FIA not planning to change telemetry supplier

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Despite the FIA encountering problems with its telemetry system during the first four races, Formula One’s governing body has no intention of switching supplier for the beginning of the European season in Spain.

After changing supplier during the off-season, a company called Riedel has suffered issues implementing its new system. This has restricted communication between race control and the cars. Usually, under yellow flag conditions, warning lights would alert the drivers. Similarly, cars would be restricted to a certain pace under the safety car. However, these systems failed during the opening rounds of the season, most notably in China. Eight drivers came under investigation after using DRS under yellow flags, but no penalties were awarded as had the telemetry been working, these infringements would have been prevented.

However, the FIA has confirmed to Autosport that it will not be changing supplier ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, contrary to initial reports.

Instead, Riedel is working to rectify the situation during the three week break following the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The system is expected to be working properly for the race at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 12th.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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