Radio rule revision ridiculed by Vettel

 Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel attend a press conference  at the Hockenheim circuit on July 28.
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel attend a press conference at the Hockenheim circuit on July 28.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Despite an effort before the Hungarian Grand Prix to clarify the rules governing radio communication between Formula One teams and their drivers, their implementation has been derided as "b***s***" by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

The rules limiting what information can be passed on during a race were intended to put more control in the hands of drivers rather than engineers.

Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen had problems in Baku when Mercedes and Ferrari respectively were prevented from helping to solve issues confronting their drivers.

And during the British Grand Prix a fortnight ago, Nico Rosberg was adjudged to have broken the rule when Mercedes advised him to change through a malfunctioning seventh gear.

The rules were initially popular, but the information that can be passed on now is open to interpretation.

"I think it's a joke," Vettel said.

"I watched the race at Silverstone afterwards and I found as a spectator it was quite entertaining to hear a driver panicking on the radio and the team panicking at the same time.

"It was the human element in a sport that is arguably very complicated and technical. So I think the ban is the wrong way."

Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by only one point in the world championship, accepted the rationale behind the rules.

"I think it's OK. It makes it more challenging for us out on track," he said.

The major revision to the rule requires teams to call drivers into the pits to receive instruction on a problem with the car - the intention being to prevent them deliberately accepting a penalty in order to pass on information.

Vettel remained unconvinced at the Hungaroring. "There's a lot of boring stuff on the radio that got banned; I don't see the point," he said.

"We're going the wrong way, it's bad, we should just go back to saying what we want."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline 'Radio rule revision ridiculed by Vettel'. Print Edition | Subscribe