Formula 1 fans will be privy to more information in 2009 than they have been used to in the past, with the broadcasting of more pit-to-car radio transmissions during grands prix and the possible publication of cars' weights after qualifying.
Whilst television viewers have already been able to listen in on – occasionally colourful – selected in-car radio conversations, thy have hitherto been just that, selected. Henceforth, former ITV-F1
commentator James Allen has revealed in his online blog, teams will no longer have the option of filling the public in only
when they press a button on the pit wall – but rather will have no control over what is broadcast, and when.
Moreover, the FIA has stated that it is musing over the idea of publishing the weights of all the cars after Q3, thereby making it clear how much fuel each one has on-board for the opening stint of the race – and making it possible to calculate the 'real', fuel-corrected grid positions ahead of the action.
Allen, however, who has commentated for ITV
since the sport's switch to the independent broadcaster back in 1997, but will not now be moving to the BBC
– admitted he is not altogether in favour of the latter proposition.
“I think it is mad,” he contended, “as it takes away from the suspense of the opening part of the race and might make teams inclined to do more-or-less the same thing on fuel strategy as each other, which will create more of a procession.
“One of the reasons qualifying with fuel has worked was because there was the chance to go short or long and we couldn't be absolutely sure, because there was always that margin for driver error.
“Also, it will devalue the pole before the race has even started if, say, [Robert] Kubica has achieved it by running six laps less fuel than [Lewis] Hamilton and [Felipe] Massa. We'll all stand on the grid saying, 'so what?'”