And the next great idea from Bernie and his gang is….
It’s been the big talking point all week and of course Bernie Ecclestone has been right in the middle of it all. Just what advice should be given by teams when talking to their drivers over the radio during races?
The FIA decided earlier this week that they wanted to stop team bosses “coaching” their drivers. This included giving information and advice on how to go faster in corners, warnings about brake wear and fuel consumption.
Of course the teams themselves weren’t at all delighted with the intentions of the FIA believing, as I do, that the move could lead to reliability problems and raise safety issues. Surely no decision ever taken by the FIA should cause problems with safety?
The BBC managed to see a list of the messages that are allowed and those that aren’t. Those not allowed under the ruling would include information on tyre pressures, brake balance and answering a driver’s direct question. Most definitely not allowed would be anything that sounded like a coded message.
So why did the FAI try to do this? Well the fear is that with all the messages that are broadcast over the radio, the drivers are in danger of becoming mere puppets with the engineers being the ones pulling the strings. And if you think, well they could just put the message on a board then that wouldn’t be allowed either.
It was a crazy idea which meant that Mr Ecclestone had to be behind it. Why shouldn’t teams be allowed to give information to their drivers? Issues such as fuel consumption and anything to do with the wellbeing of the car should be able to be broadcast. Fuel consumption in particular is a vital issue during races and the drivers have limited information available to them if left on their own. They have enough to be doing during races without having to spend time working out how much fuel they have left.
According to Bernie the drivers would be happy with the change because since they’re driving the cars they should “know what’s wrong and right.” Well if that’s the case why have team radio information at all? Just let the drivers get on with it, as usual from Bernie its nonsensical rubbish.
Just ask Felipe Massa who totally disagrees with Ecclestone believing Bernie is living is living in the past. He said of the move: “I’m completely against it. It’s something they could have done professionally. The cars are very complicated and this is not related to driving. If the settings are wrong, you cannot do two laps before the car fails. If it stays like this, there will be a big fight in the driver’s briefing.” He added that drivers being given undetectable codes would still continue.
By the weekend the FAI backtracked on their proposals and the ban won’t take place now until next season. Lots of time therefore to modify what they’ve been talking about this week and come up with something extremely different.
The same will probably happen to Bernie’s other brilliant idea of the week namely teams having three drivers rather than two. That’s all down to the fact F1 has become so expensive to run there may well be fewer teams participating next season. Eight teams, each with three drivers could well happen which would certainly make it entertaining. Why have one team mate you don’t get on with when you could have two? Surely though the sport should be looking at why teams are entering the sport and having short shelf-lives? Can’t they help the smaller teams grow rather than just watching them fail and die?
It looks as if events off the track might be just as interesting as those on the track over the coming weeks and months.