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Telemetry gremlins hit DRS, warning lights
16 March 2013
A glitch with the FIA's telemetry system looks set to cause problems for the remote control of both DRS and cockpit warning lights for the remainder of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
The link between race control and the cars on track has been turned off after problems emerged on day one of the opening race weekend, leaving officials without the means of actively disabling DRS, as would happen in the opening two laps of the grand prix and during wet or safety car periods, or providing warnings for the drivers to complement flag signals around the Albert Park circuit.
Without the cockpit-mounted warning system, drivers will have to pay more attention than usual to the flags being shown around the Melbourne venue, particularly when faster cars are coming up to lap them. The FIA has called on the teams to provide as much assistance to their drivers as possible during qualifying and the race, particularly as there will also be no means of recording when drivers have passed blue flags without giving way to faster traffic. Drivers usually have until a third blue flag is shown to move over before penalties are issued.
Drivers are also being asked to respect the DRS regulations in the event that there is no automatic means of deactivating the system during wet weather or safety car periods. Teams will still be notified that the system has been 'disabled', but will have to pass the message onto their drivers and trust that they will not employ DRS until official notification that it is 'active' again. Drivers will also have to manually select 'safety car mode' from the cockpit as this cannot be done from race control.
DRS usage has been limited to the prescribed race 'zones' for all practice and qualifying sessions this season.
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