- Mercedes’ Toto Wolff called for implementing a ban on broadcasting the communication between race directors and team bosses as it can turn ugly at times
- Red Bull’s Horner and Mercedes’ Toto Wolff at the world championship in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix overstepped mark while communicating with the race director.
Former racing driver and Austrian motorsport executive Toto Wolff said that radio communication of F1 bosses with race directors can get ugly at times when they tend to overstep the mark. Each of the team bosses put up a fierce fight in an attempt to safeguard the interests of their respective teams added the Mercedes team principal.
Toto calls for the implementation of a ban on broadcasting communications between F1 team bosses and race directors citing the nature of the conversation and the fact that FIA (International Automobile Federation) along with its offshoot F1 overshot in their judgement and chose to air selective conversations.
Traditionally there have been a lot of instances where communication between teams’ pit walls and Race Control have occurred and were mainstream. However, a major shift was witnessed in the past season when this communication was on the TV world feed for everyone to hear.
The messages that are broadcast not just comprise of traditional dialogues between sporting director and Michael Masi, race director nut also include interventions from team bosses Toto Wolff and Red Bull’s Christian Horner. The issue turned ugly at the world championship in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw a dramatic battle between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Comments that poured in from Horner and Wolff were similar to managers coercing the referee in football.
The safety car was brought out when Nicholas Latifi’s car crashed with only a few pending laps alongside asking the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves. This gave Verstappen an opportunity to attack Hamilton whose car tyres had been worn out.
Ross Brawn, managing director of F1 while addressing the German press has urged that the talks between the race directors and the team principal should not be permitted. Agreeing with Ross’s opinion, Wolff said that he held Ross and himself equally accountable since they were a part of the decision-making process involving the broadcast of the in-race communication to all channels to aid transparency and entertain the fans.
Wolff went on to say that the fans a mere glimpse of all the conversation and drama that happens on the intercom. Though they meant well, Wolff admitted that each of the bosses might have overstepped the mark.