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Ecclestone backs F1 radio clampdown

2014-09-18 14:44

MORE RESTRICTIONS NEEDED: Bernie Ecclestone welcomed the FIA’s ban on radio communications during races but added that more restrictions should be implemented. Image: AFP

SINGAPORE - Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has backed a clampdown on the use of team radio to help drivers, claiming it was his idea and suggesting more restrictions should be considered.

Ecclestone told reporters ahead of the 2014 Singapore GP: "I was the one who started it off, yes."

He added that a majority of drivers were more than happy to comply with the new regulations.

'THEY KNOW WHAT'S RIGHT OR WRONG'

F1 banned all radio communications that help improve the performance of the car or driver, starting with the Singapore race, in a move that could add another twist to the title battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Ecclestone said: "I think none of the drivers want it (radio assistance). They are all happy that it has gone. They drive the cars, they should know what is wrong or right. They don't need someone on the pit wall telling them what to do."

Rosberg leads his Mercedes team mate Hamilton by 22 points with six races remaining but the pair have been embroiled in a feisty season-long battle for supremacy with both drivers doing plenty of talking on the radio to engineers.

Ecclestone hinted that more could be done to reduce the amount of assistance given to drivers, including a ban on live telemetry from the cars.

"We have a regulation in force that drivers must drive the car unaided. They have been aided - and still are. There are still a lot of aids that they should not have."

Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said the new regulation would have little effect to how races unfolded.

FERRARI DUO ON RADIO BAN

Alonso said: "No big difference to be honest. At Ferrari, we never use the radio for any performance reasons, just to control temperatures or talk about traffic. In our case, it won't have a big impact.

"You know at the end of the day it's just a competitive sport, some of the messages we receive and some of the things we receive are just for safety so it is not only for performance."

Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen was less enthusiastic about the sudden rule change but felt the drivers would be able to adapt as they had no choice.

Raikkonen said: "It does make it a little more complicated for us if there are problems with the car but it's part of the game, so we have to deal with it."

Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson felt the new directive would put more emphasis on the driver's ability to retain his concentration throughout a race.

Ericsson said"I like the idea to be honest. It's good to get the drivers more in focus and for us, as a small team, it's a bit trickier as our steering wheel doesn't have such a detailed display, but I do like the idea."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Singapore GP weekend.

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