F1 teams to discuss regulations on Thursday
This week in Geneva, the F1 teams are going to be discussing the simplification of F1 rules and regulations for future seasons. The discussions are coming ahead, no doubt, due to recent outcries about the current F1 regulations as well as the controversial radio assistance rule which was already implemented in 2014 and officially added to the rules for last season.
The radio assistance rule limits the technical information that the pit-crew are allowed to give drivers and thus the idea is to make sure that the vast majority of the racing action seen on-track is down to a driver’s talents. Or at least this is the regulations’ lofty goal on paper. In the last three Grand Prixs there have been notable incidents that have run afoul of the rule where penalties have been handed out for reasons that have baffled race-viewing audience.
In the Austrian GP, Force India were unsure if they were allowed to tell Sergio Perez that his breaks were failing him, leading to the Mexican crashing late in the race and losing valuable points for the team. In the British Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg saw his second place podium downgraded to a third-place finish because the team told him to pass a faulty gear in his gear-box in order to not cause any more damage (Mercedes no doubt made this decision knowing the penalty was imminent, as they did not appeal the decision). The most shameful example however came from the Hungarian Grand Prix this past weekend, when Jenson Button whose race had already been ruined by a hydraulics issue, slowing down and doing an early pit-stop was also given a drive-through penalty because McLaren informed him of the issue.
I was of the persuasion that the radio assistance rule was a pretty stupid idea already in its inception, and nothing that has transpired this past two and a half seasons has really changed my attitude towards it. I really hope that this rule is one of the things to go when and if the F1 teams’ meeting decides on dropping some of the slag from the F1 rulebook.