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F1 urged to find fix for "serious" radio failure as teams left "blind"

F1 urged to find fix for "serious" radio failure as teams left "blind"

F1 News

F1 urged to find fix for "serious" radio failure as teams left "blind"

F1 urged to find fix for "serious" radio failure as teams left "blind"
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is hopeful Formula 1 can fix the "serious" communication issues experienced during first practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The first session of the weekend at Imola was heavily blighted by technical issues, with no team radio, onboard cameras, GPS data or tyre information available.

This left teams in the dark, with Binotto revealing the team had zero contact with Charles Leclerc, in particular, on track.

The difficulties have also been determined as playing a role in the collision between Red Bull driver Sergio Perez and Alpine's Esteban Ocon.

"Certainly, it was a big problem," said Binotto. "I don't know if all the teams were having the same problems but for us, it was very difficult with Charles.

"There was no way of communicating with him. We aborted the first run, then others had some small issues.

"It is difficult because you cannot give him advice about cars following, so there can be impeding situations which are not voluntary at all but difficult for the drivers to know who is coming behind."

The complex nature of modern F1 cars dictates the need for constant information relaying between engineer and driver.

Binotto added: "We are running our race power unit because the ones we fitted in Bahrain we will use for the entire weekend, so obviously, if we had any problems, we don't know how to communicate. Those types of problems are serious.

"We know that was not voluntary by F1 but hopefully that will be addressed ahead of FP2 because communication with the drivers is important for safety, functionality and reliability, it is not only performance. It is making sure everything is running smoothly."

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer pointed to the recognition of how dependent the sport has become on the mass of data available to each team.

"Until you lose that kind of data you don’t realise how much you rely on it," he stated.

"It was like we were blind on the pit wall. It made things much more difficult. Hopefully, it will be fixed for FP2."

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