F1 cockpit problems resolved?
03 May 2013, 18:23
Silverstone, England - Formula 1 drivers have been promised a properly functioning electronic cockpit warning system for the upcoming Spanish GP (May 12). The system didn't workd for the first four races of 2013.
Former F1 driver and occasional race steward Derek Warwick said: "We've been told they've got an upgrade for Barcelona and that it'll be working from there."
The telemetry link between race control and cars is provided by Riedel Communications as an electronic marshalling system with drivers alerted by red, yellow or blue cockpit lights in addition to the conventional warning flags waved around the track.
The governing FIA had to disable it for the opening long-haul races due to malfunctions.
Warwick, who will be a steward at his home British GP and in Belgium, Singapore and South Korea, said the problems had led to some leniency in dealing with flag infringements but there had been no instructions for officials to go easier on drivers otherwise.
President of the British Racing Drivers Club, owner of Silverstone, said: "You can't blame a driver if we've messed up in terms of the support package. The FIA has asked us to be lighter on fines for the drivers, but we still have the same tools available to us for other punishments."
Drivers had a hefty rise in the cost of their mandatory super-licences after the 2012 season but were assured by the governing body they would be fined less for rules infringements where a financial sanction was at the stewards' discretion. That did not include speeding in the pits lane.
Under article 30.12, a limit of 60km/h is imposed for all free practice sessions and 100km/h for the race. Drivers face a fine equivalent to about R2500 fine for every km/h over the limit - practice and qualifying.