FIA puts clamp down on F1 driver communications

Lewis Hamilton at Spa
Lewis Hamilton at Spa

Ahead of the Belgium GP F1 race, the FIA issued a clarification about exactly what can, and cannot, be said to drivers over the radio. One reason is to limit race fixing and team orders.

Here is the full list:

  1. Messages given on the track, in the pit entry or in the pit exit during reconnaissance laps (a car will be deemed to be on a reconnaissance lap from the time it leaves the pit lane until the time it re-enters the pit lane or reaches its grid position).

1.1 You may tell the driver of a critical problem with the car, e.g. puncture warning or damage.

1.2 You may tell the driver of a problem with a competitor's car.

1.3 You may tell the driver to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car.

1.4 You may give the driver marshalling information (yellow flag, red flag, race start aborted or other similar instructions or information from race control).

1.5 You may inform the driver about a wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.

1.6 You may tell the driver to respect the maximum lap time provided it is clear that he is in danger of exceeding it.

1.7 You may not tell the driver to drive through the pit lane.

1.8 You may not tell the driver to make his way to the back of the grid.

1.9 You may not discuss a balance check with the driver.

1.10 You may not tell the driver to turn off the car.

1.11 You may not carry out a radio check with the driver.

  1. Messages given when the car is in the pit lane before or between any reconnaissance laps.

2.1 You may talk freely on the radio and, for added clarity, the following specific requests would therefore be permitted.

2.1.1 You may give instructions to the driver for the following lap.

2.1.2 You may remind the driver to do a practice start at the pit exit.

2.1.3 You may discuss a balance check with the driver.

2.1.4 You may tell the driver to go to the back of the grid.

2.1.5 You may carry out a simple radio check handshake with the driver (i.e. "radio check", "got you loud and clear").

2.1.6 You may tell the driver to come back through the pit lane.

2.1.7 You may inform the driver of specific pit lane safety concerns such as the pit stop area being full of guests. This message (and only this message) may also be given in the pit entry.

  1. Messages given on the grid (or in the pit lane*) until one minute before the start of the formation lap.

3.1 You may talk freely on the radio and pass any messages to the driver.

  1. Messages given on the grid (or in the pit lane*) from the one minute signal, during the formation lap and until the race start signal.

4.1 You may tell the driver of a critical problem with the car, e.g. puncture warning or damage.

4.2 You may tell the driver of a problem with a competitor's car.

4.3 You may tell the driver to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car.

4.4 You may give the driver marshalling information (yellow flag, red flag, race start aborted or other similar instructions or information from race control).

4.5 You may inform the driver about a wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.

4.6 You may give the driver instructions to swap position with other drivers.

4.7 You may provide the driver with a countdown to the start of the formation lap.

4.8 You may remind the driver to enable the pit speed limiter.

4.9 You may inform the driver of cars out of position or of any unoccupied grid positions.

4.10 You may tell the driver that the last car has reached the grid (but only the last car).

4.11 You may tell the driver to switch off his engine in the case of a delayed start.

4.12 You may not provide any "final reminders" to the driver such as switch changes.

4.13 You may not carry out a radio check with the driver.

4.14 You may not provide the driver with information concerning clutch or tire temperatures.

4.15 You may not provide the driver with information concerning which tires other cars have fitted.

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