Formula One: Ban on radio messages postponed until next season, says FIA

Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa steers his car during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on Sept 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa steers his car during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on Sept 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE bulk of a controversial ban on radio and pit board messages in Formula One has been postponed to next season after FIA, the sport's governing body, decided that this weekend's Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix was too early for teams to adapt to the new restrictions.

"Messages concerning a driver's own performance will not be allowed, but the expected ban on those relating to car performance will now be postponed until 2015 to give teams more time to prepare," the body said just hours before the first practice session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Friday.

After meeting with the 11 team managers, the FIA said they had opted to delay most of the changes until next year "due to the complexity of introducing such a ban at short notice and the potential for significantly differing effects between teams".

Last week, teams had been informed that any talk over the radio or via a pit board about the performance of the car or driver would be result in punishment.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told reporters on Thursday he had been behind the original decision, challenging drivers to prove that they were not mere puppets of their engineers. He also suggested more restrictions should be introduced in future.

"They drive the cars, they should know what is wrong or right," he said. "They don't need someone on the pit wall telling them what to do."