The consensus among the drivers is that the new FIA restrictions on radio usage will not have a major impact.
While acknowledging that they would now be busier, in that they will take more responsibility for things like monitoring fuel usage, they don’t expect it to affect performance.
“I don’t expect it to have a huge impact on the race itself and the weekend preparations,” said Fernando Alonso. “In our case at Ferrari we never used the radio for any performance reasons, or something like that, just to control temperatures, to talk about traffic, decide strategy, so as I said it won’t have a big impact. The other teams, I don’t know exactly how they use the radio. Talking about the general rule itself, there’s a lot of media attention, like the FRIC ban, but then the final impact on the race results was not anything special, and I think here it will be similar.”
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“Well, obviously we don’t speak a lot on the radio in my case usually, when there are no issues,” said Kimi Raikkonen. “But obviously it might get quite complicated if there are some problems with the car, and you have to change certain things to try to finish the race. I don’t know how the rule goes at those times. Obviously it makes it more complicated for us, but it’s part of the game so it’s OK.”
“I don’t think it’s ideal that they, suddenly from one race to another, they change it dramatically that you cannot get certain calls,” said Sergio Perez. “But it doesn’t influence it much. I don’t see it as a big deal, it’s something that we as drivers need to get more used to. We will have, definitely, more information and we’re going to be a bit more busy throughout the race to basically try to keep everything under control – fuel loads and engine modes, all that kind of stuff. I don’t see a problem to get used to, it’s just a dramatic change from the last race to this one.”
“I don’t mind it,” said Jean-Eric Vergne. “I think it will be more or less the same as before. I like to do things by my own and many times this year I changed the settings before my engineer told me, so yeah, I will be a bit more lonely on the radio – but it should be fine.”