Halo system pushed back to 2018

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The Halo head protection system has been pushed back to 2018.

A statement issued by the FIA said the strategy group had “agreed unanimously that the 2018 season will see the introduction of frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars in order to significantly enhance the safety of the drivers”.

The FIA previously stated in February that Halo was the “preferred option” for introduction in 2017.
However the Strategy Group today declared that “owing to the relatively short time frame until the commencement of the 2017 Formula One season it would be prudent to use the remainder of this year and early next year to further evaluate the full potential of all options before final confirmation”.

“This will include undertaking multiple on-track tests of the ‘Halo’ system in practice sessions during the rest of this season and during the first part of the 2017 season.”

“While the Halo is currently the preferred option, as it provides the broadest solution to date, the consensus among the Strategy Group was that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution.”

“Halo remains a strong option for introduction in 2018,” it added.

Radio rules to be lifted for German GP

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Following a series of controversial decisions and rulings, the ban on certain radio restrictions are to be lifted at this weekend’s German Grand Prix.



The restrictions were introduced following complaints drivers were receiving too much assistance with their driving from race engineers. They were enforced via a strict interpretation of articles 27.1 of the sporting regulations.

The FIA announced today that “at the request of the teams and commercial rights holder”, the FIA has agreed to adopt a more liberal approach to the interpretation of article 27.1 (that a driver must drive the car “alone and unaided”).

“With the exception of the period between the start of the formation lap and the start of the race, there will be no limitations on messages teams send to their drivers either by radio or pit board”.

“This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide the Commercial Rights Holder with unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times that their cars are out of the garages”.

FIA confirm new track limits rules

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The FIA has confirmed the approach that its stewards will take to drivers exceeding track limits for the rest of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Race Director Charlie Whiting announced in a note to teams that he and the stewards will be taking a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude to drivers exceeding tracks limits in turns four and 11 in qualifying and will be adopting a four strikes rule during the race.

The full notice from Charlie Whiting to the teams is as follows:

Further to the discussion in the drivers meeting yesterday evening I would like to confirm that:
a) We will be adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to cars leaving the track at turns four and 11 during qualifying. Please note that this will be judged by the use of timing loops in the kerbs and, to ensure that we see no false crossings, we would like to make it clear that the loops are set up to register a crossing when a car is approximately 20cm beyond the white line. Every lap time achieved by leaving the track will be deleted in accordance with Article 12.3.1d of the Sporting Code.

b) During the race, and in accordance with Article 27.4 of the Sporting Regulations, any driver who is judged to have left the track three times at these corners (when counted cumulatively) will be shown a black-and-white flag. One further crossing will result in a report being made to the stewards for not having made every reasonable effort to use the track. As discussed, this is likely to result in a driver-through penalty for any driver concerned.

However, if we are satisfied that a driver left the track at these points for reasons beyond his control – having been forced off the track, for example – lap times will not be deleted during qualifying, nor will such a crossing be counted towards a driver’s total in the race.

Radio rules changed ahead of Hungarian GP

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Following the controversy surrounding Nico Rosberg’s radio messages with his Mercedes engineers during the British Grand Prix, the rules have been toughened.

While teams are still allowed to give an “indication of a problem with the car” the revised rules states “any message of this sort must include an irreversible instruction to enter the pits to rectify the problem or to retire the car”.

Teams can still notify drivers of a problem involving their car’s bodywork without telling them to come into the pits.

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.

Full list of allowed radio transmissions

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 confirmation.
2. Indication of a problem with the car, any message of this sort must include an irreversible instruction to enter the pits to rectify the problem or to retire the car.
3. Information concerning damage to the bodywork of the car.
4. Instructions to select driver defaults, this must be 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.
It will be the responsibility of any team giving any such instruction to satisfy the FIA technical delegate that this was the case and that any new setting chosen in this way did not enhance the performance of the car beyond that prior to the loss of function (see Article 8.2.4 of the Technical Regulations).
5. Indication of a problem with a competitor’s car.
6. 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.
7. 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).
8. Wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.
9. Weather information.
10. Information concerning the driver’s own lap time or sector times.
11. Lap time of a competitor.
12. Helping with warning of traffic and gaps to other competitors during a practice session or race.
13. Instructions to swap position with other drivers.
14. Number of laps or time remaining during a practice session or race.
15. Position during a practice session or race.
16. “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).
17. 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. Drivers may also be told what to do once they have entered the pits, e.g. “drive through”, “stop in the box”, “practice pit stop”, “into the garage” or similar information related to the pit stop.
18. The driver’s own race pit stop strategy as well as those of his competitors, this is limited to the timing of pit stops and which tyres will be (or have been) used. For the avoidance of doubt, no car or power unit set up may be included in any such strategy discussion.
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.

Mercedes scrap appeal into Rosberg penalty

Mercedes has confirmed it will not appeal against the penalty Nico Rosberg received in the British Grand Prix.

Rosberg was given a ten-second time penalty for receiving forbidden assistance via the team radio while trying to solve a problem with his gearbox.

“The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team today decided to withdraw its notice of intention to appeal against the decision of the stewards of the British Grand Prix,” said the team in a statement.

“We were able to prove to the stewards that a car-stopping gearbox failure was imminent and, as such, were permitted within the rules to advise Nico of the required mode change.”

“However, the advice to avoid seventh gear was considered to breach TD/016-16, and therefore Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations.”

“The team accepts the stewards’ interpretation of the regulation, their decision and the associated penalty.”

dd