Team boss radio messages to F1 race control must end - Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that he and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner “overstepped” with their radio communications to Formula 1 race control this season. 
Team boss radio messages to F1 race control must end - Wolff

For the first time ever, F1 and the FIA agreed that certain radio communications between the teams and race control would be broadcast during the 2021 season. 

Both Wolff and Red Bull counterpart Horner were heard directly pleading and lobbying with FIA race director Michael Masi on several occasions throughout a campaign that was dogged by a number of controversial calls. 

In the wake of the contentious Abu Dhabi season finale, F1’s managing director Ross Brawn said he was keen to put an end to direct radio communications between team bosses and race control. 

“I agree with Ross,” Wolff replied when asked if he shares the same viewpoint as Brawn. 

“But I equally blame Ross and myself because we have been part of the decision making to broadcast more of the channels for the purpose of transparency and entertainment for the fans.

“There is so much going on on the intercom that giving fans a little bit of an overview of all the little dramas that happen, like is the car breaking down, are we having some kind of strategy discussions, was meant well. But I think we overshot.

“I need to take myself by the nose, and Christian. We were given the opportunity to talk to the race director directly, and because we fight so fiercely for the interests of our teams all of us overstepped.

“This certainly was part of the failures this year that under pressure from the team principals also the race director’s life wasn’t made easier, certainly.”

Wolff believes such communications should be limited to team sporting directors only in the future. 

“We need to come back,” Wolff added. “I think that the team principal shouldn’t speak directly to the race director. It should be the sporting directors.

“I would even go one step further. I don’t think that the sporting director should be lobbying the race director or exercising pressure. 

“I think they should be pointing to situations that the race director or his colleagues might have not spotted, but not lobby. Not pressurise.”

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