FIA suffer telemetry failure at race control`

Leave a comment

Due to a telemetry failure at race control, drivers will be unable to receive information from the FIA for the opening round of the 2013 Formula One season.

Under flagged conditions, the drivers usually receive information via a light system in their cockpit, informing them to slow down under yellow flags, let a faster car pass under blue flags, or even stop completely if a red flag comes out. However, they will be without this information for the sessions in Melbourne this weekend.

The FIA issued a statement saying “due to reliability problems with the telemetry link between race control and the cars we will be disabling this with immediate effect. We will do our best to give as much information from race control as we can.”

The biggest problem is that the DRS system will be compromised. Following the activation of the system after two laps, race control will be unable to de-activate as normal under wet or safety car conditions. However, drivers will still be forbidden from using DRS in this situation.

Should the safety car make an appearance in the race, the FIA will be unable to set the cars to ‘safety car mode’ as usual, forcing drivers to make the switch manually.

Although problems like this do occur from time-to-time, teams will be forced to take extra care to avoid breaking the rules and subsequently receiving a penalty. The FIA will be doing all they can to rectify the situation in time for the race tomorrow.

Teammates James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens earn top-fives at Barber

Leave a comment

For the first time this season, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates James Hinchcilffe and Robert Wickens earned top-five finishes in the same race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Hinchcliffe finished third in the Grand Prix of Alabama; Wickens was one spot behind in fourth.

Wickens had one previous podium at Phoenix with his second-place finish. Hinchcliffe’s best result was a fourth in the season-opener in St Petersburg, Fla., so this marked his first podium of the year.

Both drivers needed a little help from the rain.

As precipitation began to fall in the closing stages of the race, Hinchliffe asked his team on a couple of occasions if it was wet enough to pit for rain tires. He was told twice to stay out and was then called into to the pits at the optimal time.

“Solid weekend for us after coming here before – not a great test,” Hinchcliffe said. “Two cars in the top 10 qualifying; two cars, top five in the race. Pretty proud of these boys, everybody on the Arrow car.”

The rain helped Wickens’ race strategy come together.

“I was having to save a lot of fuel in that second stint,” Wickens said. “So once (Scott) Dixon starting getting close to me I was thinking ‘Oh God, I’m going to actually have to give this one up.’ And then the rain came, so the fuel mileage happened naturally. So, yeah, it saved us a bit.”

And while both were pleased with their top-five finishes, drivers are rarely satisfied unless they are standing on the top step of the podium.

Wickens’ top-five finish was hard-fought. After winning the pole at St Petersburg and starting sixth at Phoenix, he failed to advance to the Fast 6 in back-to-back races at Long Beach and Barber – qualifying 10th both times.

“I was a little gutted that we came out in a big bunch of traffic,” Wickens continued. “It made the race fun, but a little frustrating as well because of people off sequence and whatnot. We lost a lot of track position there. Both of us could have been fighting for higher steps on the podium, but we need to do a little better job in qualifying. “