The people in charge of F1 aren't known for making popular decisions. That's why we were utterly flabbergasted to learn that the F1's governing body decided to get rid of the rules that basically limited all communications between drivers and their teams. Is that a draft I feel, or did hell freeze over?
Hyperbole aside, F1's radio rules were wildly unpopular with fans, led to some fairly ridiculous penalties, and genuinely alarming, preventable accidents. Force India's Sergio Perez crashed out on the last lap of the Austrian GP because his team chose not to notify him of a brake failure over fear of penalty. Jenson Button received a penalty at the Hungarian GP for being warned of brake failure by his team.
"We've decided to open up radio communication again," Bernie Ecclestone said . "Everyone will again be able to say what they want."
The decision to reverse these rules accompanied the FIA's announcement that it wouldn't adopt 'Halo' safety cockpits for the 2017 season. Drivers and teams won't be able to communicate on the formation lap, but during the race proper, all communications are kosher. This change goes into effect immediately, just before this weekend's German Grand Prix.
Of course, Ecclestone and other F1 rule makers didn't reverse radio rules for the good of the sport. Don't be ridiculous! They did it because, according to Ecclestone, having more communications between teams and drivers makes for better TV.
Ecclestone apparently told Autosport that the lack of radio was "not good for the show."
Oh well, at least F1 made a good decision . . . even if it was done for silly reasons.