Haas pleased FIA are reviewing pre-race radio rules

Date published: August 20 2020

Romain Grosjean kerb

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean are happy to hear that the FIA are reviewing their rules on formation lap messages.

Both drivers pitted on the formation lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix to ditch their wet tyres for slicks, a strategy which was discussed over team radio.

And whilst the call seemed a masterstroke with Magnussen running in a podium position for a brief period, Haas‘ afternoon soon went south after both Magnussen and Grosjean were given ten-second time penalties.

This was due to a 2017 FIA technical directive which limits radio conversations before the race to a matter of safety only.

It outraged both drivers at the time, who felt the rules needed an update, and so as expected they welcomed the news that the FIA are reviewing their rules surrounding formation lap instructions.

“I think that’s the right action to take,” Magnussen told Autosport.

“I think it was pretty clear that there was a situation that hadn’t really been thought about in terms of how the regulations were, and I think it’d be good if that stuff was allowed.”

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Grosjean said that a rule such as this created other problems, which Haas found out all too well, though since then he has been happy just to adapt to it.

“You always implement new rules for looking after one thing and trying to resolve a problem,” he said.

“But you may create some others, and that was seen in Hungary, where we actually made a good move, a strategic move, pitting on the formation lap.

“Obviously today we’d do things a little bit differently, knowing that rule, but we didn’t really think it was there for that.

“So I guess it’s a good thing in a good direction, even though it’s quite cool to only have the driver have the rights to make the call or not.

“If it was happening again, I would be very happy just take the radio and say, ‘Guys, I’m coming in.’

“Just at the time we didn’t think of it, and we got penalised.

“It didn’t change anything for me, obviously a point for Kev, which in the Constructors’ Championship race for us is a big thing, but I guess we’re just going to read it carefully when it comes out.”

Magnussen’s point for P10 in Hungary remains Haas’ only point of the 2020 season so far.

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