Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Driver Must Drive The Car Alone And Unaided

So as I write this there is no word on whether or not Nico Rosberg will be penalised for the pit-wall radio transmissions sent to him during the race. But Martin Brundle was frothing at the mouth over the prospect of penalties over something which he thought was stupid, "so because some driver hasn't memorised a manual the car is going to break" is about what he said.

I have no sympathy for that.

Firstly, you can't argue that knowing this stuff isn't part of a Formula One driver's job -- the regulations as they are today clearly make it part of the job.

Secondly, these drivers already have to know a ton of stuff -- tyre management, sporting regulations and procedures, all the car management procedures, how to talk to the media and sponsors -- a whole ton of stuff. These guys are paid a lot of money for what they do, expecting them to know how to drive the diagnostics system isn't exactly unreasonable.

Thirdly, you would think that with all the simulator work that the teams do they could run some scenarios to practice this kind of thing so that the drivers get used to dealing with the menu system while in the car and under pressure.

Finally, there's a lot of money in Formula One, surely if the menuing system is too complicated they could have someone make it simpler?

(There's also the issue that most of the rules are geared towards making failures more likely rather than less -- increasing attrition and "interest" in the proceedings. But that's a separate concern.)

I think that Mercedes will be penalised somehow. And there will be a lot of complaint.