The FIA has issued revised guidelines to the radio communication restrictions after the issue at the British Grand Prix which saw Nico Rosberg receive a post-race penalty.
When Rosberg’s Mercedes had encountered a gearbox issue late in the race, the team radioed back solutions to the problem, which included avoiding seventh gear to escape what Mercedes believe a terminal failure.
This saw the German penalised once the race was finished and handed a 10-second time penalty which demoted his finishing position to third.
While the Stewards deemed it legal for a team to advise a driver he has an issue in the findings of the Stewards report, it caused confusion amongst other teams in the paddock as certain drivers were not able to be warned of brake failures in Austria.
The 10-second penalty Rosberg received also encourages other teams to break the radio rules knowing that the harshest penalty they would receive would be the same as Rosberg’s and may not have an effect on their final result.
From the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, if a team warns its driver there is a potentially terminal or unsafe problem with the car, they are also required to tell the driver to pit so they may fix the issue.
This rule automatically implements a penalty for the team and driver and stops teams possibly using a safety issue to give their driver assistance over team radio.
The FIA has also amended when the radio rules will be enforced. The radio restrictions will only apply when the car is out of the pit lane rather than out of the garage. Leaving teams with the possibility of letting their driver complete a self-imposed drive-through penalty to provide advice over the radio.
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas