Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Team Radio

I quite like some of the comments you get over the radio during races. My all-time favourite happened during the first year JPM was racing at Williams. In Austria they decided to red-flag a practice session because a deer had been spotted. The conversation went something like:

Engineer: Careful JP, there's reports of a deer on the course.
JPM: What's a deer?
Engineer: Er, it's like a horse. With horns on.

This weekend there were two snippets that made me think. One from Renault to Fisichella, telling him that there was no way he could be two seconds a lap slower than Alonso. The other was from Red Bull to Coulthard, informing him that he had to pass Scott Speed.

Now I might be a simpleton, but Formula One is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport. The series where the best racing drivers get to show their talents. And the last time I looked, motor racing was all about driving faster than your opponents, and going past them if they are in front of you.

So how come two of the best racing drivers in the world have to be given such basic advice? Surely it would occur to Coulthard that overtaking a car in front was a good idea? It should be his entire purpose in life to get past that car. That's what it's about. And Fisichella? "Could you please drive a bit faster mate?". Well if he can, get him out of the car and fire him. I want someone in that car that drives it at its maximum without being told. And races. Not just drives in a race, races.

I used to think that the only thing wrong with F1 was that the cars made it impossible to overtake each other. If it's true that drivers aren't even thinking about it any more than maybe the rot is deeper than I thought.


At 6:49 PM, Blogger Lincoln said...

My all time favourite radio quote was made by Allan McNish during his race for Toyota in Canada (2004?). He had stopped in the middle of the lap and he exclaimed, "I can't get the f***ing thing into gear!"

At 8:43 PM, Blogger middledomain said...

Jenson's comment after being informed he had pole was a relief to hear, "Yes come on my son! Get in!” He sounded genuinely pleased to have got pole. But I agree with your comments about the drivers being told to get a move and over take cars that are in front. This is there job and they shouldn’t need telling.

I also think some of the things the race engineers say to the drivers also goes without saying, things like “put the pit-lane limiter on” to drivers entering the pit lane, “revs, clutch,” to drivers about to set off from a pit-stop and my personal favourite “don’t cross the white line, don’t cross the white line” to drivers exiting the pit lane. Surely all of the drivers in F1 are not so simple that the need telling!?

At 10:57 AM, Blogger ZurichGnome said...

I can appreciate that it's not worth the risk of a driver making a mistake. 99 times out of 100 a driver will not cross the white line. But being reminded doesn't hurt and could save a penalty, especially at a crucial point when another car is coming and you need to block before the corner


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