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F1 teams 'thinking twice' over 'armageddon' radio messages - FIA

F1 teams 'thinking twice' over 'armageddon' radio messages - FIA

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F1 teams 'thinking twice' over 'armageddon' radio messages - FIA

F1 teams 'thinking twice' over 'armageddon' radio messages - FIA

FIA race director Michael Masi has revealed the F1 teams are 'thinking twice' before speaking with him during live track action as they are now aware their message could be broadcast on television.

F1 recently opened up the communication channel between the pit walls and the FIA, resulting in a number of interesting exchanges being aired.

The most recent was during Friday practice at the Styrian Grand Prix when McLaren team manager Paul James contacted Masi to bemoan Valtteri Bottas' "absolutely ridiculous" pit lane spin that earned him a three-place grid penalty.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff claimed the punishment was harsh, but that he found such messages "highly entertaining" due to sporting directors 'jumping onto the channel to Masi' to present their "armageddon scenarios".

Asked whether the teams are using radio fairly or sometimes crying foul too much, Masi said: "To be fair, each sporting team, and it is no different in F1, will utilise the radio knowing that it is there.

"It has been there for many years obviously, it’s just broadcast now.

“If anything, knowing now that the teams know it is broadcast, it has actually probably reduced the radio traffic in race control and, from a team’s perspective, making them probably think twice before they ask a question.”

FIA stewards not influenced by McLaren message

Masi has made clear, though, that despite James' message at the time, it had no influence on the penalty that was eventually handed to Bottas.

“The stewards don’t actually hear any of those communications between myself and the teams and don’t hear the commentary of the races either, so they are not aware of that side of it in any way, shape or form," added Masi, who has also confirmed he would have investigated anyway despite the complaint.

"To be fair in those types of situations when incidents like that happen, we go straight up on the screen and put that it is under investigation or noted or whatever it may be to tell everyone in pit lane what is happening," he said.

“To be fair, with what that incident was, even if McLaren hadn’t said anything, we would have asked the stewards to investigate that.”

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