CODES USED FOR SINGAPORE PODIUM? Did Red Bull’s use coded messages to earn a double podium victory at the 2014 Singapore GP? McLaren seems to think so... Image: AP/ Ng Han Guan
LONDON, England - Red Bull has denied claims it sent illegal coded radio messages to Daniel Ricciardo during the 2014 Singapore GP (Sept 21).
After the FIA's new communications clampdown took effect in September 2014, McLaren pointed the finger at its rivals for disguising driver-performance related radio calls to Ricciardo as legal technical messages.
McLaren team boss Eric Boullier said: "They said 'do this to avoid car problems'. Once would have been okay, but two or three times you can doubt what kind of car problem he has."
FINDING A BALANCE
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insists Ricciardo was managing technical issues en route to its podium in Singapore.
Horner said: "Daniel had basically an issue with the battery that was not discharging. We spoke to Charlie (Whiting) and we told him that Daniel had reliability issues and that was why we told him to keep off the kerbs because that was causing damage to the battery.
"It's finding the balance with this radio stuff."
Interestingly, one of the strongest voices in Singapore against the FIA's decision to clamp down on radio communications was Franz Tost's, boss of Red Bull's second F1 team, Toro Rosso.
Tost said: "For me it's absolutely nonsense because in all other sports a coach gives information, instructions to a football player on the sidelines or whatever.
"The changes are absolutely not necessary and I still don't understand why because this information is also entertainment for the people in front of TV."