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.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.