Horner wary of radio restrictions

Date published: March 19 2016

Christian Horner says that while F1 may intend well with the new radio restrictions, he fears it could actually hurt the show.

Following on from last year’s clampdown on some radio communications, this season Formula 1 is taking it a step further.

The bulk of messages assisting drivers have now been banned in order to ensure that “the driver shall drive the car alone and unaided.”

However Horner fears it may not have the desired positive impact.

“I think out of well intention, sometimes we don’t think through the consequences,” said the Red Bull team boss.

“The intention of restricting the radio is that the drivers need to drive the car and I don’t think anybody enjoys hearing a driver being told how to operate his car.

“I think the problem that we have is that the complexity of these cars is so great now and the assistance that is required from the pit wall and behind the scenes is very different to Formula One of even three, four years ago.

“And it’s finding that line: is it right to help a driver find a bit of clear space in traffic or to pit now and so on?

“I think it’s going to be a bit of a voyage of discovery with this rule and I think applying it to the operation of the car is one thing; applying it to other sporting measures… we need to find that right balance and I’m not sure we’re going to achieve that immediately in one weekend.”

He added that taking out radio communications could be bad for the fans who find the talk between the driver and the pit wall to be rather “fascinating” at times.

“I think there’s entertainment through the radio and I think that what’s fascinating is to hear these guys communicating at the speeds that they’re achieving and in the heat of the battle – that radio content can produce good entertainment behind the scenes for the fans and it’s finding that balance.

“The bit that you should really hear is the intercom because there’s a far more interesting discussion going on on the pit wall on the intercom than there is on the radio and we, for sure, would love to hear the Mercedes intercom.”