After the speculated unknowns surrounding the radio bans, the majority of F1 drivers said it made little or no difference to their performance in the Australian Grand Prix.
For 2016, drivers have been given radio bans from the pitwall with the new limits preventing information between engineers and drivers on lap times, understanding performance from tyres and also optimising the performance of the cars.
It has placed a strong emphasis on drivers being more effective during races, expect for in extreme circumstances or the car is terminally damaged. The three podium-sitters in Australia were quizzed immediately after the race and gave similar assessments, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel stating it made no difference while race winner Nico Rosberg says he enjoyed the new challenge.
“It was a good challenge because now it's more down to us on track so that was cool,” Rosberg said. “You also feel more in control and it was more of a challenge like that. They did make another change just before the race so we did get more information on strategy, just need to review whether that's the way to go forward now or if there's an even better way to do it. Let's see.”
Hamilton feels it didn't improve the race action as much as first predicted and says it was familiar issues with aerodynamic 'dirty air' which continued to make wheel-to-wheel racing tricky.
“For me it made no difference whatsoever. Didn't enhance the race,” Hamilton said. “It's cool that we can, for example, with our engine we can control and decide what we're going to do with it for once. Otherwise, I don't think the changes are necessary in that area, it's more with the car, to enable us to follow each other.
“Sebastian was right behind me on a better tyre but just because of the aero, that's why he went wide, I guess. It's just so hard to get close and that's what we want to do, we want to be able to get and close and not have to use the DRS on the straight.”
Vettel has echoed the Mercedes pairs' sentiment but believes tweaks should be made to enable teams to avoid any performance problems which will negatively impact the race action.
“I don't think it changed much in the end,” Vettel said. “There's a lot more for us to remember but you can argue that we're here to race as hard as possible, not to play some memory games.
“I had a bit of an issue somewhere halfway through the race, because we had an issue with the software but I don't think that's very exciting for the crowd when I'm struggling with software issues and then don't get displayed what I should have on the display, so I asked and fortunately we were able to fix it but it didn't change much for the racing side of things.”