The FIA has
confirmed details of the new restrictions which are being placed on driver
radio messages from the start of the 2016 season.
For Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting the situation with the level
of coaching that drivers were receiving had reached an intolerable level and
that something had to be done. Ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix
the FIA has issued "stricter enforcement" of article 27.1 of the sporting
regulations that states "the driver shall drive the car alone and unaided".
A. Restrictions on team-to-driver communications: These restrictions will
– To all communications to the driver including, but not limited to, radio
and pit boards.
– At all times the car is out of the garage with the engine running and the
driver on board (with the exception of any time the car is in the pit lane
on the day of the race prior to or between reconnaissance laps).
The following is a list of the permitted messages. Any other message,
including any of those below which we suspect has been used as a coded
message for a different purpose (including a prompt to a driver). is likely
to be considered a breach of Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations and
will be reported to the stewards accordingly.
1. Acknowledgement that a driver’s message has been heard, this may include
repeating the message back to the driver for the sole purpose of
2. Indication of a critical problem with the car. Any message of this sort
may only be used if failure of a component or system is imminent and
3. Information concerning damage to the car.
4. Instructions to select driver defaults for the sole purpose of mitigating
loss of function of a sensor, actuator or controller whose degradation or
failure was not detected and handled by the on-board software. In accordance
with Article 8.2.4, any new setting chosen in this way must not enhance the
performance of the car beyond that prior to the loss of function.
5. Instruction to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car.
6. Indication of a problem with a competitor’s car.
7. Marshalling information (yellow ﬂag, red flag, blue ﬂag, Safety Car,
Virtual Safety Car, race start aborted or other similar instructions or
information from race control). This would include a reminder to switch off
the SC ‘delta time’ function after crossing the first safety car line twice
from the time the SC was deployed.
8. Passing on messages from race control (this would include a countdown to
the start of the formation lap and telling a driver that the last car has
taken up position on the grid at the end of the formation lap).
9. Wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.
10. Weather information.
11. Information concerning the driver’s own lap time or sector times.
12. Lap time of a competitor.
13. Helping with warning of traffic and gaps to other competitors during a
practice session or race.
14. Instructions to swap position with other drivers.
15. Number of laps or time remaining during a practice session or race.
16. Position during a practice session or race.
17. ‘Push hard’, ‘push now’, ‘you will be racing xx’, ‘take it easy’ or
similar (you are reminded about suspected use of coded messages when giving
these messages or any words of encouragement).
18. When to enter the pits (or go to the grid during reconnaissance laps),
any message of this sort may only be used if the driver is to enter the pits
on that lap. Having been told when to enter the pits drivers may also be
told to stay out if there has been a change of circumstances.
19. Reminders to use the pit speed limiter, change tyre settings to match
the tyres fitted to the car or to check for white lines, bollards,
weighbridge lights when entering or leaving the pits.
20. Driving breaches by team driver or competitor, e.g. missing chicanes,
running off track, time penalty will be applied etc.
21. Notiﬁcation that DRS is enabled or disabled.
22. Dealing with a DRS system failure.
23. Oil transfer.
24. Test sequence information during practice sessions (P1 and P2 only),
B. Driver torque demand map freeze when the car is on the track
1. From the beginning of qualifying changes to the driver torque demand map
will be inhibited when the car is on the track. This will exclude the
portion of the map below 5% throttle pedal that may be adjusted for engine
braking or power unit management.
2. The ability for the torque coordinator to change the min and max lines of
the driver torque demand map will be retained to match the power unit
3. A command from race control will unfreeze the driver torque demand map
selection if weather conditions demand it. The map will be frozen again for
each individual car after he has pitted and left the pit lane or when the
race control command is removed.
4. Only a single throttle pedal shaping map will be retained.
C. Clutch control
1. Unless a steady identiﬁed fault arises during the start procedure, the
driver may only use one hand to operate a single clutch pull-paddle for the
start. This will however not preclude the fitting of a second pull-paddle
but only one may be used for the start itself. Where two paddles are ﬁtted
no interaction between them or the associated SECU inputs will be permitted
and, furthermore, competitors must be able to demonstrate beyond any doubt
that each of the paddles may only be operated with only one hand.
Each competitor is required to submit details of their steering wheel
designs to the FIA for approval, particular attention should be given to
demonstrating compliance with Article 9.2 of the Technical Regulations
[clutch control restriction].
2. A clutch torque controller will be implemented in the standard ECU
software with a target race use in 2017. It may be used for validation
during 2016 tests and free practice sessions.
Associated with the clutch torque controller, the shape of the clutch paddle
to target map will be standardised, or at least restricted in order to
enforce a minimum gradient over a deﬁned range.
D. Clutch bite point (stricter enforcement in 2016)
1. As enforced starting at the Belgian Grand Prix 2015, the clutch bite
point may not be changed from the time the car leaves the garage for the ﬁrst
time after the pit lane is open on the day of the race until the end of the
start lockout period after the race has started. For the avoidance of doubt,
it will still be permissible to use a manual bite point offset switch for
use after the race start lockout period.
2. The FIA standard ECU will automatically inhibit the use of the bite point
finder on the day of the race.