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F1 Australian GP: Alonso: ‘Strange’ radio changes give driver less influence

Fernando Alonso says the 'strange' clamp down on in-race radio communication will not have the desired effect of delegating influence to the driver
Fernando Alonso has described the decision to reduce radio traffic communication between driver and team during a race as 'strange', suggesting it will have opposite of the desired effect to delegate more race influence to the driver.

New regulations will see a restriction of information that can be distributed from the pit wall to the driver during a race, the intention being to introduce more 'driver instinct' into race strategies rather than have it mapped out by the teams using data.

However, McLaren-Honda driver Alonso has played down its intended aim, suggesting it is 'strange' to be limiting communication in an increasingly technological age and questioning whether it will have its desired-effect of delegating more control to the driver.

“I don't think it is going to change much,” he said. “There is definitely a limited amount of things that we can talk on the radio now or receive. It is strange sometimes the direction we are going with the radio communication and technology with F1 trying to restrict it, which is probably not the normal way to go.

“I don't think it will give the driver more power or influence on the race itself because of those communications, I think the strategy and preparation for the race will be stricter and the discipline we have to have in the car is much higher.

“We will follow more or less the approach of that race much more than before. So actually I think the driver will have less room to decide anything.”

Asked whether the ban will result in more experienced drivers coming to the fore, Alonso doesn't believe it will make a difference because any 'instinct' can't be communicated back to the team either.

“Before we had that possibility and instinct of feeling something in the race that was happening,” he continued. “We tried to do the input in the strategy and give information to the team which we cannot have that conversation and debate. We are missing instinct from the driver.”

Alonso enters into his second season with McLaren-Honda with the 2016 F1 opener, the Australian Grand Prix, this weekend looking to improve upon a dismal 2015 campaign, the worst since his debut with Minardi back in 2001.

by Ollie Barstow

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