reducing car-to-pit telemetry greatly as I explained in a recent topic in the forums – that would grab the issue by its neck.

        1. I’m for reducing car-to-pit telemetry greatly

          Was about to write something like that, until I saw it already being here on the first comment. That would be more directly on the issue of engineers knowing more/better.

        2. Totally agree with you. F1 is no longer a single driver formula but has instead evolved into one on-board driver with a team of co-drivers in the pits and back at base helping to manage the car.

          This would also help with cost reduction as the teams would no longer require tons of equipment and dozens of engineers transported around the world.

          The safety argument for retaining data transmission is specious as any warnings could be displayed to the driver.

          1. F1 requires lots of engineers because it’s complicated. Also most of the telemetry analysis is done back at the factory. The race team has some engineers but there are far more looking at the data in England, Italy, etc. Also F1 has never only been a driver formula. It’s a team sport where the best combination wins. While I think some of the coaching was going too far and was resolved, it doesn’t seem reasonable to expect a driver to remember to how to reset every system.

            That said I’m not sure FOM is doing a great job picking messages to broadcast. I would like unrestricted streams like Keith suggested, however, for a casual fan maybe less of the fuel saving, lift and coast messages in the race broadcast.

            1. One of the mantra’s for F1 today is ‘road relevance’ as the argument for manufacturer involvement and engine regulations. When was the last time you drove your car and had somebody remotely monitoring your car and feeding you information via a head-set? When you drive a car you rely on your senses and information available via the dash-board. All I’m saying is that F1 drivers should drive the car using the information available via their dash and senses. That doesn’t mean somebody whispering in their ear, passing information from remote sensors. If the cockpit interface is so complicated that drivers are having problems then that is a failure of interface design and can be remedied. I agree it’s a team sport but what I’m saying is their needs to be a clear and distinct difference between ‘driving’ the car and ‘engineering’ the car.

      2. I agree also. When watching smaller series, which don’t have team radio, I really feel like part of racing is missing.

      3. knoxploration
        15th June 2015, 17:20

        A pit-to-car team radio ban during qualifying and the race would put the decision-making right back where it should be: In the driver’s hands. The team could still communicate using the pit board to tell the driver when to stop, which is basically the only thing they actually *need* to do to avoid a stacked pitstop. Other than that, the drivers shouldn’t be being handheld. These are supposed to be drivers at the height of their game, at the pinnacle of motorsport — they shouldn’t need the ridiculous amount of babying they’re given.

        The only team radio allowed during the race should be car-to-pit, allowing the driver to communicate concerns about the car that will need fixing in the next pit stop, alert the team to an unscheduled pitstop, or report a rules violation by another driver.

    2. Banning team radio or certain forms of messages over radio is so unnecessary and achieves nothing in terms of actual substance when it comes to racing.

      Open team radio again and be more selective about the types of messages you broadcast on the coverage. Less of the “lift and coast” stuff and give us more interesting snippets instead to add colour to the coverage as well as just information.

      And there’s no reason why FOM can’t offer more team radio from some of the teams further down the field. I’ve heard enough of Kimi Raikkonen mumbling over team radio to last me a lifetime, while I can only remember a handful of occasions when I got to enjoy listening to Kamui Kobayashi’s team radio during his career.

      Of course you’re going to focus on the key drivers and storylines during a race, but if there’s not much of interest going on, there’s no reason why the teams, drivers and battles lower down the field shouldn’t get more attention.

      1. Well, think one step further. Who decides what’s gonna be on the broadcast? FOM. Who’s in charge at FOM? What does he think of the current regulations?
        And obviously I’ll get flammed with “conspiracy theory freak!!!!”

        1. Bazinga! We have winner.

          No Rolex for you, sonny. It’s Bernie’s game and he plays it like he wants. He doesn’t need the riffraff (fans) looking behind the curtain.

    3. as voted. I would love to hear far more of it. That would also show us whether BE/FOM is indeed playing our minds by playing a large portion of these messages just to get their point across etc. I like knowing what is going on, not being fooled.

      And the “ban” on radio to inform drivers over issues comes over as horribly artificial already.

    4. I know I’m not in the majority here, but I am really in favour of banning team radio altogether. The driver becomes much more important, if there’s an issue with his car, he is responsible for fixing it. The driver will need to be much more knowledgeable about the car, knowing exactly how things like the drivetrain and electronics work so that he can adapt if something breaks. As a result, the cars will need to be a lot less complicated, because the team and the driver cannot manage all the systems that currently need constant monitoring.

      This will not necessarily make the races more interesting or exciting, but the post-race interviews should be A LOT more interesting, because the drivers are much more aware of what is happening. In my opinion, this will make F1 in general more interesting, but I’m sure many of you will disagree.

      Of course one counter argument is: what about safety? There could be a one-way team radio from the race director to all drivers, to provide information like “there is car facing backwards at the exit of turn 3” or something like that.

      1. Drivers should drive. I’m not all that interested in drivers being mechanics or electronics experts. But each to their own.

        1. @andae23 – I agree with @debaser91. They should be racers, not part time engineers. Yes, they should understand their car and be able to adapt to problems but you tell me how a driver will notice something is wrong with his car except for A) lack of downforce or B) lack of speed. A second loss in laptime could be the cause of so many things on these overcomplicated machines. Let the engineers do their job and let the drivers do theirs, or let’s just ban the first one and let the drivers put their car together too…

          1. @xtwl You can reduce my opinion to absurdity all you like, but the keywords “overcomplicated machines” is exactly why I think a radio ban would be worthwhile.

            1. @andae23 Oh, I agree it would be worth the watch. But would it be possible, or are we going to see even more driver tip toeing around completely afraid of overtaking because if they get some damage on the front wing they can’t cope with that unless an engineer tells them what to do. Or what about half the field failing to finish the race because of fuel, and they start lift and coasting half a mile before the corner…

            2. @andae23 I agree a radio ban would create some excitement and fun but I’d rather see the exact opposite and open it up again, create a live feed for us.

    5. Let them say what they want on the radio. FOM should be more selective in what they broadcast to us. If there’s something which we shouldn’t hear, then don’t broadcast it.

      1. +1 The race director/ FOM should be responsible for broadcasting messages which does not show drivers being coached. How difficult is it for BE/FOM to show their product in positive light?

        1. Graham Shevlin
          14th June 2015, 22:17

          So If i understand this correctly you are arguing in favour of television companies essentially deceiving viewers by hiding the extent of driver coaching from viewers. Have you any idea how iffy that sounds?

          1. I am in favour of freeing radio ban completely. Let drivers get the messages they used to get earlier before 2014 ban along with race director being more smarter in choosing what messages get broadcast. I am not saying to keep on broadcasting every ” lift and coast” “save fuel” ‘save your tyres” messages. For sure it looks bad. Its not like these messages are started to been given to drivers since 2014, it has been given way earlier than that as the article points out.

            All I am saying is keep the content a bit clean so as it doesnt show F1 in bad light and instead focus on other major problems.

            My idea might sound iffy to you, but this was the case before the internet took over and had household reach across the world.

      2. I think quite the opposite. I think they should be limited on what they can communicate but we should get to hear everything and not just what FOM decides.

    6. I like the idea of banning the radio to drivers. Old F1 drivers managed to drive without that, and Moto Gp works quite well without it. Pitboards should be enough to give essential messages to drivers.

      1. Well said. Too much coaching going on ,save fuel ,save tyres ,save brakes push a button here. These are supposed to be the best drivers not bloody pilots guiding a car around a track.
        The drivers should also stay on the track like they used to not run the kerbs because of the large run off areas. I agree with Kimi F1 now too safe and that has taken away a lot of excitement.

      2. In principle I like the idea of it being banned but the reality is that the cars are far more complex than the pre mid-1990 cars so a blanket ban wouldn’t work. I’m for limiting what the engineers can say.

    7. I have to disagree with Keith on this as a lot of the current issues come from broadcasting the pit to car radio. These ‘issues’ have been around longer than the broadcasting of pit to car radio and they’ll be here for the future. It’s short sighted to say that more information means more interest and excitement as a lot of people won’t like what they hear and a lot of headline grabbing reporters will use that to display a negative approach. Only way to solve these issues is banning pit to car radio completely with the drivers. See me comment below I posted on a previous article.

      “To me the biggest issue is broadcasting the radio. I honestly believe that a lot of these issues have come up since we now hear more and more radio conversations. Last year, the topic came up that the drivers were no longer driving but just being told what to do over the radio which then led to the FIA introducing a half-hearted ban on helping drivers in the race which isn’t currently enforced I believe.

      I said back in 2010 after the German Grand Prix when team orders was banned and we had the radio broadcast ‘Fernando is faster than you!’ that F1 should follow MotoGP and ban pit to car radio. Then the drivers would have to drive themselves, decide when to save fuel/teams fill the tanks full at the start of races. And for the issue of safety, the cars all now have displays which can show safety messages and signals to the driver which should be controlled by the FIA and not used by the team as a subtle way to communicate to the driver. The only form of communication from team to driver should be using the pit board.

      Some might say broadcasting radio communication adds another interest/dimension to the races but I think there are more negatives from people reacting to what they are hearing which they never used to hear but still went on. No radio will mean drivers driving fast, mistakes happening and more exciting races.”

    8. I vote yes. While there are some arguments that it would be a “sticking plaster”, it also provides something which has been pointed out as a good thing on this site previously: Unpredictability.

      We got flaky tyres as a direct result of the unpredictable 2010 Candian Grand Prix; a fascinating race because something that the teams had been in complete control over was suddenly out of their hands, behaving in ways they didn’t expect.

      Team radio’s main feature is that it allows desk-bound engineers to utterly dictate how drivers manage their race. Banning it won’t stop the need for fuel / tyre / brake saving, it will instead return us to a time when the same things were true, but it was down to the driver to do it, partially blind. The steering wheel can display all the time deltas, temperature reading, fuel levels, fuel rate it likes: the driver can only accept so much input and they are capable of making mistakes when interpreting that data, or reading things off the dash, we’ve seen them do it when speeding in the pitlane or missing a yellow flag marker. That doesn’t happen now because there are 30 people looking at those same data feeds and coming to communal decisions before there’s a direct need to act.

      Cut off the radio feed and you’ll start to see more mistakes, more misjudgements and more unpredictability. You’ll also start to see more of a gap between the truly great drivers who have spare capacity to manage these things, and the less talented (pay)drivers who have to be massaged through a lap. That’s overwhelmingly a good thing.

      What do we want to see, a mistake by a driver which shakes up the race and leads to something we weren’t expecting, or a message showing the behind the scenes debate which prevented that mistake from occurring?

      Pretty obvious if you ask me.

    9. Couldn’t care less about this (voted ‘no opinion’) but it’s nice you have made a “Click to reveal” button Keith. Now I can vote before reading your opinion on the matter.

    10. I just wish I could turn it off as well as the announcers. I would just like an ambient soundtrack. On the other hand it would be cool for the people that like it to have a way to listen to all of it like in NASCAR. Then you could choose exactly what you want and everybody would be happy. At least for a few minutes.

      1. I’d like to see it completely unrestricted & I’d love to have live team radio played out on the pit lane/in-car feeds… Its a bit tricky to do that on the world-feed because of swearing which could get some broadcasters in trouble (ITV went through an Ofcom investigation thanks to a bit of Fisichella radio in 2006).

        I think its easy to say that banning team radio would remove team instructions but thats ignoring the pit boards. If you banned team radio then teams would just work on ways of getting that information on the pit boards, In fact they already do with some of it as they don’t like sending some information over radio because other teams monitor it.

        In fact here is Nico Rosberg’s pit board from last year giving tyre saving (Tyre 1 would be code for management) & stint length (9 laps) information-
        And Kimi Raikkonen’s pit board giving Multi settings-

        1. @gt-racer, Sorry but I must partially disagree with you because of one form of message I never want to hear;
          Driver X; Boo hoo waah, Y (his teammate) is too fast you have to help me, how is he doing it ?
          Engineer; Use diff setting 2, emgine setting 3, brake setting 9, brake 20 meters later and use more kerb, on the straights switch to………………etc etc

    11. I voted with the majority…that team radio should be freed up. After all, we are in the social media environment where snippets of information are available globally within seconds. It seems a backwards step to control that with bans. What I would far prefer is for F1 to get back to it’s roots of being a sprint rather than a 2 hour endurance event, such that the radio banter will not constantly be about conservation and not racing…managing one’s way to the end. There is little sense that the drivers are taxed and performing miraculous feats out there. Rather, they’re just doing as they’re told in relatively slow cars on terrible tires meant to try to shake up the show which has not worked and in fact has provided processions this season as cars barely manage once within a few seconds of the car in front. The vast majority of passes are with fake DRS or driver vs other driver whose tires are shot. It’s manufactured ‘combat’ not real driver vs driver combat of the type that can be talked about for years, such as events in the past from a simpler driver vs driver time are still discussed to this day.

      Anyway, I’m being repetitious since now the drivers are finally chiming in to say the same thing. In spite of their need to be diplomatic and not appear to be running down the very entity that they work and play in and that makes them multi-millionaires, I get the impression they are so bored with today’s version of ‘racing’ that they are now speaking out more. And they should. How can one rate any of these drivers amongst the true Greats of the sport, when the regs don’t allow them or their cars to be pushed anywhere near any enthralling limits?

      1. @robbie cotd surely. Really well put. I don’t agree with what you say about it being a 2 hour endurance event, but I completely see where you are coming from, and agree that something needs to be done to fix it.

    12. What I’d really like to see is no team radios, but all the drivers’ radios hooked up together so that they can talk to each other while racing. That’ll improve the show

      1. That is an interesting idea, but I can see a few arguments escalating throughout the race!

    13. Team radio should not be banned because F1 is not ran in North Korea.
      Instead, they shoukd reduce the real time telemetry available to engineers. As simple as that.

      Let them see basic info, but ban the wheel speed sensors, g force sensors, steering angle sensors, throtle and brake sensors.
      Without that information they will just not be able to help the drivers because they will not know what is happening with the car. And why should they?
      Those sensors I mentioned are directly related to driver input, so the driver should be able to manage those variables. If a certain driver can’t cope with it, then F1 is not the place for him/her.

      In my opinion, don’t touch the radio. Limit what information is available to the engineers. I don’t get a call from Mercedes once a month saying I should lift and coast near the Harbout Bridge to save 10% fuel on my way to work. I can figure how to save fuel on my own, if I want.

      1. Without telemetry I believe many manufacturers would want to step back and withdraw from F1, because there is to much money invested there, for them not to be able to safeguard their cars and engines..
        So that would be impossible to implement from what I see..

    14. Was not an option in the vote but just ban live replay of team radio & allow the teams to release what ever they want during or post race.
      Just because a bunch of arm chair team strategists and engineers don’t like what they hear doesn’t mean it’s detrimental to the sport. As Keith wrote, team radio is not the problem, the issue is lack of fuel and inability to pass.

    15. Why is this even being discussed? This isn’t an issue with the sport. These kind of mickey mouse debates are exclusive to formula 1 and I think everyone has become too preoccupied with discussions on how to improve the spectacle. Its a motorsport not a soap opera, if its entertaining great, if it isn’t then don’t tamper with the rules so much that it becomes borderline mario kart. UEFA don’t change regs on the back of few boring scoreless draws. Imagine if they brought in a rule not allowing the manager to talk with his players mid-game or change tactics to try influence the teams performance/result? F1 and its governing bodies need to stop being so pedantic and start facing up to the real issues.

    16. i personally thought it was great that they published team radio of hamilton at monaco, which showed it was essentially his strategy call that cost him the race win. without the radio, we would only assume it was the teams fault.

      1. Nice revisionist history you did there with “essentially his strategy call that cost him the race win” no F1 historian would ever come to such a conclusion. from the information giving by FOM radio.

    17. Yes absolutely but not for the reasons you give. It won’t solve the current issues, for sure, but it will address the bigger point. We all understand that F1 is a team sport but we also all care more about the driver battle. Banning radio, aside from some practical issues around putting, means the team do there thing to prepare but the driver controls everything that happens on track.

    18. I am not sure of improving the show (has to be seen) but it will sure lessen the number of whiners here.

      If Hamilton/Rosberg didn’t save fuel in the Canadian GP and went to a stop on the last lap, the commentators would have gone bonkers and the fans would have gone ‘oh, he ran out of fuel, must have saved some during the race’ instead of complaining about all the ‘lift and coast’.

      I am all for Pit boards back in play giving only the information on the gap to the next guy & lap count. How you manage it, to complete the race must be left to the racer.

      1. But what about the safety aspect if pit to car radio is banned? What if someone has break issue and due to radio ban, driver couldn’t manage his breaks which leads to high speed crash? I am sure no one would want to see a fatality and I am also certain you did not intended for such thing in your comment.

        I think the best solution would be to free radio from any bans and make race director/FOM’s duty not to broadcast ” save fuel/save tyres” messages on world feed.

        I feel this is Bernie’s ploy to bring back old v8’s and completely diss current PU technology. He hates these engines and by asking race director to broadcast more of these messages, he can have fans support to his agenda. It is not like that these “lift and coast” , “save fuel”, Save tyres etc messages are starting to be given to drivers since 2014. They were given these messages earlier as well but they were not broadcasted this much as they are now.

        Surely if you dont want your product to succeed, you will find every way to show negative points and Bernie sure has power to do so.

        1. @mjf1fan Surely a brakes comment on the pit board would tell the driver to take care of his brakes likewise with fuel? And if they think the issue is terminal, they can always call him to the pits?

          I didn’t like the coaching that was going on in Canada telling them how many meters to lift off to save brakes etc. They must know it themselves how to manage the brakes/tires/fuel. After all they have 3 practice sessions to fine tune it to their needs.

          And yes, it will help if the messages broadcasted could be less critical of the sport itself. Not sure of the intentions of the person relaying these messages as it doesn’t put F1 in any bit of good light plus giving more fuel for the detractors.

          1. @evered7 Even I dont like the coaching that was going on in Canada. I hate ” take gear 4 at corner 10″ “lift 50 mtrs earlier ” etc messages. It is driver’s skill to know how to go fast around a circuit without getting these sort of messages.

            We would all like our drivers to be like gladiators and do all the stuff on their own, but with today’s complex cars it is difficult to do all on your own. Earlier generation cars didn’t have so many settings button on steering wheel, so they could have focused their driving in case of emergency like shortage of fuel or brakes on their limits. I still remember a message given to Button by his engineer on a race weekend either in 2013 or 2014 – ” Turn some dial 13 times and then the other dial 2 times to get on some engine mode” (he said something to this effect, not exact wordings) Now how would a driver remember such things if there is radio ban? Either he have to have a very good memory to learn all the codes or let him have team radio and go racing.

            I really dont know what would be the perfect solution for this, but I feel removing the radio ban and then filtering out messages would do just fine.

    19. Team radio isn’t freed-up because most comments are repetitive and the same across each team, so the race director chooses which to broadcast – I don’t think the unheard ones are that relevant. Apart from those hidden on purpose to add something to the FIA video reviews, but that’s a small percentage. Anyhow, team radio is one of the natural evolutions of technology which have helped the drivers but haven’t affected the racing too much.

      1. The natural evolution of technology would be to just let the engineers handle all the carsettings over a radiolink.

        I say ban all types of radiocommunication including telemetry both ways (thevery basics like position on track, speed, throttle ect. is ok ofc). Only safty messages should be allowed and all racingrelated communication should be done via pitboards.

    20. ColdFly F1 (@)
      14th June 2015, 15:49

      I like simple and extreme.
      Either (preferred) free it all up. All teams, journalists, fans have access to all messages real-time. No more guessing what else was said etc.
      Or ban it 100% and go back to solely pit boards. Would be fun, but why go back in time, and we’d miss out on a lot of insights.

      The worst solution is a partial ban (what we have today), a partial (!) person to decide what we can/cannot hear (what we also have today), and a time delay (and also that we have today).
      Next FOM/FIA decides that all radio messages have to be submitted 3-fold in writing before being approved.

    21. No of course not. Thakfully you hold the same opinion @keithcollantine

    22. I haven’t voted because what I really want don’t have the option to represent it and I have a strong preference on this so no opinion is also not the right vote for me.

      My stance is actually opposite from Keith’s, it’s make the boring stuff for viewers is not broadcasted. Many people complained is not because old times don’t have fuel or tire saving, but because no one outside the pit know how much they save. What we have now is too many armchair experts saying (and whining) on how races should be done without having real racing experience themselves (track days or amateur races). FOM already have a self “censor” body that only broadcast select messages so instead of messing up with team operations that hard to regulate, not to mention having unclear rules wording and possible safety risk, why not make the changes on how FOM broadcast it. This means there is no risk of cheating on teams to bypass some of banned messages and the (arguably uneducated) viewers doesn’t need to hear those messages. Also we probably can hear more interesting thing that happens on other teams instead of only hearing Mercedes and Ferrari radio 90% of the time.

      Also why I disagree with @keithcollantine solution is because it doesn’t solve the problem. A more diehard fans like us will love to hear more of team radios but even then if all is open probably we will be overwhelmed and as result only following few teams/driver radio. It also create new problem where teams will also employ people just to hear other teams radio to know their strategies or problems which actually reducing more of driver role in the race. And lastly since all of it wont be broadcasted on TV (the article suggest online media) then the usual fans will still hear what they hear now, e.g. fuel saving, brake saving, etc.

    23. Yeah I agree with Keith – put it all on a web page and let us listen. I never noticed any difference in the driving anyway. I know some people thought the ban hurt Rosberg, but I didn’t see anything, I reckon it just coincided with a Lewis overdriving Q3 less.

      The issue in F1 is the stuff that does make a difference yet we don’t get to know about. Diff settings, ES use and charging, fuel status, temperatures…

      “Sticking Plaster” is spot on. Charlie is not that bright, is part of the F1 problem. His initial radio rule was so unworkable he had to backtrack immediately, to the kludge we have now.

    24. Generally I think way to much of the radio messages are revealed during the races nowadays. The amount of them is actually hurting F1 I would say. Ofcourse people are interested in drivers reactions on collisions, strategies etc… but the more is revealed, the less of the “magic” remains in F1 ( same apllies for interviews, nobody is interested in hearing the same thing from a driver ten times over a racing weekend, just ask him once, on Thursday the best, and then leave them be and do their work ! ).

      Banwise – I would still allow teams to warn their drivers, when the fuel is lacking or tires are overheating/ loosing temp., but that has to be all. No advise on how they should save it, it could produce some interesting strategies amongst the drivers, hence they know the tracks they race on pretty well. :)

      When it comes to the fuel, I have a proposal, why don´t force teams to fuel the cars fully ( 100 l ) so they would have to be more agressive and burn the fuel in order to not carry it to the chequered flag unnecessarily ? They would be heavier at the start of course, but a lot of lift-and-coasting could be avoided, and teams will have to use higher engine modes, which the have mainly for qualifyings, a thus face to some potencial breakdowns of power units.

    25. Robert McKay
      14th June 2015, 17:01

      No. The show would be the same, you’d just have less understanding of why the show was the way it was.

    26. Just give them the amount fo time, that is available to talk on the radio.

      This would mena, that only the most important messages would reach the drivers. And that would be enough. Because there are too many now – like almost taching drivers how to drive.

    27. I think banning team radio would hand responsibility back to the driver.

      F1 has always had tyre and fuel management, but it’s always been down to the driver to control it- these days, the driver is merely driving to a delta time provided by the race engineer. Removing that engineer feed will mean the driver has to sort it out himself.

      While I agree there’s an issue with the amount of lift & coasting and tyre management within F1 at the moment, I wouldn’t want to remove those elements completely as car and race management are important elements of a great racing driver.

      Radio comms could then be restricted to FIA channels only for safety reasons.

      1. @pt747 – exactly. Car and tyre management are fine – the driver’s have to be responsible for it through rather than the pit wall.

    28. Just ban the pit wall activity completely. I watch the race for the CARS and DRIVERS. The pit wall jokers are not needed. Name the last time they helped ……. Monaco?

    29. I really don’t understand the need to turn F1 like it was 30 years ago.
      Things change, accept it.
      Nostalgia is bad thing sometimes.

    30. No it won’t. Like Keith said information should be free for all. Just let the drivers decide how to implement it and even if they are advised on how to implement it, it’s still up to them to pull it off. Aging like Keith said journalists only want it for their own self interest and fans too, because they can no longer spin their fabricated heroic driver tales.

      1. *aging-again

        1. No you’re right, I am ageing :-)

    31. Part of the problem here is F1 is actually a bit boring, so it needs things to create interest, e.g. good TV commentators, interviews with drivers that are no longer in the race due to a crash or engine failure, etc.
      Team radio is part of this, it can help reduce the tedium of watching a 4 cars being impeded by one, or a squabble as to who should have 16th place. If you removed Team Radio then you’d need something else to fill in that vacuum, such as an analysis of what the Pit boards say, or who the corporate guests are, or crowd shots, etc. I think the focus should be on the race, and not on who came along.
      I think something like guaranteed air time given to each team would help, at least from a marketing point of view. Manor, for example, only got onto Team Radio because of their altercation with a Lotus car. Even if it was just one minute per team, that would fill up 20 or so minutes of a two hour race (+ award ceremony).

    32. I know what would improve the show.

      6 more cars.

    33. Ban radio except caution messages.
      Ban DRS
      Make the cars a bit wider with bigger tyres
      Eliminate the extreme front wings and just have a simple one
      Increase a bit the fuel flow

      Bottom line… increase mechanical grip .. reduce aero and the show will go up.

    34. Radio is not whats wrong with the sport, although it still could be tightened up on info relayed to the driver.
      I think there are too many electronic aids available to the driver, which almost mean its the pit garage doing the driving…..and last year in one race, vettel had to change gear to save fuel when there was a bleep in his ear at a certain rev limit…where is the driver skill???

    35. Michael Brown
      14th June 2015, 21:42

      I think removing the need for such fuel and tire saving is more important than banning radio. Banning radio would be like introducing DRS; it doesn’t address the root of the problem.

    36. Ok so a few questions – The problem that lead to this discussion is drivers being told not to race constantly on the radio. There are lots of comments saying it wouldn’t work – what is the solution then?

    37. 1) In all other sports each player knows the position of their opponent, if F1 radio comms provides that information. It should be free and uncontrolled. 2) The radio comms provides another level of interest for fans and insight into drivers attitudes/mentality 3) Thsi si not the real issues, money distribution is, level the playing field and the sport will improve.

    38. Would be better to cut all the tech the cars have, get rid off all the different fuel modes, switching to this mode & that mode, give them one mode.
      The reason they need all this info is because of all the driver aids in the cars now.
      Give the cars a set of tires that can last the whole race & enough fuel to last the race & send them off.
      Seems that the aim of F1 is to see who can get around the track & complete the set number of laps using the least amount of energy, what’s the point in that, may as well just have them race one full lap, that would use a tiny amount of fuel, better still instead of using all that fuel flying the teams all over the world, have the drivers race each other online.

      1. @alan77

        The reason they need all this info is because of all the driver aids in the cars now.

        What driver aids is that?

    39. F1 is a team sport. Not a one man show. I don’t see any reason why the team shouldn’t be allowed to instruct their driver however they see fit.

    40. They just need to change or relax the formula the team radio is just the reality of trying to “race” within the box they have painted the teams into

    41. I voted No, team radio should be freed up completely.

      Make it NASCAR style where fans can tune into any driver’s radio .Bernie can even make it paid service for a nominal fee .

    42. It saddens me to know that the pinnacle of motorsport has been reduced to this. Banning team radio would have no impact on the sport. If you want to save fuel consumption and impose a limit, give the drivers the freedom to be informed of how much fuel they need to save and when they can use more. What is the good of seeing 13 DNFs from fuel exhaustion. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    43. Totally with Keith here. It would actaully be quite amazing to have access to a feed of choice.

    44. I would like all radio to be available in text form on the internet as soon as it can be transcribed, which with auto-transcribers helping, could be very soon (probably sooner than the lap-and-a-half it seems to take for radio to be broadcast).

      Having full transcripts for all drivers appear as soon as possible has two benefits; it gives an easily-translatable, clearer view of what is going on to those fans sufficiently interested to want to know that level of detail (for all participants equally), and it means the broadcasters can be given that transcript to help them decide which radio to play back to fit the stories they are trying to tell.

      Narratives are at the heart of building interest and F1 races typically have many narratives from which a broadcast team may wish to select. And the broadcasters seem better at figuring out what sort of stories need telling, and the timing of those stories, than FOM (not surprising, since understanding narratives isn’t in FOM remit but is in journalists’ purview). Besides, it’s literally impossible to broadcast all the audio used in a race during a live broadcast as there is typically more radio spoken than there is time in a race. And that’s before we start discussing watersheds…

      I’m fine with the audio being broadcaster-only until post-race, to fit in with the copyright framework that currently exists in F1. Being able to tune into a driver’s radio would be interesting but is only ever likely to be a minority tool (not to say it wouldn’t be a good idea, just that this area of broadcasting has bigger priorities). However, any broadcaster that wants to supply all the audio, has the bandwidth to pull it off (perhaps by additional online channels) and is willing to pay any appropriate FOM fees should be permitted to do so. (I’d like broadcasters to be able to do the same for onboard cameras too).

      Finally, I’d like there to be a one-way race control-to-drivers radio so that important race control announcements can be given directly without risk of backchat. This would be available on the same principle as all other radio, with the possible exception of the ability of FOM to impose its broadcast at key moments minus the delay since race controllers wouldn’t be saying anything objectionable in a broadcast sense. This is akin to how FOM currently imposes radio broadcast of its excerpts now, something it would not need to do for driver/engineer interaction under the model I propose.

      I don’t expect radio formats to fix the racing, but they can enhance our enjoyment of it if done correctly. Simply because there are big problems to fix in F1 does not mean attention cannot be placed upon smaller problems also.

      1. “Narratives are at the heart of building interest and F1 races typically have many narratives from which a broadcast team may wish to select. And the broadcasters seem better at figuring out what sort of stories need telling, and the timing of those stories, than FOM” << Perfectly summed up!

    45. So on the one hand you have people saying F1 is a team sport and if that is true then the driver is just another small cog in the machine. On the other hand you have people saying we need drivers who are characters and need to connect with the public. Now the reality is you cannot have it both ways. I personally feel a F1 driver who can drive the car alone, with no “coaching”, and “bring it home” no matter what state the car is in, is someone who deserves respect. This years drivers may well be able to do that, but I guess we will never know.

    46. In terms of the teams and drivers actually using radio; no i don’t think it should be banned. However, it should be used much more effectively and sparingly by FOM. Sport has to create a visceral feeling to keep people on the edge of their seats, like any other form of storytelling. F1 may not be as “unscripted” as we’d like to believe, but it mostly felt like it.

      In football you can’t hear the half time team talk, but you know it happens. At a concert you can’t hear the click track keeping the performer in time, but you know it is there. These boring necessities are elements that keep “the show” going, but not everyone needs/wants to know about them. Less team radio would allow the audience to build the story in their heads, and the commentators to tell us what they think is happening. Often the guesswork is entertaining in its own right. On the flipside “I’ve lost this race haven’t I?” was a brilliant example of what it can bring to the table, but the reality is these messages are few and far between. I looked through the Canada transcript, and I could only find 2 or 3 examples of messages that really needed to be broadcast.

      In the end, team radio is a bit like an extras section on a DVD where the film-makers reveal how it was done. It’s all quite interesting as added content, but not as part of the main event. Far too often poorly selected team radio messages neutralizes any bubbling anticipation. These messages can make it feel like the outcome of the race will be entirely predictable, even if it isn’t. Either way, any lingering suspense is quickly wiped away by these messages. Once the suspense is gone “the show” is completely destroyed. A certain amount of blissful ignorance is necessary to keep things exciting in entertainment.

      TL;DR = Some things are better left to the imagination.

    47. AS Kimi would say, leave me alone I know what I am doing!!! this says it all, or should say it all. AND by the by, how about a clutch pedal so they can change gears the proper way!! Thanks, Norris

    48. Don’t ban team radio, ban the lap time target for drivers under normal racing conditions, let them choose how hard to push based on how the car is performing.

    49. A total ban is the only way to go!
      As it stands the ‘Drivers World Championship’ should be awarded to the entire race day crew, as they ‘advise’ the driver on every matter except when to fart.
      The only communication to drivers should come from the Clerk of the Course on safety matters, via a single secure channel.
      Pit boards seem to work perfectly well in MotoGP.

    50. Have more team radio. Have radio from race control direct to the cars as we see in IndyCar and in the WEC. I completely agree with Keith’s comments. It is important to have these communications for strategy purposes, for safety cars, for debris and in case something on the car is about to fail, so therefore it should remain for safety reasons too.

    51. “http://“>
      F1 has far too many rules, and rules can be circumvented has demonstrated over the years, there is also a hidden expense side that is most often overlooked, so about radio communication, i would ban all communication except for safety issues
      mostly regarding tires, the driver should decide the tire change, the driver can contact the team to alert them of the imminent tire change and any other event but the team should restricted to a single word reply.
      the aerodynamics situation is ridiculous, these are not airplanes, that technology is not used in auto developments or design, it is only use is F1 to increase the cornering speeds, and other dynamic functions that are shared with suspension, brakes, chassis, and other part so what is the use of throwing millions at that technology, a totally useless exercise, waste of monies, so the effect of the aerodynamics should be limited to what is required to maintain car stability at high speeds, one more thing the driver should have the liberty to ask the team to adjust the devises during the race, to compensate for weather, temperature, changes and tires performance,

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