Date: 17th August 2016 at 7:02am
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The 2016 Formula One World Championship season has seem multiple changes in regards to team radio regulations.

Formula One went through a phase of wanting to clamp down on radio communications between the driver and the team.

On too many occasions in the past the Formula One world feed had broadcast instructions from the team to the driver to basically coach them through the race.

Everything from breaking points in the corner, to gear shifting and racing lines were discussed, to aid a driver and give them information that many believed should be a racers instinct.

So radio restrictions were put in place, but this brought complications in regards to the complexity of modern day F1 cars with the V6 Turbo-Hybrid power units.

Those complications were highlighted even further when the race stewards had to make their first decision in regards to a race penalty.

During the final stages of the race at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg had an issue with his gearbox. Mercedes told the German driver the problem and explained that he had to avoid a certain gear.

The race stewards had no problem with this as the problem was a critical one for the car.

The problem came when Rosberg asked ‘what does that mean?’ and the team told him he had to push through the gear.

This instruction broke the regulations and Rosberg was handed a 10-second time penalty post race, dropping him from second to third, costing him three world championship points.

It was the second weekend where teams were left wondering what would happen if they were to break the new radio communications rules with both Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen struggling to get their cars to perform to their optimum at Baku, as the teams could not relay which setting they needed to change for fear of a penalty.

If they had known they would have been handed a 10 second race penalty, they may have instructed their drivers differently, as it appeared they lost far more time not being able to resolve their issues.

For the Austrian Grand Prix the FIA clarified the regulations, with a clear revision of what the teams are allowed to do.

But by the German Grand Prix the restrictions were completed lifted and drivers and teams were allowed to openly discuss everything once again.

It’s fair to say it is a decision that Williams’s Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley agreed with.

?I think from an engineering point of view, it?s absolutely the right thing to open up the radios again, The cars are incredibly complicated now with these power units, and to be able to drive the car at 200mph and manage the power unit or any other problems that arise was just asking too much.? he told motorsport.com.

Smedley added: ‘It’s a team sport, and we have 500 people who work in the team.

?If you take this inane argument that the drivers are alone in the car, then why don?t we take a step back and get rid of all the engineers, because ‘it?s the drivers and drivers alone’?

?And we’ll bring two cars here and we’ll bolt them together… or we don?t even have to do that. We can bring a bag of bits and they can bolt them together and they can get into them and drive them and they can get out and talk between themselves in that truck there.

?Where do you stop? It?s an inane argument, to be honest. It?s a team sport, whether or not it?s called the drivers’ championship, whether or not it’s called a championship from the moon, it?s a team sport.

 

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