FIA race director Charlie Whiting admits coding messages are going to be difficult to police as a result of the team radio restrictions.
Following a meeting between the teams and the FIA in Singapore, it has been agreed that a number of messages relating to driver performance will remain prohibited
, although messages for car performance are permitted until the end of the season.
However, speaking to the media after FP1 to explain how the stewards intend to enforce the restrictions, Whiting said coded message will be a grey area which will keep the FIA on its toes.
“Yes, I agree it won't be straightforward,” Whiting said. “We will have a little bit of time to think about that because I think the list that the teams have been given today is quite straightforward, whereas if you've got a more complex, longer, more technical list there will be greater opportunities for that sort of thing.
“It was put to me yesterday for example that if something like 'oil transfer' is allowed as a message it could be coded in such a way that 'oil transfer' when told to a driver in Turn 1 means something different to if it's told to him in Turn 10, for example. So it's going to be a little difficult but I'm fairly confident we can get over that one with enough time.”
While Whiting said there was nothing that the stewards were unhappy with during FP1 in Singapore – saying the teams “were playing it very, very carefully” – he believes grid and time penalties will be likely punishments as eight members of the FIA will be able to monitor radio communications in real time.
“It's not for me to say actually what the penalty will be because it's a matter for the stewards, of course. All I would do is report to the stewards a possible contravention of Article 20.1, they would then decide what the penalty would be. I think it would have to be a sporting penalty rather than a monetary one, however.
“So I would imagine it would be something along those lines. If it happened in the race it might be – I emphasise 'might' – a five-second time penalty for example. If it happened in practice it might be a grid position or something like that. I think a sporting penalty as opposed to a monetary one.”