TIME TO RACE: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg says the new F1 radio ban will allow him to be more competitive against team mate Lewis Hamilton. Image: AFP/Thomas Kienzle
SINGAPORE - Nico Rosberg believes Formula 1's ban on “driver coaching” by team radio may give him an advantage in his title battle with Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton.
As the pair prepared for Friday's free practice for this the 2014 Singapore GP, the championship leading Rosberg said that the clampdown - modified overnight - might give him a chance to out-think the Hamilton, who is 22 points behind him in the title race.
Rosberg said, in his column in the Daily Mail: "It is the right way for the sport to go because it makes the racing pure. For example, earlier this season when I was trying to overtake Lewis.
"Whenever I went to increase my electronic boost power, which I can only do for a couple of corners, Lewis's engineer did a great job, spotted it and told him to do the same."
"Every time I adjusted my settings, Lewis would replicate that, so there was not a difference in performance in our respective cars, which never gave me the opportunity to surprise him, but with the new rules that should be over now."
Rosberg's welcome for the changes was echoed by other drivers, including Jenson Button of McLaren who forecast more entertainment for the fans as drivers' grappled with the need to make more decisions themselves unaided.
Button said: "People will make more mistakes, which is good. It's a bit more exciting and in our hands a bit more."
After consulting the teams and drivers, the sport's ruling body the International Motoring Federation backtracked on its original proposed ban.
In a statement on, it divided the content of radio communications into 'car operations' which are allowed and 'driver coaching and advice' which remains banned under the new system introduced for the Singapore GP.
For several drivers, the issue was as much about the timing of the ban as its direct effects because the Singapore race is so demanding - a contest run in high temperatures, with heavy humidity, under floodlights at night on a very demanding street circuit.
A favourite with fans, it is regarded as the toughest of the season for the drivers who go to bed at dawn and rise in the afternoon to keep the programme on time for European television audiences.
"It's the toughest we have," said defending four-times World champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, who has won the Singapore race for the last three years in succession. "It is a very long lap, we have so many corners. It is very bumpy, very rough. The race is nearly two hours long, there is not much time to rest.
"And the fact it is quite warm, makes it very physical, but mentally it is the toughest race we have because you have to keep your concentration for such a long lap."
"It is very easy to do a silly mistake and run wide."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Singapore GP this weekend.