Date: 8th March 2016 at 10:12am
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Strict radio rules will add element of unpredictability to Grand Prix outcomes according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

For a number of years Formula One fans have been bemoaning the amount of team interference between the pit-wall and driver over the radio.

Certain drivers such as Nico Rosberg appeared to be coached mid-race to get the best out of his Mercedes. The German would receive instructions on engine modes, tyre strategy, even race lines in comparison to his rivals.

Towards the end of the 2014 Formula One World Championship the FIA attempted to administrator a team radio clampdown.

However due to the new V6 turbo-hybrid regulations teams argued that it was too much change too soon and instead a heavily watered down version of the new rules was put in place.

This banned driver coaching such as information on racing lines, braking points and even gear selections.

But for 2016 radio instructions in the main will be limited to safety critical items, which no longer include feedback about tyre wear, fuel consumption and engine settings.

‘It will create more error and therefore more variability in the results, which is important for the sport, People want to see the underdog win. They get bored with the dominant car winning. Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff told motorsport.com.

He continued: ‘The so-called ‘strat’ modes on the engine make quite a substantial difference, because the more powerful you run, the better you defend and the better you attack.

‘If the driver needs to judge himself when to use what, it will make for different strategies, and drivers will use different power modes at different stages of the race. This will give more differences between cars ? and less optimisation.’


Sounds a good thing right? For example numerous times towards the end of last season Mercedes appeared to block Lewis Hamilton’s attempts to race a different strategy to gamble for a victory.

Next year Mercedes will have less control over their drivers during the race and their input will rest solely on race strategy before the lights go out.

‘It will be down to greater planning before the race. It will be down to [driver] intelligence to remember what it was. It will be down to intelligence and instinct to do the right thing at the right time, in terms of engine deployment, power deployment.

He added: ‘We are being so much more restricted in passing on information to the drivers during the race that a lot around strategy, around engine mode deployment, around tyre choices ? even up to a point of pit stops ? is down to the driver to decide, And that will be less optimised by algorithms or clever engineers and it will give room for error.

 

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