F1 Driver coaching via radio – what is and is not allowed in 2015
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  13 Feb 2015   |  3:49 pm GMT  |  263 comments

Drivers racing the 2015 season will still be subject to the same radio message restrictions imposed by the FIA last year, with the governing body adding that a “a few more” may be included before the start of the season.

Last year, in response to a belief that information being relayed to drivers by engineers concerning performance was against the spirit of article 20.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which state that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”, the FIA contemplated a blanket ban on radio traffic between teams and drivers concerning car and driver performance.

However, following consultation with teams, officials modified their position, saying, at the Singapore Grand Prix, that it would delay restricting car performance messages until this season due to the complexity of introducing the ban at short notice and the potential for differing effects among teams. The FIA issued a revised advisory specifying a range of messages that would no longer be permitted.

According to an FIA spokesman the F1 Strategy Group has now ruled that the current restrictions are sufficient and that race officials will expect teams to continue to respect the technical directive issued in Singapore.

“The Strategy Group, from whom the original request to limit what messages could be delivered to the drivers, now feel that the balance is right by only limiting messages that can be considered driver “coaching”,” said the FIA spokesman. “Therefore, the only messages we will not permit are those listed in TD/041-14 from last year.”

He added, however, that there is still scope for further message types to be prohibited.

“We may add a few to this before the start of the season and re-issue the TD,” he said.

The issue of driver coaching is of particular relevance this year to teams such as Toro Rosso, who are fielding two rookies, including F1’s youngest driver, 17-year-old Max Verstappen.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 14.33.35

Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost was strong opponent of the coaching ban, with the team boss saying last September that the changes contained in the technical directive.

“The changes are absolutely not necessary,” he said during the FIA’s press conference in Singapore.

“All the information the drivers get is also entertainment for the people in front of the TV to hear,” he added.

“For us of course it’s a big disadvantage because the more un-experienced the driver is there’s more information you have to give him.

“For me it’s absolutely nonsense what we are discussing here because in all the other kinds of sports a coach gives some informations, instructions to a football player, for example, on the sideline or wherever.

“This does not mean that the sportsman is not able to do his job, he can do his job, he does do his job, but maybe he can do it in a better way, it’s just a performance improvement. Therefore I don’t understand it.”

Under FIA technical directive TD/041 messages concerning the following are not permitted (either by radio or pit board)

           Driving lines on the circuit.
–           Contact with kerbs.
–           Car set up parameters for specific corners.
–           Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver.
–           Speeds in corners compared to another driver.
–           Gear selection compared with another driver.
–           Gear selection in general.
–           Braking points.
–           Rate of braking compared to another driver.
–           Rate of braking or application of brakes in general.
–           Car stability under braking.
–           Throttle application compared to another driver.
–           Throttle application in general.
           Use of DRS compared with another driver.
–           Use of any overtake button.
–           Driving technique in general.

What do you think? Is this the right level of coaching or should it go further? Leave your comments below

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Under FIA technical directive TD/041 messages concerning the following are not permitted (either by radio or pit board)

Now we know why twitter was invented 🙂


Obviously you're being facetious, but it does highlight how pointless most of these directives are - the teams will find a way around it.


No doubt, but the fun will be finding how they get around it and then watching them all protest each others solutions.


Personally,I would love to see a Semaphore system in place on the pit wall 😉


Two things

1. Innovate and change the pit wall message board. Hold a huge TV screen, type anything you want.

2. If Tost wants, he can shout from the pit wall (football style), the cars are not noisy anyway



Like a Village People YMCA kind of system?

Yes, that could definitely work 🙂


And those big screens on the driving wheels? 😉


Good old beastly F1 cars.

Teenage boys drive them and their daddies tell them where to accelerate and brake as they drive.

Modern F1 is a joke. No wonder the real men are in GT, Lemans and WRC.

The sooner the F1 grid is full of pubescent boys pushing buttons, the sooner we can forget about it and watch real motor sports.


Twitter only needs a little screen 😉


I can't see them being able to police this effectively, so anyone watching on tv is just going to be more confused.

Just ban radios completely and go back to pit boards and let drivers think for themselves for a change.


I very much agree with the spirit of this rule and what its trying to achieve.... but its pointless as it only refers to coaching during an actual session, in between practice sessions and qually the race engineers will still work with drivers on these points eg best place to change gear, race line etc etc obviously you cant police what drivers and engineers discuss off line so I don't really see the point of having the rule


100% agree


Why? Nothing wrong with driver-team communication.


That's where I stand also.


I agree with you in essence, however with the following caveat. Radio communication should be allowed but only for safety reasons such as flags, hazards, safety car as well as rule enforcement for penalties. The race director should be in control of this and only he or an assigned steward can use the radio.


Sure, and make them drive their horse and buggy, too.


LOL! I see your point actually...


That will always be countered with arguments of safety. I think having a universal radio feed from race control is the solution. The teams and drivers can't talk to each other, there is one feed that all the drivers receive and race/safety/individual car instructions are broadcast over it for all to hear.


No team to car message except when informing of a fault or retiring and they have to go through race control, so every other car hears the message too.


Of course it would be the end of quotable radio quotes, no more leave me alone I know what I'm doing!


Perhaps drivers and engineers could learn how to speak Klingon as not to be understood or deciphered?

Or perhaps speak "Jezza" over the radio - making deep, bassy, guttural roars and shrieks that are code for an instruction? For example "GET OUT OF WAY MY HAMMOND!!!" could mean a bit more rear brake bias?


Anyways if teams want to take a chance passing coded msgs like Ferrari did with Alonso and Massa in the 2010 german gp they can risk getting fined or probably get a grid penalty or points and position taken away. There will always be the chance of some disgruntled worker ratting on them ala Nelson Piquet Jnr (Crashgate)


Nice one GB. But coded messages are not allowed either. Anyone have any idea what sanctions will be enforced on teams if they are caught passing info to their drivers. Are they going to get detention. Will drivers teams be forced to stay at the track after the race 😛


So, we're not going to hear something like "Nico, the Queen of Hearts is the third card from the top"?


If this is just about stopping F1 looking like a bad show to the public when drivers are being given lessons....why don't FOM just filter out these messages?



If FOM hadn't played the hamilton rosberg messages last year with breaking metres etc we wouldn't be having these discussions.

FOM again are influencing the direction of the sport through poor decision making.


too easy!


Here is an idea: Radios off during Quali.

At least give us a period when these boys are off the teat completely.


I cannot wait for the new season to get under way. It promises to be "croustillant".



Which season does radio and telemetry feedback take over? Is there an "ON" season? It would be nice to know what year is the last where the decisions and control was much more in driver's hands vs. bunch of geeks with laptops in the back of garage.

Craig Bickerstaff

That's not very realistic, the driver has to be able to say things like these tyres have gone off or we need to switch to the super softs or I'm coming in now so that the team are ready, the team also has to be able to give them instructions like "turn the car off before it breaks too much that you can't race tomorrow"


Yeah, this. No matter how much people dislike it this is a team sport and the pit wall needs to communicate with the driver.


thumbs up to that.


To sum it up: "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing."


..and in the opposite corner, the equally immortal words of Rob Smedley:

"If Felipe Baby didn't need it, I wouldn't do it", ie, give him driving advice by radio


It all seems pretty pointless banning the above items. Once in the pits the driver will have access to all this information anyway and by the time the race comes around will be on top of these things.

More rules from the FIA to make it seem like they're doing something, without actually doing anything!


The car changes a lot during a race, with the fuel level going down, track getting colder/hotter, rain/no rain. The ban is more to do with enginners sharing settings among drivers. Lets say that Hamilton finds a set of settings on his own during a particular part of the race that gives him an advantage ove Rosberg, its unfair for the engineer to pass those settings to Rosberg. That's what the ban is about IMO. Drivers should be able to figure out how to drive the car without the enginners help...


Not so sure. Race day is often very different to practice and quail. Especially if temperatures are different or if t rains. I think it's a good thing that the drivers drive the car unaided by on track coaching. By the time the race comes they 'should' be on top of it, but this ensures that is they who have to remember what to do, not some guy in the pit lane with a piece of paper and computer models.


"Once in the pits the driver will have access to all this information anyway and by the time the race comes around will be on top of these things."

Did you watch any of the first half of last season?


What is the point carting round all these crew members and having analytics teams working back home at the factory if you cannot deliver any of that information to the driver at the most pivotal time, when he's on track?

Imagine football without a Manager shouting at the sideline?

Speaking of which The English Premier League is worth a lot more in viewing rights alone than the whole of F1.. If F1 wants to alienate the new generation who love having information at their fingertips? Then continue ruining the sport with all these hampering regulations. Even Football has given into the use of technology with Goal Line Tech, F1 is going backwards. Sounds more and more like Whacky Racers every year...


This is a good thing - drivers driving, not having constant updates from a computer doing all the thinking for them! Comparisons with football are daft (from a coaching and financial side) - I can see more similarities to tennis, or athletics.


+1. And sports like tennis do NOT allow coaching during a match. That is the whole POINT of a competition...to see what you have in you.


At least Whacky Races allowed engineers to deploy alternative technologies! Dick Dastardly and co would have been out of jobs if FIA regulations had been applied!


I'm sure if the managers want to stand on the pit wall and shout instructions to their drivers as they pass, that's perfectly acceptable. 🙂

When the FA allows managers to speak to their footballers via an earpiece your point would be valid.


Maybe. What about professional boxing?


Well that should stop Rosberg cribbing off Hamiltons setups & driver lines,

though it still doesn't help that Mercedes still allows the sharing of telemetry in the Pit Garage.

Perhaps Rosbergs trying to listen to Hamiltons breathing around circuits next.

Or his just into listening to deep breathing on his headphones (whatever floats his boat 😀 )


At least Nico won't be able to ask his race engineer Tony Ross anymore, as he did at Monza last season......." Give me driving instructions."


@ Pkara That whole thing with Rosberg using Hamilton's data and info was ridiculous it made him look real bad. Wasn't he suppose to be the most intelligent one? What a joke. The natural ability of Hamilton is what Beat Rosberg and I'm not sure what he can do to change that.


Yes he's intelligent, but only at cheating.


Well said Michael 🙂


Very true!

And there is another silver lining, it may curtail the dreaded Hamilton whining when he isn't happy about how his race is going.

Every cloud and all that 🙂


Ooops 😀

To season = this season



Dave C

So you have never heard other drivers whinning.

Rosbergs the Prize whiner followed by sadly Jensen (being a Brit drivers fan)

then its Vettel & Mad Maldo then its Grosjean followed by Lewis.

But there's nothing like a bit of whingeing so long asits representative of the race situation.

Better than total silence.

Though I'd rather not hear Rosberg talk at all that would be a blessing in the big scheme of things.

I hope Ferrari & Wiliams get involved in the Championship to season just to make life uneasu for

The Monaco G'G'G'German

Kyvat hopefully will give Ricciardo the same hassle Riccardo gave Vettel.

Force India again are running their 2014 car at next test...Vijay needs to cough up some dosh for his engines & whatever else is going on at Force India HQ!


At least Nico won't be able to ask his then race engineer Tony Ross anymore, as he did at Monza last season......." Give me driving instuctions."


At least Nico won't be able to ask his then race engineer Tony Ross anymore, as he did at Monza last season....." Give me driving instructions."


As much as I like Rosberg, that's pathetic really considering he is a professional F1 racing driver.

+1 for the ban.


So what? Who drove, Rosberg or Tony Ross?


Unless of course there is a safety issue......and judging by last year anything can be phrased in such a way as to be addressing a safety issue.

This is just another diversion, addressing an issue that doesn't exist except in the minds of the FIA. Meanwhile, all the big ticket issues sit quietly in the "too hard basket"!


It is an issue that does exist as per the regulations - the driver should drive the car unaided. This clarifies what that means. It's a good thing. But yes, there are many other issues that need addressing. But the business model of F1 is not regulated to my knowledge by the FIA.


Spot on. The pinnacle of navel gazing.


Two points i miss on the list:

- tyre temperatures

- fuel saving

The driver should be able to view these data on his steering wheel by pushing a button and then should decide on his own if he needs to drive slower during certain parts of the track or if fuel saving is needed.


Analysing telemetry data at 300kmh. Yeah... NAH!

Schumacher may have been able to do it, maybe. But no one else.


Perhaps they need a graphic that shows the tires as four rectangles arranged 2x2.

When the tires are too cold they could be blue, when operating temperature - green, and when starting to overheat - orange. And at Silverstone when about to blow - red.


And what about when to harvest and use KERS?


I imagine every team will have code words or signals for various bits of information they want to pass to the driver when required. If the FIA wants to ban communication then BAN it! No radios or electronic communication at all!

And lets make the driver get out and change his own tires on the pit stop too!!!!

What ever happened to Formula One being the Pinnacle of Motorsport, the Best of the Best, the fastest and most powerful cars!! I see a limitation of rules due to someone wanting to restrict these cars and drivers from breaking a fingernail to the point of making the cars "just another race group!".....

If the FIA was in charge of military planes the fighter pilots would be flying single prop trainer planes.......


The pinnacle of motorsport should have the best drivers and the best drivers shouldn't need to be 'coached' around a lap. As to your other points; the cars are the fastest - not in a straight line - there are many super cars that can go 230mph+ for example, but what other car is faster around a lap? There will be penalties for code words that infringe the rules - they won't be hard to spot i.e. "Jenson, the eagle needs his talons tweaked" or "Sebastian, don't forget to give your mother a birthday card". What do you mean about the 'fingernail' remark? Safety? That is a very pertinent issue at the moment don't you think? and whatever can be done to make the sport safer should be done.


Multi 21 Seb Multi 21!


Exactly! Are aircraft pilots less pilots because they are aided from ground?


ptrfjd You're missing the point of the ban. And your comments don't make any sense. Aircraft pilots aren't racing....



Driving F1 is no less complex operation than flying a plane, especially when you have to find a fraction of a second to make up for lost time. And do you mean F1 drivers should not be safe due to fact they don’t have passengers?

Maybe you think every one of them need to be Superman to be acknowledged as a sportsman? They are only humans, competing in a very technical sport. They NEED information. Even Kimi.


That doesn't make any sense. Aircraft pilots aren't in a competition, their job is to get from a-b as safely and efficiently as possible and they need outside assistance to do so. In an era where f1 is being accused of exactly the same thing, this moves the sport away from those comparisons in a healthy manner.


For sure, the driver coaching ban was the right way to go for it's abnormal for coaching to take place in the sport.

While coaching is legal and necessary in some sports like boxing and cycling (as vast distances are involved here), the vast majority of sports don't have coaching like tennis, golf, athletics, swimming, skiing etc.

Also, coaching in F1 gives the impression that the engineers are the ones that do the actual driving of the cars which isn't what the fans grow up thinking about their heroes.

As for further coaching to be outlawed, I recall there was talk of banning the off the grid settings which may play havoc as wrong settings would leave a driver stalling on the grid.

So not sure if this will make it in the revised rules as the teams were worried this ban would ruin their engines.

Regards the Torro Rosso rookies, if they have the talent, no problem will be big enough for their young shoulders, only problem is people with Max's name usually have a negative connotation added to their name.


What? Mad?


@ Wade Parmino

That's right!


Also, coaching in F1 gives the impression that the engineers are the ones that do the actual driving of the cars which isn’t what the fans grow up thinking about their heroes.

The cars and engineers have been the hero's for several years. Lewis Hamilton in response during an interview (2011) said 70% of the package is the car in response to why Vettel was so quick. Now with the Merc it could be argued that in 2014 it was 80%.

So even Max Chilton may have won a GP in the Merc. So the DWC has become more meaningless over some years now, cause its all about the car. Get rid of the some of the driver aids, aero and telemetry and then the WDC will actual start to mean something again.


Completely agree with you that it is the engineers and designers who are the heroes.

The drivers race against their team mate and that is about it.

" Yay I won the WDC in the dominant car, now I've proven I am faster than my one other team mate.... and for that I get 20m+".

Would love to see a poll of who is really looking forward to this season.


@ Gregg

But F1 has always been this way. Max Chilton could have won with the 1988/1989 Mclarens too


I have great difficulty understanding how one person with the name 'Max' can cast a cloud over everyone sharing that name.

Tell me, is that why you use a pseudonym?


Then you never watched Mad Max??


It's better than being called Min 😉

As far as the rookies go I tend to think they might be in the best position - As of right now they're coming in with the new rules so they haven't actually had to rely on the radio yet as opposed to some of the "veterans" who will be missing it big time.


@ Quercus

But it's more than one person as the legend begun with movie.

As for my nickname, I use it because it's cool.


All of this is nonsense, it is only information. At the end of the day the driver has to decide what to with it. How the driver use this information is based upon their skills and experience they have behind the wheel.

Kimi notoriously rejects a lot of information given to him; other drivers like to know everything just so they try options.

I am not sure as a fan why this is receiving so much focus


"Just because someone tells you to do something does not necessarily mean that you have the skill to do it. So, if I tell you brake later into turn 3 but you are not able to “feel” the brakes effectively and lock up then what ?"

I think you are doing these drivers a discredit. They are supposed to be the 20 best drivers in the world (debatable, I know...). They need to feel the brakes to determine their own braking points - when an engineer tells them when to brake you are taking away that need to 'feel'.


"How the driver use this information is based upon their skills and experience they have behind the wheel. "

Well if somebody tells you to "Brake later at turn 3", there's only really one way *to* use said information...



I can't work out if you're arguing with me or against? The tone of your comment appears to be in favour of driver coaching, but all the reasons you listed are negative.


Just because someone tells you to do something does not necessarily mean that you have the skill to do it. So, if I tell you brake later into turn 3 but you are not able to "feel" the brakes effectively and lock up then what ?

You still need the skill to do it. Using gears is also a matter of choice, experience drivers often short shift when required. Or stay in a lower gear to maintain grip through corner exits.


Exactly. - 'you can brake 15m later into turn one and use gear 3 through turn 5' takes an element of skill away from the drivers. We have world champions of the last 6 years accused of only being able to do so because they had a superior car. This helps those in lesser cars close the gap through skill and opens the possibility of a driver winning in a poorer car. It also helps differences between team mates to be more apparent too.


You mean you haven't heard the suggestion that Rosberg wants to know every detail of what Hamilton is doing in order to match his times?


F1 drivers and nearly all team sports have always done this. Surely you have been in a team at some time in your life and compared your performance against a team mate and sked for tips to improve????

F1 is a team sport no matter how much fans want to believe it is just their darling driver out there making it all happen by themselves...


But this should be for the team to decide, if they want to pass on tips for Nico, why not, I'd far rather a close fight anyway.


EVERY driver wants to know what his team mate and other drivers (which he considers they are his opponents) are doing while he is racing them. I am not fan of Rosberg, but his behaving is absolutely natural.


To be fair, we also heard Hamilton getting tips on where Rosberg was saving time on his laps.

Then again, if I were Rosberg's engineer, I'd have developed hearing problems after China last year, when Rosberg complained about having to read the fuel levels every few laps and said "Yeah, I'm tired of doing that, so I'm not going to do it any more".


@Querus, you might remember that a certain Mr L Hamilton infamously tweeted a comparison of his telemetry to Jenson Button's when he wanted to complain about his wing settings compared to his McLaren teammate at a GP at Spa (in 2012 IIRC).

Despite what a solid core of Hamilton fans want to believe, Nico Rosberg was not the first nor is he the only driver to compare (and learn from) his teammate's data. For as long as F1 teams have had access to data, drivers have been looking at what their teammate is doing.


Another fake, wishy-washy, dreary compromise. I think they should either have radios and embrace the concept fully, or do away with them (except perhaps for a link to race control for safety) and let them race unaided.


The messageing leading up to the ban was heavy handed. this is supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport and if the drivers need help driving they shouldn't be here.


‘. . . the driver must drive the car alone and unaided’ . . .

Yes – and he should design and build it too?

No, FIA + F1 Strategy group – forget it.

This is the 21st century, technology rules and the garagistas are long-gone.

Allow unrestricted race communication.

The way F1 is going with all its rule-tweaking silliness I wish Google would sponsor an experimental entry using an autonomous vehicle –

Now that would be entertaining


If you look they already have that and it's called Google Drive 🙂


Indeed! Hence my suggestion.

Google also owns the company that engineers these elegant beasts . . .


They would leave Roscoe eating dust.


It's a ream sport. They should allow all communication unrestricted.

The real stars never needed much radio advice.

If a driver needs coaching, let him be coached. He will be diminished in the eyes of supporters of F1. It is not an issue that needed intervention.


A "ream" sport. yeah, I suspect Marussia would agree with that statement.



..... someone keeps changing my "r"s to "t"s


Well,saw your right index finger haggling with the middle for room.Better talk to them.


I wish they had stuck to the full fat ban. But I am not surprised the teams have successfully lobbied to have it watered down.

The teams say the sport must listen to the fans, but when it comes to it their self interest overwhelms the greater good.


"The teams say the sport must listen to the fans..."

...who must listen to the drivers who must listen to the engineers who must listen to the teams who must listen to the sport who must listen to the fans and around and around we go...no wonder nothing gets done 🙂



And every one does listen to Bernie...even CVC!


Maybe we could have live decisions made by fans voting? 'Should Alonso brake later into turn 2 or not?' Vote now!!!!!! They really would be listening to the fans then!


Agree with all the things under the ban except the sector times as sometimes if u know someone is faster than u it pushes u to drive harder. And they should not ban coaching during free practices only during the race. As they going to read the telemetry traces anyway. Its a mute point any way as some bright spark will come along with bigger displays on the steering wheel or implement a dashboard that will automatically relay that info to the driver. I have an even better idea that will accomplish that same task that wouldn't need it to be added to the body work of the car but I won't share it just yet




Anyways if teams want to take a chance passing coded msgs like Ferrari did with Alonso and Massa in the 2010 german gp they can risk getting fined or probably get a grid penalty or points and position taken away. There will always be the chance of some disgruntled worker ratting on them ala Nelson Piquet Jnr (Crashgate)


what is semaphore a flag signalling system


Do you mean on screen display on the drivers helmut? 😉


This is just childish. Most team sports rely on almost minute by minute coaching on the sidelines and we never doubt the credibility or manliness of the athlete. Just let the drivers compete and eventually each driver's quality will shine through. All the coaching in the world will not turn Maldonaldo into Alonso.


Maldonado held off Alonso for the win on Alonso's turf where he has won several times. Maldonado is a quick driver. He just overdrives and makes mistakes (some of which are pretty bad yes) when the car is not to his liking. True, he will never be on par with Fernando or champion but I think there is still a few more wins to come during PM's time in F1. He is unfairly targeted most of the time. In contrast, Nico Hulkenberg for example, has been hyped up for years as a tremendous talent (which for a time I bought into) however he has never even made it onto the podium. I am not sure if NH really is all that fantastic. His height works against him, granted, but still he has failed to deliver and has made some really silly errors (Hungary 2014 team mate collision).


Took Hamilton off in Brazil 2012 also


I would agree with regards tactics that the comparison to football is valid (which you could argue is still allowed in f1 i.e. when to pit, switch to plan B and so on) but not in terms of execution of skill - there is no other sport where you repeat the same thing over and over with input from a coach in between. Coaching in tennis (serve, how to return), not allowed. Snooker, not allowed. Cycling, not allowed. Athletics, not allowed. It makes sport more pure.


Sorry, maybe I'm not explaining myself properly. I have no problem with tactics and strategy being relayed to the driver. What I do have an issue with is 'coaching'. And I don't think other sports are directly comparable and where they are, this type of coaching does not happen. In boxing each punch is different as you are responding to an opponent. The coach does not tell you mid round in an ear piece what punch to throw and when. In rugby and football it's not practical to 'coach' in the manner I mean it (i.e. do a stepover with your left foot right now!), neither is that possible in basketball. In cycling I was almost certain that they weren't allowed to have communication with the car, but again the calls are more strategy based than skills tips. Co-drivers in rallying are essential due to the high speed nature and (crucially) the unpredictability of the course - they have trees and barriers and jumps etc and they never encounter the same corner twice - , in power boating co drivers play an even greater role but they are at least on board and it is more like a doubles match than a player/coach relationship. I don't know about sailing, but again, how often do they attack the same piece of sea over and over? Do they have earpieces telling them when to tack? For golf, each shot is different, the lie is different, the distance is different and the conditions are different.

Perhaps circuit racing is unique in that 40-70 times in a two hour period they repeat the same thing. And this is my point. I don't think it fair that during the race driver A should benefit from being told how driver B is gaining a speed advantage through corner 2, or indeed that they themselves need to brake later and use a certain gear. That is the type of coaching I am talking about. This removes the level of individual skill and means that a superior driver in an inferior car has almost no chance of beating an inferior driver in a superior car. It also means that it becomes much harder to differentiate between team mates.


In NFL it is allowed with ear pieces in all of the players helmets etc.



Boxing, rugby, football, NFL,basketball, and yes cycling- well the road version, caddy in golf, co drivers in rallying and power boating, sailing I am going to stop there and trust you see the point.


Keep the radio and ban Maldonado.



made my day


No, Maldonado has shown that he is more than capable of turning into Alonso all by himself 😉


I would add engine mapping, or any kind of instruction regarding input to the car.

Problem is these cars have been specifically designed with radio instruction permission in mind. So, I imagine, the cars have dozens of maps with someone in the factory determining which ones to select.

Perhaps this can be kept in mind for the next time engines are significantly changed.


Of course Franz Tost is the one complaining. He's handcuffed himself with an inexperienced lineup. But who knows maybe the youngsters will do better without an engineer barking in their ear every corner. Like Kimi once famously said, "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing."


You will be shocked how much radio you do not hear on TV that goes on between driver and engineer. Remember FOM (the controller of the live feed) decides what to and what not to broadcast and they have the drivers they prefer to highlight. BUT rest assured every driver in F1 receives messages that would be considered coaching by someone. Most just do not say anything entertaining back that is worth broadcasting most of the time.


I'm sure this gets quoted so much, because Kimi has hardly ever said anything else. Most boring driver if F1 IMO.


They didn't give him useful information, rather told him obvious things which even rookie knows.

steven fahrenfort

F1 is about the manufacturers racing each other ... as opposed to indy where all engines are the same and its the driver that counts , F1 should also include transparency and visibility in over abundance to create more trust in us viewers cos we also pay to watch u ... u create the rules anyway so u can adapt them whenever u like cos u made them .... start behaving like men should behave agree to disagree openly please we all want to understand u know ... stop keeping us in the dark it's unfair

steven fahrenfort

sorry i was unclear about "u" what i was trying to say is ... F1 is about the manufactures racing each other , now manufactures design and build technology to be used in todays cars right ... therefore if they build them then surely they the ones who should be establishing common ground between themselves (manufactures) for racing , but instead they shrowd everything in secrecy and that does not make for interesting racing because only one team is going to win all the time , the transparency for a world championship should be inspiring and visible , it has become a circus for politics n money and whoever has the most money wins , secondly if the lower order drivers did not have help they probably would'nt even finish the races , if F1 created a commonness that everybody understood and respected racing will once again take centre stage but until then 007 rules apply , unfair , and to top it all if the best drivers in the world need coaching then they not the best drivers they just got more money and that is not a F1 championship in my eyes


U lost me at 'u'.


There should be a much more stringent ban on comms.

The teams should be able to see the key safety info like brake temps, system pressures and tyre pressures etc, and obviously advise if there is a problem.

The driver should be able to inform the pits of what he can feel and see on his steering wheel- fuel level etc.

This would have three effects:

1. Drivers must become more attune to a whole race.

2.engineers must design a car which can be driven by one person rather than a team of 100.

3. The pit crew must be able to interpret what's wrong with the car from the driver's description.

IMPORTANTLY this would make the car design much more relevant to the road- nobody in Brackley sends me a message about what diff settings to use on my tuesday commute on the A1, nor do they do a full remote system reboot if my turbo goes down.


The level of driver coaching before the ban was a bit ridiculous. These guys are meant to be the best in the world, they should be working stuff out themselves. I would be in favour of an outright ban; if you take MotoGP and bike racing in general as an example, it certainly doesn't harm the quality of entertainment on show. Watching the riders figuring stuff out just from pit board info and what's happening around them is great.


Its a team sport, I agree with Mr. Tost.


@ JF...if it is a team sport why do we have a WDC? why don't we have a WTC? after all if the team are coaching the driver then they need to be recognised as equal to the winner. providing that the info they give him results in reaching the podium.


@ JF...yes, of course the team all contribute but do they actually employ a 'coach'? is it part of the job spec that you, as the pit wall 'goto' man. will need to hold the drivers hand [

[metaphorically of course] and tell him when to change gear and where he should position the car for a specific corner or when to brake?

i mean, we are talking about the, supposed, cream of the driver crop here?


As mentioned: the WCC is the team component including the efforts of the factory crew, suppliers, owners, pit crew, mechanics, "coaches", engineers, admin team, floor cleaners what have you. Any WDC winner (or driver period) worth his/her salt will fully appreciate and publicly acknowledge the contribution of the team to individual success because they know they cannot succeed alone. As does the team for its driver.


@ JF...yes, i am fully aware of the WCC but that as you well know is for the 'constructors', the guys that build the cars and the corporate entity that owns the team, eg mercedes. i am talking [ with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek] about the fact that if a driver gets coached then he is not driving unaided,. ergo, FIA clampdown. if he was to continue with on air driving instructions then i suggested that he was not solely responsible for winning and the accolades should be shared with those who contributed to him winning.


Suggest you check out the World Constructors Championship. That the one the Teams care about.


You mean the rules still require a driver in the car? How come?!


Contact with Kerbs is a bit dodgy, an engineer would surely like to say, aggresive kerb use could damage the car, is that coaching? What about Silverstone when all the tires got ripped potentially by a sharp kerb.

I think the rest all makes sense.


When they first came up with the rules last year there was a blanket exemption for safety-related messages. That must surely still exist. If so it would certainly cover the Silverstone situation.

Messages telling a driver that they'd be faster by taking more/less kerb must be the main target of this prohibition. But risking damage to the car is a very grey area isn't it. You could argue it's a safety issue, but at the same time "keep off the kerb in turn 1 to avoid damage" could easily be a cipher for "keep off the kerb to gain time."


Before the race, there are three practice sessions and a qualifying session. So the drivers would potentially have done say 50 laps across all these sessions. So you would think by then, they would know which kerbs are the fastest/slowest/avoid etc etc


I question wether "tyre temperature" should be added.

Would it make it too difficult for the drivers to assess the rate of degradation of their tires? If so, what are the consequences?

Would the risk of a blow-out be increased? There I assume if the tyres overheat badly, there must be a loss of grip, which would be a warning sign for the driver.

Would it make the racing more interesting? My guess is "yes"...


The issue isn't so much coaching, it's telling a driver how to reduce the deficit to another, especially a team mate. That cancels out the latter's competitive edge and so inevitably reduces competition and the race's excitement.

Without mentioning names. the cause was surely Mercedes's coaching its drivers (one more than the other) during actual races on where they were losing out and how to adjust. Clearly this goes on in practice too and off track especially and there's not much that can be done about team mates trawling the other driver's data. The teams are bound to allege that their interest is in maximizing the speed of both drivers, even if that means helping one more than the other. But any special line or technique a driver may 'invent' to use specifically in qualifying or a race should surely be left as their advantage. For example: Hamilton said his bug advantage in Melbourne last year came down to a braking technique he'd worked on and exploited in the race. That got quickly wiped away as Rosberg studied Hamilton's technique and employed it. In the past without all the telemtry data it would obviously take a driver much longer to study and learn, with much less clarity about what exactly the other driver was doing. I think it sucks to be honest - the more talented, creative drivers pay the price.

alexander supertramp

It's ok, rules and cars change all the time, the creative ones always find a way to adapt quicker than others.


Some of these are clearly very specific ("Car set up parameters for specific corners", "Gear selection compared with another driver") but some of them are very general ("Throttle application in general").

If taken literally then these restrictions would make it against the rules to tell a driver "Push hard" or "You need to save fuel".

I can think of a number of instances in the last few seasons where a team told their driver to not use a certain gear, because they could tell the gearbox was failing. Presumably this is now prohibited as instructions on "Gear selection in general".


On the subject of radio messages, it will be interesting to see if the blackout on Alonso's radio transmissions continues now that he's left Ferrari, and if the blackout will switch to Vettel.


The reason Alonso never got much radio "air time" on the TV coverage is because he's too clever for that - he hardly ever speaks to his engineer in English, and visa versa, - it's a mixture of Spanish and Italian and meaningless unless you're in the loop.


All of the drivers (except perhaps the British ones) speak multiple languages, so I don't find your explanation to be satisfactory. A lot of the problem was that the FOM, which decided which radio messages to make public, simply chose not to share Alonso's with us. In any case this year Alonso will be driving for a British team so one would expect him to speak English, while Vettel is driving for an Italian team and can be expected to speak Italian. So as I say, it will be interesting to see if Alonso's radio transmissions will finally be heard and if Vettels will be hidden.


All radio communication should be removed from use in the cars other for when there are mechanical/systems problems with the cars and the car is currently running fully 1/3 off the average lap time pace for at least 1 full lap supposed to be skilled racing drivers once the car leaves the start line it should be 100% down to the driver physically and mentally when the cars in full operational condition.


And this Ladies and Gentlemen is why F1 is becoming a laughing stock.

Here we have a prime example of F1 BS. A rule about what can and cant be said over a radio. They seek to some how limit conversation, which we all know cant work since people can talk in prearranged code which can sound natural if done well. Which even if no team ever, ever does, fans will always be suspicious. Just one odd sounding radio exchange involving who ever is the most hated team at that time will result in fans being 100% convinced of cheating. And get this, not cheating like an illegal or over speced part, not a bad driving move, just the wrong words being used. Yes, in F1 you can say the wrong words and you become a cheat. Incredible. So, in typical F1 style we have a load of complexity, while leaving gaping holes for controversy. While every one can see that a simple solution exists in just banning radios. Or, just letting the teams talk about what ever they like, broadcasting it, and letting fans reactions do the rest.

F1 is in severe danger of disappearing up its own........


Being a bit cynical, isn't this just a bit of pr, get people talking...


Don't you just hate it when the transmission cuts out just before the end? 😉


I can see that both sides have merit, but I don't mind the drivers being helped. Now, it depends on the kind of help we are talking about. If a team tells driverA how driverB goes faster , then I disagree. Any other communication I would be ok with. Yes they are meant to be the best of the best, l grew into not believing this much anymore. Who here believes that even the top ten racing drivers in the world

are in F1? Marc


I reckon that between them, the top teams (the ones with the biggest budgets to spend on the best drivers possible - Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, plus maybe Williams) probably have several of the top ten drivers in the world (at the very least Alonso, Hamilton and Ricciardo are contenders for it). But there is a sharp drop-off lower down the grid as many midfield and backmarker teams just have pay drivers that would be lucky to be in the top 100.


Can someone coach me while I give my exams? No. So, why should any information be passed to the driver while driving? Ban all radio communications to driver during a race.

While we are at it, lets also ban all real-time analytic on the data from the car. I bet this would save some costs.


I would prefer to see no telemetry too but the FIA now need it to police their absurd levels of control over the way the power units are run or you would have teams exceeding fuel flow, running turbos over speed using too much KERS (or whatever it is called these days) or possible other infringements.


This just gives more ammo to the FIA to impose fines and penalties from teams and drivers days after a race when they listen to something someone said that may be against the "spirit" of the new rules (after they officially translate the message to English and ask the team to explain the technical terminology used in the radio exchange behind closed doors). Dumb.

In a day and age when most rod cars have a ton of communication options built-in (GPS, satellite radios, radar, cameras for mirriors, bluetooth, cell phone, voice commands, touch-screen displays, etc.) F1 is considering going back to the '40s where real men drove with no coaching, radio- or helmets. Double dumb.



I'm interested in clarification of your opinion of what the communications rules would best be, and of course, why?

My position:

Open or closed (to be short)

If open, limited to (something like), "shut down your engine, there is a hazard, look after yourself!", come in right away, do not deviate, safety issue"; and not really anything more; a very clear, black line based on safety, every scenario defined, or assumed in breach until a review overturns.

Or completely open.

I'm indifferent.

But the grey, poorly defined .... something like this, sometimes like that....

this is where the problem is.

So, your recommendation?


The ban on giving comparative data is rather silly. That is not coaching but performance data.


Well this is just some of the afterbirth left over from Bernie's court case. Was it not him who stirred this up as a bit of an distraction?

I suspect that at times it will give us excitement and then some times rob us of some excitement that would of happened the old way. Not much will change. JUST PLEASE DON'T GIVE THE CARS ANYMORE DOWN-FORCE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS.

More power, less down-force.


So-- More crashes, then?

Personally, I think this era of "all torque and no traction", combined with a war on downforce, is going to start putting more drivers in hospitals, especially when the teams can't change suspension setup between dry/wet conditions.


Please don't be worrying for the drivers. They're all Light-foots.


Such a strange sport... so much tinkering at the periphery for the benefit of the 'fans' and no useful action at all on any of the big issues.

Add that to an effectively personaility-free grid, and no wonder current F1 has a 'beginning of the end' feel to it.


The pinnacle of racing has been turned into a rolling video game for the drivers. Ban all radio transmission excepting safety issues. If the driver needs coaching for a particular corner, braking points, throttle application they have no business in the car.

Return F1 back to the driver. Anyone think past champions would want engineers barking in there ear? They had balls. Present day drivers have gotten used to help driving the car rather than figuring it out on their own. It's become overly complex. Too many "driver aids" as it is. F1 is becoming virtual racing. I say put a clutch and a gearshift in it. That would separate the men from the boys.


"Anyone think past champions would want engineers barking in there ear?"

A lot of past champions did have engineers barking in their ear, it's just that in the old days the audience did not get to hear those messages.


I would imagine monitoring & policing all these 'Radio Restricions' during a race must be quite a heachce, even a nightmare, for the Race Director & race officials/stewards?! Surely, there are far more important things to be worrying about during a race?

I agree with #2-Andy & #13-goferet;

I think FIA shlould just ban all Voice pit-to-car-to-pit communications, full stop. (But keep the track-side signaling system - i.e. Blue Flags, VSC, etc)... and then completely fall back to drivers' Pit-Boards, as it was in the good old days.

As a big Tennis fan I now know how coaching from the sidelines is a no-no (was amazed by this rule at first when it was newly introduced, but have gotten fairly used to it). A good number of other sports implement simliar policies...so F1 is not exactly a trend setter in this matter


I would imagine monitoring & policing all these 'Radio Restrictions' during a race must be quite a headache, even a nightmare, for the Race Director & race officials/stewards?! Surely, there are far more important things to be worrying about during a race?

I agree with #2-Andy & #13-goferet;

I think FIA shlould just ban all Voice pit-to-car-to-pit communications, full stop. (But keep the track-side signaling system - i.e. Blue Flags, VSC, etc)... and then completely fall back to drivers' Pit-Boards, as it was in the good old days.

As a big Tennis fan I now know how coaching from the sidelines is a no-no (was amazed by this rule at first when it was newly introduced, but have gotten fairly used to it). A good number of other sports implement simliar policies...so F1 is not exactly a trend setter in this matter


I would go further than that:

1 I would ban than stupid and expensive semi automatic gearboxes and make manual gearboxes mandatory.

2 Ban all Pit Radio Traffic including on pit stop strategies.

3 Ban all pit wall and garage telemetry except lap charts.

4 Enforce teams to use a Carbotanium Monocoque and Titanium instead of purely Carbon Fibre to improve safety.


And ban hybrid, electronic, computer systems, semi-automatic gear box... Welcome 1960s.


I agree-- Let's go back to the good old days-- no wings, skinny tires, no radios. Of course, it won't be "the pinnacle of motorsport", it'll be the "laughingstock of motorsport", and the WEC cars will continue using their radios and telemetry, and F1 will put itself out of business pretty quick, but hey! The racing will be fantastic!


Is it just me that finds it somewhat ironic, that on the one hand the FIA is demanding huge incredible, vast amounts of data from the teams, basically all car to Team data must be recorded and submitted to the FIA if asked. Everything, all car control positions, driver inputs, temperatures engine and PU data many many gigs, several Terabytes. While on the other hand the simple old fashioned communication of "talking", at best a few kilobytes of data is effectively banned!

The old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is fundamentally reversed here.

It is a pain for us fans, it was extra information for us, it was interesting and told us sometimes of problems or attitudes or at least fuel levels and tyre states. I am a bit reluctant to compare this with Indy where in the only season I have watched was Nigel's and the only data available it seemed was the speed of the cars at a given point, no lap time no gaps, delta no nothing. US fans must be used to it but to me it was boring having only the race order and the speeds. Ok a crash every ten laps was mandatory it seemed. We do not want F1 to get to that, we like information, give us more not less.

And "No Bernie we do not want to pay extra for it!"

ATM the car to team communication transcript is available from the FIA after the race. What we hear is often delayed, let's have it all live or with a short delay instead.


As we say in American football, "Come on ref let em play". In F1 parlance, "Come on FIA let em race".


Can we at least keep the "x is faster than you" messages ?


I'd like to see transcripts of the radio chatter made available after the race.



f1fanatic often has those messages that were made available for broadcast listed a day or so after the race.


@ aezy doc....i rely on F1 fanatic to publish the comms as it is most interesting to hear what was said but sometimes some of the comms just vanish and no one will discuss why?

monaco last year was one and the other was the pit to car to pit comms from bianchi/marussia!!! i have asked many many people to find out why and where they can be accessed but no one is even commenting? this is all part of a cover up, IMO, just like the full panel report from the FIA investigation into the bianchi incident. something smells here.....


Actually, thinking about it, all the FIA needs to do is release ALL radio transmissions for general consumption and the fans will very quickly highlight any driver coaching!


So, drivers at "the pinnacle" are babies who need hand-holding by a hundred engineers and a sim-driver back at the factory?

What rubbish. Just take radios out and be done with it.

"F1 - the Pinnacle of Lying, Cheating, Stealing, Political Backstabbing, and Nannies for the Driver"

Good job, boys.


With self-driving cars even more audio comms could be banned.


I certainly don't want to hear the following type of conversation during a race;

Q: Why is (my teammate) so much faster through turn x, what can I do ?

A: Brake 5 meters later, use diff setting 7 and engine setting 8 and full throttle immediately after the apex.

I have no problem with the above during practice, but any driver worth his salt should have learned all that before the race started.


The drivers should use all the tools at their disposal to get the job done.

Last year asking these questions was legal, and a tool to help get the job done, so any driver that *didn't* ask was missing an opportunity.

Sure, all the drivers are arrogant (you need to be to get to the top in F1 or any other sport) but those that could look past their innate sense of "I'm fastest" could use the data to improve. And thats what the game is all about.

This year this is illegal, and just becomes a tool no longer allowed. Like traction control and many tools of the past...



Radio rules

Driver can comunicate with pit any time

Pit can only comunicate with driver on pit straight


Radio rules

Driver can comunicate with pit any time

Pit can only comunicate with driver on pit straight

Data rules

No data can be transmitted away from circuit

Pit wall cannot modify car setting during race exept in pit stop

Stearing wheel

Limit display to speed, engine temp, revs

Only adjustement allowed brake bias, kers deploy


You get hired to drive F1....shut up and drive ...ON YOUR OWN.


I agree with Franz Tost they should be able to have coaching like football players - just make them come into the pits to get it. You don't have football coaches running along side the players on the pitch giving them coaching!


Well there are 2 ways to look at it really...enjoyment to TV fans watching the race...we can hear the converstions between the driver and the car...can be entertaining...sort of...most people in the Grandstands don't hear this.

The other way is to let the Drivers get on with it themselves...minus safety issues...however I find the first option quite irritating: for instance:

how far behind me is he?

should I speed up?

should I slow down?

should I let him pass?

should I turn left? right?

let him past...he is faster!!

you are running out of fuel!!

stop hitting the curbs!!

go faster!!

go slower!!

You got to be kidding...right? At first I thought this was clever stuff...now I think it is bordering on crazy...

Shut this nonsense down and let the boys race the cars...just a thought 🙂


@ fab...you missed a doozy from button to the pit wall, 'who am i racing?'

now if button doesn't know then.......


Surely if drivers can't be given coaching to help get the best out of their performance, by the same token shouldn't the cars designers not be allowed any help from the driver to help improve the aerodynamics because surely someone like Adrian Newey should be able to work out all these things for himself?


Your logic is flawed smh

Valentino - Schumacher # 1

The only coaching Michael Schumacher ever needed on the radio from Ross Brawn was " Push"

: ))


Which button?


I agree with Franz Tost. Like football they should be able to be coached. In other words the player must come to the side line. Race car drivers should go to their sideline, ie the pits! You don't see football coaches chasing the players on the pitch.


I see your argument Jose, but in Football, individual ability is already the biggest differentiator, so bringing the team element into it does not distract from the show.


It will only take a decent wordsmith to get around these rules. Just allow it all, only way for fairness. Or disconnect the radio.


Is it just me or is everyone forgetting that driver coaching was banned for half the year in 2014 and it worked perfectly well. There will always be code names for things "Multi 21" comes to mind but teams will have to do so at there own peril.

Personally I don't like the radio much. I don't especially like hearing the likes of Hamilton and Vettels constant whining, but it's a tool to be used for many different reasons and everyone is in the same boat. Next topic


This is a good thing, imo. The FIA should enforce it as strictly as they can, give it a go for a year, and see what happens. It might be good for the sport or it might not. But go all in this year and find out.

Next: Undo what they've done to the circuits and make them more punishing. I understand the teams want to keep their cars on track for TV (the "for safety" thing is just spin), but circuits where mistakes aren't punished at all are a massive turnoff, imo.


personally i would ban all comms once the race started except of course, pure safety instructions to reinforce trackside data being displayed.

some of the problems are to do with race manipulation such as team orders. yes, they are legal but they should be established prior to the start and then let the drivers sort it out on track during the race.

whilst not strictly OT a related issue is why has the FIA totally banned any publication of the pit-car-pit comms between marussia and bianchi?


More fluff from the FIA. Of course, it must be the driver coaching that is making the sport as exciting as paint drying.


Im totally for it. Rosberg learning to drive based on Lewis's data last year was disgusting AND we all saw what happened when it stopped!. It makes you wonder how much some drivers benefited from this over recent years. If course it may need some fine tuning such as the Kerb clauses because surely there will be some safety concerns at times with the car that can be misconstrued.

The other thing is the steering wheel is starting to look like a Ipad so I wonder how long before we start seeing all that info on there.As for Torro Rosso- you want to bring children into F1- they have to learn like everyone else, nothing should be handed to anyone on a silver platter



You are paid to drive an F1 car....shut up and drive and turn the radio OFF


F1 is not a truck. Even in a truck, radio is on.


Dear Sir! F1 is a team sport. A driver is a member of a team. Members of a team have to communicate and help each other. The driver needs information from the team, and the others in the team need information from the driver. A truck driver doesn't need to share information with anybody. He has to drive alone. Is it clear now?


????? no sense....


Apologies for the "newbiness" but does this mean that we will no longer be able to hear funny messages, funnier responses and a have a general idea about what the pit thinks the race driver is doing, with the frequency we are used to?


ban all radio comms apart from safety calls to back up on track data displayed by FIA. slightly OT...where are the pit tp car to pit radio comms from the marrussia/bianchi incident? why has the FIA removed these from the record usually published?


All sounds sensible to me


I honestly never thought I would say this, but every day I read these stupid regulation changes, I am getting less and less interested in F1.

This sport is turning into an absolute joke.

Its basically turning into GP2.

Bring on WEC free to air TV coverage.

And on a side note.......5 months ago everyone was outraged at how the bianchi crash could have happened. Now we have people debating on making the cars harder to drive, more powerful 1000hp engines, no driver coaching or radio transmissions.

What a joke


People are commenting on radio communications because this is the current topic.

If the topic was safety/Bianchi I'm sure there would be plenty to say.

As for F1 being a joke, I don't think so. A true motorsport/F1 fan wouldn't care about reg change, If you have been watching it long enough you would know that it has always been this way. Less negative and more positives please.

When I roll up to the fence at MelbGP in March racing will be the only thing on my mind.


@ tim...yes, racing is what it is all about. to that end then radio comms should be banned apart from safety issues because the racing is being manipulated by outside elements, independent of the driver. this being the case then perhaps the WDC should be eliminated as the winning driver currently achieves that goal with external influences that help to determine the outcome. he doesn't do it on his own.


The consequences of the Bianchi crash wasn't caused by power/lack of power. It was a JCB. The outrage was real and still is, but it is directed at the idea that having a ten tonne block of steel (under which a car can submarine) on a live track, was a very bad idea.


@ aezy-doc....i the answer to your question re VSC. is simple. ireally don't know. as far as i am aware it is still a visual signal and is not designed to limit the actual speed of any car as was originally floated as an idea. this being the case then it is still up to the driver to take evasive action. nothing much more than transferring the double yellow waved flags into a lit trackside signal. maybe it is more substantial than that but i am not aware if it is.

the bianchi incident investigation threw up a great deal of issues however if we are looking for 'causality' then they nailed it, 'excessive speed'. everything else flows from that cause. the fact that we have not been made privy to the details is a telling point. that is why i have continually tried to get some answers and all to no avail. no one is talking and that is a very poor show. even james proxy has said that they have not read the full finding and that i find hard to understand. because as reputable journalists they should be fearless in investigating this cover up and making the facts known. after all driver safety is one of the major, if not the major, considerations in F1 racing.


Agreed Kenneth, but 850 bhp or 1000bhp Bianchi would have crashed. The JCB on a live track and stewards on the outside of a corner known to be prone to cause aquaplaning was just a bad idea. Safety car all day. Do you think the measures they now have (virtual safety car) would avoid a similar future incident?


@ aezy doc....one of the consequences was the JCB incident. the prime cause was excessive speed and failure to reduce that excessive speed under double waved yellows.


Lets not "go back to the old times". The world is changing and so is the sport. We are in a world of communication. People want to know everything right away. If there will be radio silence it will not bring the new generation to the sport. We have just released the communication to public and it is great since we can speculate over it in social media like this website. There should be no restrictions. I cherish the bashing of fans over their favorite drivers how they interpreted the wall to driver communication. It creates talk between fans so only good thing. Let the drivers be babies if they wish. I like to hear that someone is slower at some corners or they should use different gears or adjust fuel flow. It gives meaning why someone is slow on the track and helps understand the tactics. Gets us more involved to the sport. So my vote goes open communication and not for these idiotic phrases that are not allowed. It is so easy to work around them if you wish to. Just makes the rule makers look fool trying to fill the loopholes.


Maybe STR should stop recruiting their drivers from the kindergarten ...


At which point their raison d'être ceases to exist, and the funding goes away?



Some of the info on the banned list I do agree with, such as racing line, gear selection in corners etc. This is all info the driver has either learned in the sim/practice sessions or is able to experience himself out on track. I do think the teams should be allowed to give info to the driver about other cars such as split times, the drivers don't have access to this info but it is often of benefit to them and does represent an element of strategy which brings more to the racing. In the end plenty of drivers over the last few seasons have all reminded their engineers in one way or another which of them is actually driving the car..... For the "newer" drivers, they've had sim time, they've had testing and they have in proved they are capable of driving these cars competitively otherwise they wouldn't have the drive... or are teams shopping for pay drivers more and more.........?


the coaching which doesn't seem to be mentioned is RB talking to Dan, "tell us where you think you're faster and we will work out an energy plan"...


I think some people just like complaining for the sake of it.

These rules were in force for the last half of last year. They worked well, nobody appeared to abuse them and there were no policing issues.

To the people arguing that F1 is a technology showcase and using this as an argument in favour of driver coaching, if you're going to follow that line of reasoning then you may as well take the driver out completely and have the cars controlled remotely.


No matter what they do, I won't forget hearing Hamilton saying, "I can't drive any slower."

What a pickle the sport is in. Have they noticed they've lost the big sponsors? Not you Ferrari; keep pushing Marlboro on asians.


The only thing that I miss is statements from the pit wall like "Seb, Mark is faster than you". Before anyone jumps on that comment, yes, it did happen once.


This whole thing has become quite ridiculous.


Okay, let's face it: Half the fans here want no radio communication at all while the other half wants complete radio freedom so it's clear to me that no matter what the FIA do they are never going to get this one right.


Haven't read all the posts yet, but is "Felipe, Bottas is quicker than you" one of the banned phrases?


I *think* that one is still okay so long as they don't tell Felipe exactly how much faster Bottas is faster than him in each sector.

The safer option might just be "Get out of the way Felipe, Bottas is coming through..."


Rosberg won't be happy, didn't he lose 5 on the trot when coaching was banned over the radio?


You had to go and open THAT can of worms! LOL now all hell is going to break loose on this post!

I do agree with you though, I just didn't want to do that to myself...


Then what's the point of calling it teamwork. New technology should be embraced as a whole, drivers still have to step on the throttle or whatever even with coaching and mistakes can still be made. I'm just hanging around until it's totally unbearable.


Its surprising with the overtaking rules as they are, that this is not the season of sending out the engraved invitations to selected opponents to allow them pass in various races.

Reciprocal missives are of course expected and all will be studied by the Stewards during and after each race, to ensure that nobody overtook anybody without the appropriate invitation. It is of course a time that race strategy is devised for the whole season, though some invitations may be issued after each race, the bulk must be in each recipient's possession by a month before the first race.

The black market in such invitations reaches a peak in the week before Monaco where of course without the necessary card, overtaking is impossible. Memories of Mansell chasing Senna before the invitation system prove the point. (In fact such is the demand that quantitative easing has been hinted at for Monte Carlo) Stories of secret bidding wars for overtaking rights on key players cannot be verified, as those of the overtakee buying up his own rights to prevent his position slipping, are hotly denied.

The whole unsavoury matter has remained until now a very well kept secret, any official, team member or driver will no doubt stoutly deny the existence of the whole system.

Hidden rules eh?


Completely agree with the current regulations. Driver coaching should not be allowed in practice, qualifying or races.

There's an argument for both sides, but in a sport where technology is already a bigger performance differentiator, we need to place more emphasis on driver effort and ability for enjoyment in my opinion.

Last season after the ban seemed to be good I felt.


All the people comparing the banned messages to messages relayed in other sports have obviously never sat in or on a racing machine. There is a massive difference between going hard and going fast. You can be riding/driving you guts out and not going quickly. Its what defines good riders and drivers. Its not the same as other sport. It would be like telling a footballer "ok, so kick the ball 0.002cm lower with 0.0014 more lb/ft toward the grind reference 2.2325455"

That is the level of detail they have got to in F1 with braking distances and throttle application and bias etc. The drivers should have to drive the dam car without anyone telling him how to do it.

This is the problem with modern F1. Any half decent driver can do it. its no longer an extreme sport. its barely exciting. Ever seen the onboards from the old cars or ever the old le man cars? That.s what they need to get back to. Dangerous racing machines.

A 16 year old boy drove one at full speed last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

F1? Ha good one.






Thomas in Adelaide

*Chooses to field two rookie drivers.

*Complains about disadvantageous rules that have been in place since last year.

Plenty of experienced drivers out there looking for a seat Toro Rosso.....


To better understand the implications of, I (and I'm sure plenty of others) would love an article that breaks down some of the key messages we as fans were able to hear through tv over the last few years and to understand which ones are and won't be allowed, and why. As it is it's difficult to ascertain what this means.

For example, what would the Merc drivers have been told in Canada last year when their brakes were failing?


There's a major flaw in Tost's argument when he says other sports folks have coaches - yes they do but predominantly not when they are actually competing in something. A footballer doesn't have an ear piece telling him where to go with the ball, neither does a tennis player etc A downhill ski racer doesn't have someone shouting advice into his ear as he tears down the slopes, the list is endless. Coaching can happen out of the car of course, I agree with that but the driver should apply his skills unaided when in the heat of competition just like most other sports people. I know there are exceptions like pro cycling but just let competitors get on with it. If the drivers are young, they need to suck it up, if they can't handle the cars they shouldn't be in F1.


What stupid arguments we get into

Radios should only be used as a warning of an accident or track blockage in front, or in terms brake failure is imminent in the team’s opinion.

Teams can only tell the driver to come in with no other information.

Drivers can only report coming into the pits next for tires or a problem with the car

Telemetry from all teams should be available to the viewers including engine power settings, car temperatures in real time

Any coded information should only be available via pit boards they

Any driver told to hold station against his teammate should lose constructors points

No driver should be told to conserve fuel if they don’t put enough and it runs out of fuel so be it racing is racing. The cars never run with the full hundred kilo fuel weight anyway. If they are told to conserve fuel again remove constructor’s points.

Just want to see flat out racing the way it should be


@ lee...what you have said mirrors almost exactly what i have said. you have added something extra re points and i fully agree. well said.


Let them talk. The cars have radios, let them use them. Say anything, uncoded, and with the television audience in mind. Punish suspected code messages with drive-throughs and race on.


@ tacomajack...with all the added time in the pits resulting from your penalties races would never go the distance and fall over at the 2hr limit !


I totally agree there should be a ban during a race for communications on driving lines, braking, throttle, gear selection and driving technique in general. If any team wants to do any coaching, it should be done during practice or in a simulator in their home base.


They've banned split times in WRC this year (they used to come up in on the driver's dash or in the navigator's ear). So now, when they're in a stage, they have no way of knowing how the others are doing.

Today - final day of Sweden for the non followers - they went into the final stage with 3.6secs between 1st and 3rd. And that's after 300kms. That's as close as close F1 gaps after a full race distance - except they're driving on forestry roads on snow and ice!

So Neuville (3rd), then Ogier (2nd), got to the end having no more idea that us TV followers how Mikkelsen (1st) would do. (And if you didn't see it Mikkelsen hit a snow bank, half spun, and lost time.)

But my point isn't that it's amazing - it is without a doubt - it's that as a TV spectator you end up feeling at one with the drivers. Having completed Neuville was watching the big screen at the finish (same picture as mine) to see how Ogier did, then likewise both as Mikkelsen came through. It was really good, edge of the seat TV, and made the spectator feel at one with the competitors. F1 hasn't got that. They should watch and learn.

(Oh - Ogier won, Neuville was second, and Mikkelsen third if you missed it.)


No "coaching" whatsoever. It's the DRIVER, not the pit wall that should decide.

Only urgent, safety required radio calls, e.g., tire going down, car on fire, etc.



Here is an idea that might benefit both sides of the dispute.

1. Allow pit to car during Friday and Saturday.

2. For race day, only allow pit to car while the car is in pit lane. They can install some sort of blockage system, once the car leaves the official pit lane, like they have with speeding in pit lane. TV viewers can hear the talk between Driver and Engineer.

3. On track, racing, (Sunday) allow only, say 20 pre-approved by all teams a standard pre-recorded message that will be displayed on the Steering wheel – screen to inform the driver. The TV viewers will also see the same message at the same time.

4. Race control has the only car to race control (Audio)channel, during a race, in which they Race control can talk directly to the driver. Race Control currently has all the live feeds from each camera, so adding in an audio channel is a pretty simple thing to do & easy to control.

The above allows the TV viewer to feel they are still part of the race, while it does stop a lot of coaching which was going on. These drivers should be all at the top of their game and know who to drive a race. This is after all F1, or is it?


"Punish suspected code messages with drive-throughs and race on."

Who decides whether it's "suspected" to be coded?


Engineer: "Nico, the goldfish in the back needs to be fed twice three minutes before midnight"

Nico: "Copy that..." ...changes diff settings... "...goldfish fed" 🙂

Seriously, if the FIA thinks that a team is using coded messages then they'll look into it and as for the teams? Prepare for paranoia overdrive 🙂


Once again in an effort to improve, the order of complexity to communicate will increase, as soon as one team finds a way around these rules the rest will follow.


Forget coaching. I primarily use radios for music, especially when driving.

What can make a driver quicker than his favorite song?

Pump some Jimi Hendrix through the radios to get an extra tenth per sector.


Nico Rosberg is single-handedly responsible for this rule... 😀


they should start and use morse ...


I can understand the need to ban the communications regarding choosing the right gear, braking points and driving lines as that is up to the driver to decide. Plus they have endless time in the simulators and 4 hours of practice and qualifying each weekend to get the optimum feel/drive for the circuit?!

Communication regarding the opposition going faster, the need to save fuel or issues with the engine are fine and should be able to stay.

Franz Tost is just worried that his gamble won't pay off....

Formula 1 are supposed to be the elite of the elite in terms of circuit racing drivers (on 4 wheels). If they can't get the braking zones, gear selections and driving lines right then they shouldn't be there....!!!!!


The rule seems fine except that it's ridiculous during PRACTICE not to be able to say how the car's working under braking, and not to be able to coach the driver. Every athlete has the right to be coached during practice, that is part of sport. So turn off the radio and plug the helmet into a cell phone.


I think the coaching was universal so no one was benefitting more than another. If only one team had been allowed while the others were not then it would be a problem. This is not a technical fix like RBs blown diffuser or a better engine...

So taking the messages away doesn't help or change much. The benefit of having all that radio comms was that spectators at home could atleast know sooner if a driver was having problems or whatever.

Oh by the way, F1 cars on TV are most of the times difficult to decipher performance issues, so knowing from radio that someone was slower in a corner or on entry or exit made in interesting to see if someone could exploit that weakness.

But as others have said, F1 rules are spoiling the sport and at this rate maybe they should just make it like Formula Renault or something and give everyone identical cars with only color and name of drivers being different.


I'm totally opposed to coaching.

In Kimi's immortal words 'I know what I am doing' let's leave it at that.

I'd also suggest pit-car communication should be heavily restricted, other than for emergencies.

So Iet's say a black-out for the first 30 minutes, then a 5-minute window, then another 30 minutes and so on. Pit calls could be by 'dash-message'.

Let's get F1 back to drivers actually doing the driving


Why don't they just use a Google glass style head up display with loads of info on it..? Comparative lap times, splits, fuel levels etc.


Are coast and lift instructions allowed? I thought these were a part of braking, but Lewis appeared to be coached at least twice during the Canadian GP this weekend without anyone commenting on it, so now I'm confused!

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