Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, is set to introduce a number of changes for the Belgian Grand Prix. The FIA want to limit the amount outside influence the pitwall has during a grand prix race distance. The new regulations are designed to give back more responsibility to the driver and bring to an end the lap-by-lap management respective teams have over their drivers.
Article 20.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations will impose a set of tighter restrictions on the radio communications between a driver and his team. The driver will be given control of the clutch bite point during the race start sequence.
If there is pit-to-car communication during this start-phase period then it will be considered a breach of the regulations.
The clutch bite point settings will no longer be allowed to be changed the moment the car leaves the garage after the pit-lane is open until the end of the start lockout period after the race has started.
Pit-to-driver communications will also be limited during the formation laps, the FIA wants to end the practice of drivers being assisted into selecting the best start-line set-up. The FIA will allow pit-to-car radio under certain safety conditions;
* Indication of a critical problem with the car, e.g. puncture warning or damage;
* Indication of a problem with a competitor’s car;
* Instruction to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car;
* Marshalling information (yellow flag, red flag, race start aborted or other similar instructions or information from race control);
* Wet track, oil or debris in certain corners;
* Instructions to swap position with other drivers.
The pitwall can no longer instruct a driver to pace themselves during a race, or what type of settings to use to improve performance this will now be the sole responsibility of the driver.
The FIA are known to apply their laws without favor and crushing regularity should they be breached. It will be an interesting and somewhat chaotic time as all involved adjust to a bright new world.