Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on Thursday said a new ruling ordering teams and drivers to cut back on radio conversations has “no benefit” to the sport.
“I think this rule has no benefit. It is like basketball or football [if] you don’t allow the coach to say anything,” the two-time world champion told reporters at a promotional event in Singapore.
“At the end of the day it is just a very competitive sport,” he said. “Some of the messages we receive are for safety; it is not only for performance.”
The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, Formula One’s governing body, on September 11 handed down the edict – to be enforced starting this weekend – as part of a stricter reading of Article 20.1 of Formula One’s sporting regulations, which states that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”.
Under the ruling, conversations from the pit lane telling a driver where he is losing time on the circuit will be illegal. But Alonso said the new rule change will not affect Ferrari. “In our team, the instructions from the radio are very limited and we will not change our preparations for the race,” he said.
The Spaniard said Ferrari “would try to do our best to score as many points as possible” in Sunday’s race after the team’s dismal showing at the Italian Grand Prix.
That race was Ferrari’s least competitive on its home circuit for 20 years, with Alonso being forced to retire with a hybrid system failure and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finishing ninth.
On his way to victory in Abu Dhabi in 2013, the 33-year-old Raikkonen famously told his race engineer over the radio to “leave me alone, I know what I’m doing”.
In Singapore, the 5.065km street circuit’s 23 corners plus the stifling heat and humidity make it one of the stiffest challenges of the racing calendar for drivers. Alonso won the Singapore race in 2008 and 2010.
Championship standings ahead of Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix:
1. Nico Rosberg 238 points
2. Lewis Hamilton 216 points
3. Daniel Ricciardo 166 points
4. Valtteri Bottas 122 points
5. Fernando Alonso 121 points
6. Sebastian Vettel 106 points
7. Jenson Button 72 points
8. Nico Hülkenberg 70 points
9. Felipe Massa 55 points
10. Kimi Raikkonen 41 points
11. Sergio Perez 39 points
12. Kevin Magnussen 38 points
13. Jean-Eric Vergne 11 points
14. Romain Grosjean 8 points
15. Daniil Kvyat 8 points
16. Jules Bianchi 2 points – Sapa, AFP, Staff reporter